The new-look Terps offense led by true freshman quarterback Caleb Rowe almost came back to take a win from the Boston College Eagles in Chestnut Hill, but costly mistakes from Rowe and a poor defensive showing in the last remaining minutes handed Boston College their first win in the ACC this season.
This was only the tenth matchup between the Maryland Terrapins and the Boston College Eagles. The Eagles had the lead coming into the game, winning six out of the nine games in the series and five of seven since joining the ACC in 2005. The Terps fell to Boston College at home in College Park, Md., 28-17, in a snowy game in a mostly empty Byrd Stadium.
Boston College got off to a fast start, with Boston College quarterback Chase Rettig leading a quick drive capped off with a 20-yard touchdown pass to running back David Dudeck. The extra point by kicker Nate Freese gave the Eagles an early 7-0 lead with 13:15 left in the first quarter.
The Eagles found themselves knocking on the Terps' end zone again, but Boston College running back Andre Williams fumbled the ball away at the goal line and Maryland defensive tackle Darius Kilgo recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchback. Rowe led the Terps on a 13-play, 63-yard drive to set up a 35-yard field goal attempt by Maryland kicker Brad Craddock but Craddock missed the field goal to the left, leaving the Terps with nothing. Rowe later threw his first interception, picked off by Boston College's Kieran Borcich which led to a 36-yard field goal by Freese, extending the Eagles' lead to 10-0.
The Terps had two chances to put points on the board in the second quarter but were left with nothing both times. On a third down on Maryland's 41-yard line, Rowe had a scramble for a first down. But a questionable flag from a referee calling freshman wide receiver Stefon Diggs for a personal foul on a clean block killed the drive, leaving Maryland head coach Randy Edsall furious with the officials. Rowe had another chance at scoring points with the Terps' offense on Boston College's 27-yard line, but a bad throw by Rowe was picked off by Justin Simmons and downed on the Eagles' 6-yard line. The Eagles would head into halftime with a 10-0 lead.
The Eagles would open the second half with another scoring drive. Rettig marched the Eagles on a 7-play, 61-yard drive that set up a 28-yard field goal made by Freese to increase the Eagles lead to 13-0. But the Terps' offense finally started to click with Rowe finding senior wide receiver Kevin Dorsey for a 26-yard pass to the Boston College 6-yard line on a fourth down conversion to extend the drive. Four plays later on the 1-yard line, Rowe found redshirt freshman wide receiver Nigel King on a fade route in the back corner of the end zone for the first touchdown of the game and the first touchdown for both Rowe and King. Backup freshman kicker Brendan Magistro was sent in to take the extra point attempt which he made. After a three-and-out forced by the Terps' defensive front seven, Rowe led the Terps on another scoring drive, this time culminating with Magistro making a 28-yard field goal to cut Boston College's lead to 13-10 going into the final quarter.
A defensive battle between the two teams dominated for most of the first five minutes of the fourth quarter. The Maryland Terrapins finally broke the stalemate with Diggs catching a pass from Rowe and running into the end zone for a 73-yard touchdown. The Terps' defense stepped up big on the next play once again, with Maryland senior defensive lineman Joe Vellano stripping Rettig while being held. Francis recovered the ball, stopping the Eagles' drive.
The Eagles would respond on their next drive, with Rettig finding wide receiver Johnathan Coleman wide open on a flat route for a 14-yard touchdown pass. Trailing 20-17, the Terps and Rowe had less than a minute to score to either tie or win the game, but Rowe threw his final interception to close the game.
Rowe passed for 240 yards and two touchdowns but his three interceptions were costly, especially the last one on the Terps' last possession. Diggs finished with 12 receptions, 156 yards and one touchdown. Wes Brown rushed for 73 yards on 23 carries.
With the loss, the Terps fall to 4-4 on the season and 2-2 in the ACC. Boston College rises to 2-6 overall and 1-4 in the ACC.
The Terps host the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets next Saturday in College Park, Md.