With Boston College staring at its worst start in 23 years, quarterback Chase Rettig marched the Eagles 85 yards, connecting with Johnathan Coleman from 14 yards for the go-ahead touchdown with 52 seconds remaining in a 20-17 win over Maryland on Saturday at Alumni Stadium that snapped the Eagles’ five-game losing streak.
Rettig completed 8 of 12 passes on the drive, overcoming a 7-yard sack and converting three times on third down, finding Coleman in the flat for his second touchdown of the day.
Rettig finished 21 of 39 for 287 yards, dueling Terrapins freshman fill-in Caleb Rowe, who went 23 of 42 for 240 yards and two touchdowns. Rowe, however, threw three interceptions, including one to Spencer Rositano on the first play from scrimmage after BC’s score that sealed it.
Rowe was the starter by attrition. C.J. Brown was at the top of the depth chart before the season, but he tore his ACL before the opener. Perry Hills took over and started the first seven games, then shredded his ACL last week against North Carolina State. Devin Burns came in to replace him, and broke his foot.
Maryland coach Randy Edsall didn’t announce Rowe as the starter until Friday.
The Eagles overcame issues that have haunted them all season, rushing for just 8 yards and coming up empty on their first 10 third-down opportunities. They didn’t convert on third down until the fourth quarter, when Rettig found Chris Pantale for an 8-yard completion. But Rettig coughed up the football on the next play while being sacked by defensive end Joe Vellano.
Still, the Eagles (2-6, 1-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) were able to pull out their first conference win, as well as their first win against a Bowl Subdivision opponent.