BC manhandles Irish, 30-11

October 09, 1994|By Joseph Tybor | Joseph Tybor,Chicago Tribune

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. -- With 17 seconds left, a swarm of Boston College students stormed the field. They carried the school colors and a second mass attacked the goal posts.

"Ladies and gentlemen," the field announcer pleaded. "Clear the field. The game is not over."

The words were folly. The game had been over for quite some time.

That turned out to be the biggest surprise yesterday: not that Boston College upset the Irish for the second time in a row; it was that BC beat them up so badly on its way to a 30-11 victory.

The Eagles, in what was billed as the most widely anticipated college football game ever in New England, proved that last year's 41-39 victory over the Irish was no fluke.

They pummeled the Irish on both sides of the ball.

Their defense shut down Notre Dame's run and beat up on quarterback Ron Powlus, sacking him four times and keeping him on the run all afternoon. Powlus, who had entered the game rated fourth in the country in pass efficiency, completed only five of 21 passes for 50 yards and threw two interceptions.

Boston College's offense took advantage of coach Dan Henning's trickery in the first half to take a 7-3 lead and then just rammed the ball through the Notre Dame defense in the second.

"This was maybe the most physical we've been manhandled in a long, long time," said Irish coach Lou Holtz.

xTC Now, the Irish are 4-2; and that marks the earliest Notre Dame has been knocked out of the national championship picture since 1986, Holtz's first year. No other Holtz team at Notre Dame, except his first, had two losses so early.

"We are very, very, very, very, very disappointed," Holtz said, "but life goes on. It only makes your resolve stronger."

That "resolve" compelled him to say he was committed to staying at Notre Dame until he returned the Irish to the top.

"This is going to be disappointing for the alums, but many times when you get a little bit older and things aren't going well, you get on the sidelines and say, 'What am I doing in coaching?' Holtz said.

"At the end of that ballgame, I made a commitment to myself, my players and coaches and to Notre Dame: we are going to get this goddawg thing turned around."

Holtz kept waiting for the Irish to turn things around yesterday, but that never happened; although for a moment there were possibilities.

Down 24-3 at the start of the fourth quarter, Notre Dame moved 68 yards in 2:12, and then made the two-point conversion to pull within two touchdowns of possible victory.

That drive, which featured a critical third-down pass to Derrick Mayes for 17 yards, and a 15-yard touchdown run by Randy Kinder, evoked memories of last year's furious but futile Irish comeback. Then, the Irish scored 22 points in a 10-minute period in the fourth quarter only to lose on a 41-yard David Gordon field goal with no time left.

Notre Dame got the ball back on a punt with 9:30 to go, but because of an illegal block, the Irish were forced to start on their 8.

On the first play of the series, Powlus went back, pump-faked and threw long to Mayes on a post pattern. Free safety Terrence Wiggins didn't bite, and intercepted.

Notre Dame got one other chance for a miracle comeback, getting possession again with 7:27 left. The Irish moved to BC's 46, but a harried Powlus threw three incompletions and then, on fourth down, connected with an out-of-bounds Mayes.

"They had a super pass rush and they just beat us," said Powlus. "A lot of times a route was about to come open and I just ran out of time."

Boston College converted a Robert Farmer fumble deep in Irish territory into a 7-3 halftime lead, but needed a fake field to pull it off. On fourth-and-six from Notre Dame's 16, Henning called the fake, which went for 8 yards when holder Matt Hasselbeck took the snap and ran through a gaping hole while Notre Dame had the block set up.

David Green ran 8 yards for the score on the next play.

Kinder ran for 143 of Notre Dame's 160 net rushing yards, his fourth straight 100-yard game; but with Ray Zellars and Lee Becton out, there was no one else to help.

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