SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — Quarterback Thomas Castellanos ran 8 yards for the game-winning score with 2:23 remaining and Boston College extended its winning streak to five, defeating Syracuse 17-10 on Friday night and dropping the Orange to their fifth consecutive setback.
“Our confidence is sky high,” Castellanos said. “We’re rolling. BC football is back. Today wasn’t pretty, but a win is a win.”
Syracuse (4-5, 0-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) played without starting quarterback Garrett Shrader who was out due to an injury suffered against Virginia Tech last Thursday. The nature of the injury was not disclosed.
Syracuse coach Dino Babers said Shrader didn’t practice at all during the week, but he didn’t know until Thursday that Shrader wouldn’t be available.
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Boston College (6-3, 3-2) took over with 5:59 to go on its own 29-yard line and marched down the field for the winning touchdown. The Eagles become bowl eligible with the victory. Syracuse needs to win two of its final three games to make it to a second straight bowl.
Carlos Del Rio-Wilson made his second career start for Syracuse and his inexperience showed. The sophomore ran 27 yards up the middle for a touchdown in the first quarter and had another long gainer, but was just 7-of-17 passing for 37 yards with four interceptions. LeQuint Allen ran for 142 yards on 18 carries.
“Carlos did a good job. I know there were a lot of interceptions, but when you’re playing with your backup quarterback the other guys have to find a way to win the game, and LeQuint almost found a way to do it,” Babers said. “Obviously extremely disappointed with the outcome. It was a game we felt we had an opportunity to win. We were in it all the way. We just needed to make enough plays and there were plays to be made.”
Castellanos was 20-of-37 passing for 165 yards. He threw for one touchdown, a 2-yarder to Anthony Ferrucci that gave the Eagles a 10-7 lead with time running out in the first half.
Del Rio-Wilson’s run gave the Orange a 7-3 lead late in the first quarter, but the Eagles countered with an 18-play, 80-yard drive that culminated with Castellanos’ short touchdown toss. A pass interference penalty in the end zone on Syracuse’s Jason Simmons Jr. set up the score.
The Eagles defense held the Orange in check. Syracuse had 246 yards of total offense and just 10 first downs. BC ran 94 plays to Syracuse’s 47.
“I thought Syracuse played hard, man,” said BC coach Jeff Hafley. “They’ve gotten a lot of heat. I thought their defense played us as well as any defense I’ve seen They contained the run. I thought they played really hard.
“This was a gritty, tough game. Congratulations to our team,” Hafley added. “We find a way to win.. I don’t care what it looks like. It’s five in a row. We’re 6-3. We’re bowl eligible and I think our guys felt kind of disrespected, picked to lose this game after four wins by us and four losses for them.”
“We’re still in it,” Syracuse’s Allen said. “We got three games left. We can still finish 7-5 and still be eligible for a bowl.”
That will be a tall order.
Babers gave the impression that Shrader may not play the rest of the season. Shrader hasn’t been the same since a big hit against Clemson in week five.
STOPPING THE RUN:
Syracuse held Kye Robichaux, who had two consecutive 100-yard games entering Friday’s contest, to just 70 yards on 23 carries.
WHAT A TIME:
BC had the ball for 42:16 to Syracuse’s 17:44, but couldn’t pull away.
Boston College struggled much of the game, but the defense bailed out the offense with the four interceptions and key stops when the Orange had excellent drive starts.
Syracuse showed a lot of heart but was behind the eight ball without Shrader. It will be a tall order to win another game.
Boston College: The Eagles return home Saturday for a matchup with Virginia Tech.
Syracuse: The Orange play Pittsburgh at Yankee Stadium on Saturday.
AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll