Posted 10/26/2007 at 12:15 AM
Wow. What a jaw-dropping comeback orchestrated by Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan, guiding his team to an improbable 14-10 win Thursday at a loud-and-hostile Lane Stadium. The Eagles won outright at Virginia Tech as three-point underdogs, hooking up money-line backers with plus 130 payouts.
If you get to work Friday only to find out BC pulled a comeback for the ages, shame on you. If you didn't stay tuned until the bitter (especially for Hokie backers) end, you probably missed the signature moment of this anything-goes 2007 college football season.
For almost 56 minutes, the Hokies were the better team. Bud Foster's defense was flying around, punishing Ryan nearly every play.
V-Tech had a 10-0 lead and pinned BC at its own eight yard line with 4:17 left. BC didn't look like it had a prayer. The Eagles had done nothing offensively in their first 12 drives, as their senior QB was taking shots galore and coming down with happy-feet syndrome.
Then everything changed. Ryan finally got some time to survey the field. He finally got into a rhythm, and his receivers started making plays.
The Hokies quit blitzing. Ryan started to buy time in the pocket, scrambling around like that short guy at the Orange Bowl 23 seasons ago.
With 2:11 left, Ryan capped a 92-yard march to paydirt by hitting Rich Gunnell for a 16-yard scoring strike on a perfectly-thrown fade pass.
Next, BC recovered the onside kick and you started to get the sense that something special was about to go down.
At this point in a game, the Great Ones get greedy. While some might be thinking to just get in field-goal range and get the game to overtime, others want to go for the jugular.
And that's exactly what Matt Ryan did nine plays later. On a third-and-20 at V-Tech's 24, Ryan took us back in time.
Not everything was the same. As a matter of fact, Blacksburg and Miami have little in common, and Sean Glennon is no Bernie Kosar.
But it was Boston College in comeback mode again, just like when Doug Flutie scrambled all over before hitting Gerard Phelan to beat the 'Canes at the OB in 1984.
This time around, it was the not-nearly-as-fleet-a-foot Ryan scrambling to his left, then throwing across his body to his RB on the other side of the field -- the most difficult pass for a QB to throw.
And it was perfect. It was lift-you-off-your-feet stuff. If you are a BC fan, it was the stuff chillbumps are made of.
And maybe, just like in 1984, it was the signature moment of a Heisman candidacy for a senior signal caller.
But the Heisman was irrelevant on this night. This was about the upstart Eagles, whose head coach bailed out on 'em for a lateral move to a conference rival last year.
This was about an unbeaten team staying alive -- and kicking -- in a national-title picture that's as foggy as its been in recent memory. This was college football at its best.
Boston College 14, Virginia Tech 10. An Instant Classic.