Boston College beat Maryland in a rip-roarin’ Quick Lane Bowl on Monday, 36-30.
One of the game’s key points came with about eight minutes left in the fourth quarter. Maryland was trailing by nine, and the Terrapins moved the ball to BC’s 2-yard line. It seemed a mere formality that the Terps would punch in for a touchdown, cutting the lead to two and giving themselves ample time for a comeback.
Not quite. Maryland ran 10 plays from that starting point at the 2, but the Terps couldn’t get the ball into the end zone and managed, incredibly, not to score at all. This is the story of how that happened. It’s a bit of a stemwinder, but we’ll just go step-by-step to keep it as orderly as possible. Shall we?
Play 1: first-and-goal at the 2
Maryland gives the ball to power back Wes Brown, who tries to run over right tackle for a touchdown. He gets stacked up by end Harold Landry and friends. OK, no big deal.
Except it is a big deal, because officials flag Maryland center Brendan Moore for holding. Maryland’s no longer right at the goal line.
Play 2: first-and-goal at the 12
A 2-yard run over tackle for Maryland’s Ty Johnson.
Play 3: second-and-goal at the 10
Landry is the country’s leading sack man. Add another.
Play 4: third-and-goal at the 17
Now things are getting difficult. Hills gets flushed from the pocket and takes off toward the right sideline, going out of bounds at the 12 after a 5-yard gain. It’ll be fourth-and-a chip shot field goal.
Except, it won’t. There’s a holding flag on right tackle Damian Prince, and now Maryland’s moved back a full 25 yards from where they were before.
The Terps will try again. Maryland coach D.J. Durkin is growing exasperated by this point, and why shouldn’t he be?
The Terps must soldier onward.
Play 5: third-and-goal at the 27
Hills is sacked again, this time at the 36. The Terps have now done the unthinkable and moved backward a whole 34 yards in five plays.
Except, they haven’t. Defensive end Zach Allen grabbed Hills’ facemask, at the cost of a first down and half the distance to the goal. Maryland’s got some life again.
Play 6: first-and-10 at the 13
Play 7: second-and-10 at the 13
Play 8: third-and-10 at the 13
A nifty play gets Maryland a first down. Receiver D.J. Moore takes the ball on the edge and knifes through a few defenders, mashes over another, and sets Maryland up inside the BC 5-yard line again. The Terps are back in business, baby. Maryland alums everywhere, your author included, feel confident that this drive will hit paydirt.
Play 9: first-and-goal at the 1
Maryland tries to sneak in a shovel pass for a touchdown. Nope.
Play 10: second-and-goal at the 1
You know where this is going.
It’s Boston College ball, and Maryland finishes a 10-play run from the BC 2-yard line without scoring any points. Welcome to the Quick Lane Bowl.
Because this game was Shakespeare in football form, Boston College turned the ball over to Maryland a few plays later. Then the Eagles kept Maryland out of the end zone again, though at least the Terps kicked a field goal on the second go-around.
The game ended when Maryland, down six points with 1:43 on the clock, took the ball and mounted a four-play, negative-7-yard drive to seal defeat.