tampabay.com

Boston College survives late rush by C. Michigan

By TIMES WIRES
Published September 1, 2006


MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. - Matt Ryan threw for 323 yards and three touchdowns and Brian Toal ended Central Michigan's final scoring threat with a late interception as Boston College held on for a 31-24 victory on Thursday night.

Central Michigan drove to the Eagles 34-yard line with under two minutes to play. The Chippewas decided to get tricky, lining up in a strange formation with the center and quarterback at the far hash mark and the rest of the line in the middle of the field.

But the play went awry when redshirt freshman Dan LeFevour forced a throw into traffic near the sideline and was intercepted by Toal.

LeFevour took over after Chippewas starting quarterback Brian Brunner was knocked out on the second play from scrimmage. LeFevour was 22-for-37 for 221 yards and ran for 72 yards on 14 carries.

His two short fourth-quarter touchdowns cut a 21-point Boston College lead to 31-24.

The teams exchanged field goals before the Eagles took the lead back with 7:03 left in the first half when Toal, the linebacker who doubles as a short-yardage fullback, scored from a yard.

The score was set up when Ryan connected on a 27-yard pass with Tony Gonzalez down to Central's 1-yard line.

Boston College then pushed its lead to 17-3 on a weird play as tight end Ryan Purvis recovered a fumble from teammate L.V. Whitworth at the Chippewa 2 and ran in for the score.

BIG EAST

UConn 52, Rhode Island 7: Terry Caulley had 95 of Connecticut's 418 yards on the ground and moved into second place on the school's career rushing list, helping the Huskies to an easy victory Division I-AA Rhode Island in East Hartford, Conn.

Caulley went 39 yards around left end on Connecticut's first play from scrimmage. Larry Taylor, converted in the offseason from running back to receiver, completed that drive with a 24-yard touchdown reception from D.J. Hernandez.

Taylor also had a 35-yard punt return and took a screen pass 52 yards to set up first-half scores. UConn scored on its first five possessions and Taylor finished with 153 all-purpose yards.

Caulley is 17 yards shy of becoming Connecticut's all-time leading rusher. Wilber Gilliard ran for 2,624 yards during the mid 1990s.

This was the 93rd meeting between the teams, with UConn leading the series 50-35-8.

STATE

Mid. Tenn. STate 7, FIU 6: Eugene Gross scored on a 33-yard run in the second quarter and the extra point gave Middle Tennessee State the victory in Murfreesboro. Julian Reams' 12 yard run had given Florida International a 6-0 lead, but the point-after was wide right. Reams had a game-high 80 yards on 13 carries.

ELSEWHERE

Northwestern 21, Miami, Ohio 3: Erryn Cobb blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown in Oxford, Ohio, helping Northwestern finally get beyond mourning former coach Randy Walker. The entire night was a tribute to Walker, the 52-year-old Miami graduate and Northwestern coach who died two months ago of an apparent heart attack. A plaque with Walker's likeness was unveiled, there was a moment of silence before the kickoff, and Walker's wife, Tammy, went on the field for the coin toss. Players from both teams wore a decal with Walker's uniform number and nickname.

Minnesota 44, Kent State 0: Converted linebacker Alex Daniels rushed for 155 yards and three touchdowns to lead Minnesota over host Kent State in Glen Mason's return to the school where he got his head-coaching start.

Daniels, a touted linebacker whom Mason switched to running back after several losses at the position, opened the third quarter by carrying all seven times on a 56-yard touchdown drive.

Tulsa 45, STephen F. Austin 7: Paul Smith threw for 229 yards and three touchdowns and host Tulsa won its season opener for the first time in five years. Tarrion Adams and Courtney Tennial each had one touchdown receiving and one rushing as Tulsa scored on its five first-half possessions.