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Reggie Jackson lifts BC over Texas A&M

11.25.10 at 2:36 pm ET
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Junior Reggie Jackson scored 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting and hit two clutch baskets down the stretch as Boston College survived Texas A&M, 67-65, in the opening game of the Old Spice Classic in Orlando, Fla.

The Eagles’ win was not secure until the final buzzer sounded and a reverse layup from Texas A&M guard Dash Harris hung on the rim before falling out.

“We were thinking, ‘Please, just go out. Rattle out,’ ” Jackson told WEEI.com in a phone interview after the win.

BC (3-1) advances to Friday’s semifinal (noon) to play the winner of Thursday’s second game between Wisconsin and Manhattan.

The Eagles never trailed, but Texas A&M (3-1) rallied from an 11-point second-half deficit to tie the game on a few occasions. Jackson put BC ahead for good with 2:08 remaining when he caught Biko Paris’ inbounds pass in the air and laid it in in one motion for a 64-62 lead.

With 56 seconds left, Jackson milked the clock down and then hit a fallaway 18-footer just before the shot clock expired and BC led by four points, 66-62. Jackson said he enjoys being in that situation, and the trust and support from his teammates gives him confidence to make the play. “I definitely look forward to it,” he said. “I just try to rise to the occasion. ‘€¦ I could have made it or missed it, but my teammates are still going to love me no matter what. We’re still going to be a family.”

At the other end of the floor, B.J. Holmes hit a 3-pointer from the corner and was fouled. He missed the free throw with 41 seconds left, keeping BC in front by a point, 66-65.

BC worked the clock down and got an open look for Joe Trapani from behind the arc. Trapani (14 points) missed a 3-pointer, but he tracked down his rebound with eight seconds left. Instead of dribbling the ball out and waiting to get fouled, Trapani saw an opening and decided to drive to the basket. He missed the layup, but Corey Raji got the rebound and was fouled trying to convert it. With 4.7 seconds left, Raji hit the second of two free throws for the final scoring.

Following a timeout from each team, Harris took the inbounds pass and drove the length of the floor right through the BC defense, but his reverse layup had a little too much spin and fell off.

Forward Khris Middleton led the Aggies with 19 points and seven rebounds.

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Luke Kuechly named finalist for Butkus Award

11.24.10 at 11:05 am ET
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Boston College sophomore linebacker Luke Kuechly is one of five finalists for the Butkus Award honoring college football’€™s top linebacker. Kuechly joins UCLA’s Akeem Ayers, North Carolina’s Bruce Carter, Georgia’s Justin Houston and Texas A&M’s Von Miller on the list of finalists.

Finalists were selected by a panel of 51 coaches, scouts and journalists supervised by Hub Arkush of Pro Football Weekly. The winner will be announced in early December.

Kuechly leads the nation in tackles (14.64 per game) and is just five stops away from breaking Tom McManus‘ school single-season record set in 1991. Kuechly also leads the country in solo tackles (93). He has registered 10 or more tackles for 20 consecutive games, the longest active streak in college football, and is the only player in the country with a pair of 20-tackle games this season (20 vs. NC State and 21 vs. Duke).

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The Three-Pointer: Danny Rubin earns time, helps fuel BC’s win over Holy Cross

11.22.10 at 11:44 pm ET
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Just two games into his tenure as Boston College basketball coach, Steve Donahue came to the realization that he had made a mistake that needed fixing. He deviated from his philosophy and the strategy that had been successful for him at his previous job, and he paid the price with BC’s 75-67 loss to Yale last Thursday.

Four days later, Donahue got back to form. First, he shuffled his lineup to reward players who were performing in practice. Then he showed no hesitation in running bodies in and out of the lineup in the first half. The fact that BC pulled away for a 69-54 victory over Holy Cross was icing on the cake.

“I think what you see is just a work in progress with this team,” Donahue said after the Eagles improved to 2-1. “We’re going to have our good days and bad days. The ebb and flow of it. ‘€¦ Part of it’s me trying to figure out what’s right for this team, how we’re going to play.

“I think the important thing is ‘€” not that I don’t worry about wins and losses at this point ‘€” but I worry about how we play, how we go about it,” he continued. “I was disappointed after watching the film [of the Yale game] of just how we went about our business. And that’s my fault. That’s not their fault. I allowed it to happen. ‘€¦ They were really good in practice [the last three days] ‘€” even though this is far from where we want to be, I believe. But it’s a great step in the right direction.”

Corey Raji, who lost his starting job for the night, led the way for BC with 15 points and seven rebounds. The player who replaced Raji in the starting lineup, freshman Danny Rubin, hit four 3-pointers and finished with 14 points.

Joe Trapani, who was 0-for-7 in the first half, came back strong to finished with 11 points. Biko Paris also netted 11. Reggie Jackson contributed nine points and 10 assists.

Here is the Three-Pointer of things we learned from the win.

