Chestnut Hill, MA—-Boston College (3-9, 2-6) finished the 2022 season with a 32-23 loss to Syracuse (7-5, 4-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) on Saturday night at Alumni Stadium.
With the win, the Orange snapped a five-game skid and looking for a bowl in the near future.
“I think we just had enough,” said Devaughn Cooper, who grabbed seven passes for 80 yards the first of four unanswered touchdowns to help Syracuse beat BC. “Five-game losing streak, that’s no fun at all. We needed this, it’s going to motivate us to go win a bowl game.”
Running back Sean Tucker ran for 125 yards and two TDs to seal Syracuse victory its first win since Oct. 15, when it improved to 6-0 and No. 14 in The Associated Press Top 25.
BC jumped out to a 10-0 first quarter lead. On the first drive of the game, Bryce Steele forced a turnover on a strip sack of quarterback Garrett Shrader. The first score was setup by a blocked Syracuse punt, deep in Orange territory, setting up a record-setting touchdown for Zay Flowers. The touchdown for Flowers was his 11th of the season – setting a new Boston College single-season record – and the 28th of his career, tying him with Kelvin Martin ’87 for the all-time TD receptions mark.
Syracuse got on the board with 2:18 left in the half on a 47-yard field goal and it was 10-3 at the half.
“Those five weeks it just shows you how tough this league is and how precious a win is,” said Syracuse coach Dino Babers, noting that the Eagles beat North Carolina State, which beat North Carolina, which is playing in the ACC title game.
“That game seems like it’s 5 hours to me, like two-and-a-half movies, drive-in theaters A and B,” he said. “It just seems like a lot of stuff happened.”
Shrader completed 21 of 27 passes for 285 yards and two touchdowns, and Syracuse scored 26 straight points to overcome a two-score, fourth-quarter deficit. Oronde Gadsden II snatched six passes for 106 yards and Damien Alford caught four for 83 yards and the go-ahead score for the Orange.
The Eagles took a 17-6 lead early in the fourth. Shrader connected with Cooper for for an 8-yard touchdown and then, after BC went five-and-out, Shrader needed just three plays and 50 seconds to go 73 yards, taking an 18-17 lead on a 58-yard dime to Alford with 7:05 left on the clock. The two-point try again failed.
After another score and a turnover on downs, the Orange added to the lead on a Tucker touchdown run. The Eagles got one back in the final seconds, on a two-yard touchdown from Emmett Morehead to Flowers, giving Flowers the most career receiving touchdowns in Boston College history (29).
Morehead completed 29 for 38 passes for 252 yards for BC (3-9, 2-6), but he also fumbled twice. Flowers caught eight passes for 110 yards and two touchdowns, surpassing 3,000 yards in his career and setting a school record with his 11th and 12th TD catch of the season.
BC’s next possession ended on a strip-sack by Steve Okechukwu at the Eagles 37, allowing the Orange to extend the lead to 25-17 on Tucker’s 5-yard TD run. BC turned the ball over on downs and Tucker broke free for a 29-yard score to make it 32-17.
Morehead connected with Flowers from 2-yards out to cut the Syracuse lead to 32-23, but the 2-point attempt failed.
“There was a moment when I think these guys did lose a little bit of faith, but we were able to rally back,” Shrader said. “We’re a talented team and we knew that this year we underachieved in terms of our record and what we’re capable of.”
Syracuse lost five straight after beating 15th-ranked North Carolina State and improving to No. 14 in the AP Top 25. They were all to winning teams – three of them ranked.
BC failed to reach bowl eligibility for the first time since 2015.
Syracuse: Awaits bowl invitation.
Boston College: End of season.