By Lewis Gould
Al-Shadee Salaam scored on a 22-yard run with 2:43 to play, lifting Rutgers to a 22-21 victory over Boston College.
Rutgers had lost the last 11 meetings against Boston College, which holds a 20-7-1 edge in the series.
“They’re a young team and started the game with some young team mistakes and made some nervous errors, I guess,” Scarlet Knights coach Greg Schiano said. “It was a great lesson that if you can stay in the moment; that was the whole thing, trying to keep them in the moment. Eventually, we got there.”
Phil Jurkovec threw two of his three touchdown passes to Zay Flowers as BC opened a 21-12 lead midway through the third quarter before the Scarlet Knights rallied.
Aron Cruickshank had a 26-yard TD run and Kyle Monangai a 1-yarder for Rutgers.
The Scarlet Knights got the ball at their own 4 with just under 8 minutes left and used 12 plays — 11 rushes and one incomplete pass — to grab the lead on Salaam’s TD when he busted through the line and into the left corner of the end zone.
“We practice this a lot,” said quarterback Gavin Wimsatt, who played the final drive. “We’ve been through it a lot. We feel like we were focused on it.”
Jude McAtamney’s 33-yard field had cut BC’s lead to 21-15.
Jurkovec, who transferred from Notre Dame before the 2020 season, went 23 of 41 for 283 yards with two interceptions. Flowers had 10 catches for 125 yards.
“That’s probably the most disheartening part is that they were able to run for 90-something yards and not throw the ball and score,” BC coach Jeff Hafley said.
After Jurkovec fumbled away a low snap that led to a TD by the Scarlet Knights, the redshirt senior found Jaden Williams in the left corner of the end zone, making it 21-12.
Monangai’s score had sliced the Eagles lead to 14-12 before Rutgers failed on the 2-point attempt.
“This is a hard one,” Hafley said. “I felt like we had every opportunity to take the game over. … I feel like every opportunity we had to put them away, we let them back into it.”
Jurkovec’s first TD to Flowers was an 11-yard, back-shoulder pass into the right corner of the end zone, making it 7-0 midway into the opening quarter. His second gave the Eagles a 14-6 lead late in the second when the speedy receiver caught the ball over the middle and raced into the end zone near the right pylon for a 26-yard score.