December 1, 2019 / 12:06 AM / 8 days ago

Dillon runs wild as Boston College beats Pitt

AJ Dillon rushed for 178 yards, including a 61-yard touchdown romp, as the Boston College Eagles got the win they needed to become bowl eligible, defeating their turnover-plagued hosts, the Pittsburgh Panthers, 26-19 in both teams’ Atlantic Coast Conference finales on Saturday.

Nov 30, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers head coach Pat Narduzzi (left) embraces athletic director Heather Lyke (right) before entering the stadium to play the Boston College Eagles at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Dillon, who began the day leading the ACC in all-purpose yardage at 153.1 per game, finished the game with 196. His scoring burst came three plays after Pitt (7-5, 4-4 ACC) had taken its only lead of the day, 16-13, on Vincent Davis’ 39-yard touchdown run up the middle with 12:22 left in the third quarter.

Aaron Boumerhi kicked his third field goal of the day, a 30-yarder, to increase the Eagles’ lead to 23-16 with about a minute left in the third, and he connected from 22 yards out with 9:41 left in the game, following the Panthers’ third fumble.

With 5:26 left in the game, Pitt’s Alex Kessman kicked his fourth field goal, a 43-yarder, to trim the deficit to 26-19, but the Panthers never got the ball back, as Boston College ran out the clock, with Dillon rushing for 47 yards on the possession.

Boston College (6-6, 4-4), had lost its previous two games in trying to earn bowl eligibility. Besides the fumbles, Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett threw a costly interception in the third quarter. Pickett completed 30 of 40 passes for 323 yards.

Eagles sophomore quarterback Dennis Grosel, making his sixth start since a season-ending injury to starter Anthony Brown, completed 9 of 19 passes for 123 yards, and threw for the only touchdown of the first half, which ended with Boston College leading 13-9.

The Eagles’ defense, last in the ACC by allowing 488.2 yards a game entering the game, harassed Pickett with four sacks to go with the turnovers. Tanner Karafa recovered two fumbles and had one sack, and Isaiah McDuffie had two sacks.

Pitt finished with 394 yards of total offense, and Boston College had 387.

Held to two field goals in their first six possessions, due in part to two fumbles that led to a pair of Boston College field goals, the Panthers managed to cut their deficit to 13-9 on Kessman’s third field goal, from 48 yards out, as the first half ended.

Given short fields thanks to Pitt’s fumbles, Boston College began the scoring on Boumerhi’s 29-yard field goal with 5:33 left in the first quarter, and his 32-yarder about 2 1/2 minutes later.

Leading 6-3, the Eagles scored the only touchdown of the half, going 71 yards on 11 plays, capped by Grosel’s 25-yard pass to a wide-open Hunter Long in the end zone for a 13-3 lead with 9:49 left in the second quarter.

—Field Level Media

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