DANNY RUBIN IS BACK, MAYBE TO STAY

He came to BC as an unheralded recruit, bound for Colgate as a preferred walk-on until Donahue invited him to Chestnut Hill. Had he gone to Colgate, Danny Rubin would have faced Holy Cross in Patriot League play. Monday night, he faced the Crusaders as a member of the Eagles.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: corey raji, Danny Rubin, Steve Donahue,

Luke Kuechly again named ACC Defensive Lineman of Week

11.22.10 at 1:17 pm ET
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For the second straight week and fourth time this season, Boston College sophomore linebacker Luke Kuechly was named ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week on Monday. Kuechly made 15 tackles (10 solo) in BC’s 17-13 victory over visiting Virginia that made the Eagles bowl-eligible. Kuechly, who registered double digits in tackles for the 20th game in a row, the longest active streak in college football, leads the nation with 304 tackles.

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RB Montel Harris has arthroscopic surgery

11.22.10 at 11:36 am ET
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Boston College running back Montel Harris underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Monday morning at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, the school announced. The junior standout suffered a torn left lateral meniscus during Saturday’s victory over Virginia that made the Eagles bowl-eligible. Harris will miss Saturday’s game at Syracuse.

UPDATE: ESPN reports that Harris is expected to be out 3-6 weeks, putting his status in jeopardy for the Eagles’ likely bowl appearance.

Harris rushed 24 times for 114 yards and a touchdown on Saturday, his eighth 100-yard game this season. He has rushed for 1,243 yards and eight touchdowns on 269 carries on the year. For his career, he has 3,600 yards and 27 touchdowns on 756 attempts. On Saturday, he moved past Mike Cloud into second place on the Eagles’ all-time rushing list. He trails just Derrick  Knight (3,725 yards).

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Montel Harris has MRI on left knee, fate determined Sunday

11.20.10 at 7:17 pm ET
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CHESTNUT HILL — Just after becoming Boston College’s second-leading rusher of all-time, junior tailback Montel Harris sustained a left knee injury and was knocked out of the game against Virgina.

The team announced he would not return for the fourth quarter of the game against Virginia. The school confirmed Harris was taken to St. Elizabeth’€™s Medical Center for an MRI. He will meet Sunday morning with team physicians and consult with coaches to determine his status for next Saturday’€™s game against Syracuse.

Harris ran a cutback for four yards and a touchdown late in the third quarter to give Boston College the lead, 17-13, in a game that Eagles needed to become bowl eligible. Harris appeared to injure the knee two runs later on BC’s next offensive series. Before leaving due to his injury, Harris had 24 carries for 114 yards, giving him exactly 3,600 for his career, three more than Mike Cloud, and just 125 behind Derrick Knight.

Read More: ACC, Boston College football, Derrick Knight, Mike Cloud

Frank Spaziani: ‘We didn’t start the season out to be 6-6′

11.20.10 at 6:05 pm ET
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CHESTNUT HILL — Frank Spaziani had bigger expectations for his team this season.

Back in the summer, when the team was getting ready for the season, the Eagles head football coach didn’t expect to be celebrating the fact that his team became merely bowl-eligible with a win on Nov. 20 to improve to 6-5. Usually, the standards are much higher, beginning with making the ACC title game and then hopefully a related BCS Bowl bid as ACC champion.

But after five losses in a row, the Eagles head coach had to re-asses his expectations.

“The players and myself, we didn’t start the year out to be 6-6. We certainly have higher aspirations every year around here. Are we happy now to have won four games in a row? Absolutely. We have another game to play. We move on to the next week and then we’ll figure it out at the end.”

BC ends its regular season next Saturday in Syracuse, a former end-of-the-season rival from their Big East Conference days.

‘€œIt’€™s definitely good, but you’€™re not satisfied until the end of the season,” added sophomore linebacker Luke Kuechly. “If we keep winning, and that’€™s all that were concerned about is continuing to win. You can never be satisfied because once you’€™re satisfied, everything else in the future kind of goes away.

It’s ironic that Montel Harris wasn’t available after Saturday’s 17-13 win over Virginia for several reasons. First, his 114 yards on 24 carries put him at exactly 3,600 for his career, good for second all-time on the BC rushing list behind Derrick Knight. But perhaps more than that, it was the junior tailback Harris, when the team lost its fifth straight to Maryland, 24-21, who said, “We’ll win the rest of our games and get to a bowl. I feel very confident of that.”

Unfortunately, call it fate or just bad timing, Harris was not available to say, “I told you so” on Saturday. Instead, he was at a nearby hospital having an MRI on his left knee, injured late in the third quarter, minutes after his four-yard cut back run put the Eagles ahead to stay.

Kuechly did manage to stay until the end and knocked down a “Hail Mary” on the game’s final play to preserve victory.

