Boston College closed the 2014 regular season on a positive note.
The Eagles used touchdowns in all four quarters to thwart visiting Syracuse, 28-7. The win clinched the team’s second consecutive winning season.
“Last year was great because it was the first time we were able to become bowl eligible and get there,” said coach Steve Addazio. “(This year), sure, we’d love to have nine wins right now, and that wouldn’t have been a stretch.”
On Saturday, the Boston College defense stole the show, limiting the Orange to just 128 total yards of offense and forcing two turnovers.
Offensively, quarterback Tyler Murphy capped off a solid campaign, throwing for 160 yards and a touchdown while rushing for another 20 yards on the ground. In the process, the senior set the Atlantic Coast Conference single-season record for rushing yards for a quarterback.
“It was a fun year. I definitely ran a lot more than I thought I would,” said Murphy, who finished with 1,079 rushing yards on the season. “Yeah, I would definitely say I was surprised. I really didn’t know what to expect coming into the season.”
Meanwhile, Notre Dame didn’t have much to celebrate in its season finale.
The hits came early and often, as the University of Southern California cruised to a 49-14 thumping of the Irish on Saturday. It was a game the Trojans at one point led 35-0.
“We have to remember where we are after today’s loss,” said Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly, whose team has now lost five of six games. “Two years ago, we were playing for a national championship. Today we got our butts beat, and it wasn’t as close as the score.”
It was another poor day for quarterback Everett Golson, who threw for just 75 yards and an interception on 7-of-18 passing. Backup Malik Zaire came in in relief, throwing for 170 yards to offer some hope for the future.
However, as bad as Golson was, the defense was worse.
USC quarterback Cody Kessler threw for 372 yards and six touchdowns, becoming the first player to throw that many touchdowns against the Irish. The Trojans finished with 577 yards of total offense.
“When a team beats you by 35 points, you just got punched in the mouth,” said Notre Dame defensive lineman Isaac Rochell.
The Irish (7-5) and Eagles (7-5) will now await word about which bowl they will play in during the postseason.
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.
Results for Catholic colleges around the US
Catholic schools, in italics below, went 4-4 this weekend
Division I FBS
Notre Dame 14
Boston College 28
Division I FCS
Sacred Heart 22
San Diego 14
Ohio Dominican 46
Ferris State 33
John Carroll 14
St. John’s 10