Nov. 18, 2006
BOSTON (AP) -Jolonn Dunbar scored on two fumble recoveries before Boston College's offense took the field. When it did, the Eagles made sure they stayed in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship picture.
The 20th-ranked Eagles led 14-0 in the first four minutes on Dunbar's returns of 14 and 38 yards before Matt Ryan threw two scoring passes in a 38-16 win over 21st-ranked Maryland on Saturday.
Any hopes for a comeback were dashed by two more turnovers - a 42-yard interception return for a touchdown by DeJuan Tribble and an interception in the end zone by Jamie Silva after Maryland reached the 4-yard line early in the fourth quarter.
To win the Atlantic Division, BC (9-2, 5-2) needs a win over Miami next Thursday night and losses by Wake Forest in its final two games. The Terrapins (8-3, 5-2) can still win the division if they beat Wake Forest next Saturday and BC loses to Miami or the Demon Deacons defeat Virginia Tech Saturday evening.
The loss ended Maryland's five-game winning streak.
The Terps also would win it and a berth in the ACC title game against Georgia Tech in Jacksonville on Dec. 2 if it finishes in a three-way tie with BC and Wake Forest with 6-2 conference records. Wake Forest would come in first by winning its remaining two games.
On Saturday's second play from scrimmage, Danny Oquendo took a pitchout to the left from quarterback Sam Hollenbach and was blasted by Larry Anam. Oquendo fumbled, Hollenbach slid for the ball but it squirted toward Maryland's end zone, and Dunbar scooped it up and ran for the touchdown just 42 seconds into the game.
On the fifth play of the next series, Hollenbach tried a pitch to the other side with similar results. Lance Ball fumbled and Dunbar was there again, grabbing the ball and racing untouched into the end zone.
Just 3:18 into the game, the Eagles led 14-0 without running a single offensive play. They also had more points than Maryland's two previous opponents in wins of 13-12 over Clemson and 14-13 over Miami. And, unlike the Terps' last seven games that were each decided by six points or less, the margin in this would be much greater.
Ryan finally got in the game with 6:36 left in the first quarter and threw a 21-yard completion to Tony Gonzalez on his first play. That series ended with a missed 42-yard field goal attempt by Steve Aponavicius. Maryland finally scored midway through the second quarter on the first of Dan Ennis' three-field goals, a 29-yarder.
Then Ryan led BC to touchdowns on a 34-yard pass to Gonzalez and a 17-yarder to Brandon Robinson for a 28-3 lead. On those two series, Ryan completed 9 of 12 passes for 140 yards.
Ennis' 37-yard field goal on the last play of the half and his 46-yarder cut the lead to 28-9. After Tribble's interception, Maryland scored its only touchdown on Josh Allen's 9-yard option pass to Oquendo.
The Terrapins had a chance to get within two scores early in the fourth quarter, but Hollenbach's pass was intercepted in the end zone by Jamie Silva.
They also had a first-and-goal from the 5-yard-line later in the quarter, but turned the ball over on downs.