‘€œIt feels great,” Kuechly said. “The past couple of games have come down to the wire. I joke around with the coaches that we’€™re making them get older and taking years off their life because these games have come down to the wire. So, it was good that we were able to bat the ball down at the end of the game. We got good pressure by our guys up front and he threw it kind of short so it helped us out.’€

Kuechly was in the room after the gut-wrenching loss to Maryland at Alumni on Oct. 23 and heard Harris’ prediction.

‘€œWe knew we had a great team,” Kuechly said. “We knew we had to just get things rolling. It took a few games in the middle of the season to figure things out. Now that we are figuring things out, we’€™re starting to roll again.’€

Quarterback Chase Rettig started out 0-4 as a starter and has rebounded to win his last four starts and can feel momentum building.

‘€œI definitely thought it was there for us to take,” Rettig said. “This whole week, we have been talking about ‘€˜what team wants it more.’€™ Every game, it’€™s a new week and all you’€™re trying to do is win that game and not worry about anything else. We had that streak when we were losing. But, each week, I feel like our coaches instill is us that it’€™s yours to take. The older guys have definitely helped out. The captains are telling us that we’€™re alright and if we want this, like I said before, it’€™s ours. So it’€™s nice to be on a streak right now and we’€™re just trying to continue it into next week.

Read More: ACC, Boston College, Chase Rettig, Derrick Knight

Things we learned: BC earned its way to a bowl

11.20.10 at 4:46 pm ET
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It’s been a challenging season for BC in every aspect, but the Eagles have continued to overcome even the greatest obstacles. Inspired by a power running attack and the last day at Alumni Stadium for seniors Mark Herzlich, Chris Fox, Mike Morrissey and Brad Newman, Boston College didn’t allow a point in the second half and came from behind to beat Virginia, 17-13, Saturday in the team’s final home game of the season.

Virginia’s Robert Randolph made a 27-yard field goal to give the Cavaliers the first lead of the game and a 40-yard kick to give Virginia (4-7, 1-6) a 13-10 halftime lead. He missed a fourth quarter attempt that could have put Virginia only a point behind the Eagles, forcing quarterback Marc Verica to throw against a tough BC secondary.

Coach Frank Spaziani and the Eagles benefitted from a mistake-free day from quarterback Chase Rettig, a powerful running attack, and a fiery Mark Herzlich, winning the game on all sides of the ball. Nate Freese completed his only field goal attempt, a 23-yard kick, and both of his extra point attempts, making him 19-for-20 on PATs for the year.

The win marks the 12th straight season of bowl eligibility for BC (6-5, 4-4), a feat made even more impressive in spite of a five-game losing streak that lasted from Sept. 25 to Oct. 30. The Eagles won their last game at Alumni to extend their current win streak to four straight games. The Eagles qualified for post season play even after suffering key injuries during the season, facing ongoing quarterback struggles, and starting many young players. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: ACC, Boston College, luke kuechly, Mark Herzlich

BC beats Virginia, Bowl-eligible for 12th straight season

11.20.10 at 3:29 pm ET
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CHESTNUT HILL — Continuing a remarkable turnaround, Boston College got a go-ahead touchdown run of four yards from Montel Harris late in the third quarter to help the Eagles beat Virginia, 17-13, Saturday on Senior Day at Alumni Stadium. After five straight losses that left them 2-5, BC won its fourth straight to become bowl eligible for the 12th straight season.

After Harris was knocked out of the game with a left knee injury, true freshman Andre Williams picked up the slack, running 12 times for 108 yards, including a key 60-yard run prior to Harris’ go-ahead TD run.

The game marked the first time since Nov. 11, 2006 that a pair of BC backs run for 100 yards since L.V Whitworth rushed for 118 and Andre Callender ran for 105 against Duke.

Read More: ACC, Andre Williams, Boston College, montel harris

BC bows to Yale despite 30 points from Reggie Jackson

11.18.10 at 9:23 pm ET
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Boston College coach Steve Donahue‘s first game against his old conference was one he’d prefer to forget, as the Eagles dropped a 75-67 decision to Yale at Conte Forum on Thursday night. It marks the third consecutive season BC has lost to an Ivy League team, following losses to Harvard the previous two years.

Austin Morgan led Yale with 25 points, hitting 6-of-9 from 3-point range. The Bulldogs shot an impressive 50 percent from the field and 57 percent from behind the arc (12-for-21).

Reggie Jackson tallied a career-high 30 points for BC, which had its second straight poor shooting night from 3-point range at 3-for-19. The Eagles are 7-for-40 on the season.

BC led only once in the game, at 2-1. The Eagles were down by five at the half, 30-25, and trailed by 16 points after Yale hit four 3-pointers in the first 4:48 of the second half. The margin was 12 points with 4:45 remaining before BC made a late run. However, the Eagles missed numerous chances to get to within a possession in the final 1:24, starting with two missed free throws by Cortney Dunn and including three missed 3-pointers and a missed layup.

BC (1-1) returns to action on Monday, hosting Holy Cross.

Read More: Austin Morgan, reggie jackson, Steve Donahue,
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