BC gets thrashed by Miami and ends regular season with third straight loss

College Sports

An eight win season is no longer in play for the Eagles, but they can still secure their first seven win season since 2018.

Miami’s Henry Parrish (right) got a big lift from teammate Matt Lee after scoring one of his two second-quarter touchdowns that helped the Hurricanes build a 28-7 halftime lead.

A season once filled with promise for Boston College football swiftly spiraled into a familiar finality of mediocrity.

The Eagles ripped off five straight wins, teasing fans with a glimmer of hope, then dropped three straight to finish a dizzying regular season at .500.

Their latest setback came against Miami Friday, as the Hurricanes cruised to a 45-20 triumph at Alumni Stadium. The Eagles (6-6, 3-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) committed costly turnovers and penalties, couldn’t stop the pass or run, and showed minimal urgency offensively.

“I feel like we need to regroup,” BC quarterback Thomas Castellanos said. “Getting a bowl game was really good, but that’s where we kind of stopped at. We got complacent, and we got over our heads. Guys kind of laid off.”

The Hurricanes (7-5, 3-5 ACC) racked up 532 total yards, including 290 in the air, and dismantled a banged-up BC secondary.

BC showed some mettle in flashes, but it wasn’t nearly enough against a superior opponent.

The Eagles struck first, when Kye Robichaux front-flipped into the end zone from 1 yard out on the opening drive. A 40-yard pass from Thomas Castellanos to Dino Tomlin helped set it up, as BC took a 7-0 edge with 9:55 left in the first quarter.

It was all Hurricanes the rest of the half. Miami seized command and ripped off 28 straight points to take a commanding 28-7 edge into the third quarter.

“We did a really good job executing on the first drive,” Castellanos said, “and we kind of let it slip away.”

Mark Fletcher Jr. scored from 1 yard out late in the first and Henry Parrish Jr. from 15 yards early in the second to put Miami ahead. Colbie Young hauled in a 10-yard strike from Tyler Van Dyke (23 for 36, 290 yards, 2 touchdowns), then Parrish delivered from 2 yards with 21 seconds before halftime.

Miami outgained BC, 269-132, in the half. The Hurricanes, who featured the No. 1 rush defense in the ACC, held the Eagles to 50 yards on the ground in the half. Miami dominated possession, holding the ball for nearly 18 minutes and punting only once before the break.

Outside of Castellanos, BC totaled just 13 rushing yards on the day.

“Those three three-and-outs were critical,” BC coach Jeff Hafley said. “Those hurt us. They kind of took us out of our game. The defense was on the field for a pretty good stretch there in the second quarter. The game got the way it was. We haven’t been built very well to come back like that, but we need to be.”

Friday’s action mirrored sloppy showings against Louisville and Virginia Tech, when BC was simply outmatched in every facet against a more physical, skilled, and relentless opponent. Its defense has allowed 46 touchdowns this season, the most in the ACC.

The Eagles showed signs of life early in the third, when Gilbert Tongrongou recovered a fumble and Castellanos (15 for 25, 151 yards, 1 touchdown, 2 interceptions) wiggled free for a 21-yard score. Down, 28-14, with plenty of time remaining, BC still couldn’t slow the Hurricanes.

Miami converted on fourth and 4, then Van Dyke connected with Jacolby George for a 4-yard TD to extend the margin to 35-14 through three. The Hurricanes tacked on 3 more when Ahmad Moten intercepted Castellanos and Andres Borregales nailed a 26-yard field goal with 8:36 on the clock.

Lewis Bond hauled in a 2-yard score from Castellanos with 5:50 left, Ajay Allen added a 30-yard run for Miami, and that was that.

“We were disappointed we couldn’t get the W for our seniors,” defensive end Neto Okpala said. “They’ve worked so hard all year. I got emotional. A lot of us really got emotional.”

Despite the 25-point loss, a relentlessly optimistic Hafley chose to highlight the resilience of his players.

“I appreciate the fight in the team,” Hafley said. “That one could have opened up really quick, and they came back.”

The Eagles are bowl-eligible, with the Fenway Bowl the most likely option and the Pinstripe Bowl and Military Bowl, among others, also in play. The bowl matchups will be revealed Dec. 3.

BC can still cement its first seven-win season since 2018, but the possibility of its first eight-win season since 2009 has vanished.

When asked how he feels about a six-win regular season, Hafley kept it simple.

“It gets us in a bowl game,” he said. “We’re going to go get seven.”