for this game

Turnovers proved decisive as BC routs Maryland

Nov 18, 2006 - 8:33 PM CHESTNUT HILL, Massachusetts (Ticker) -- Jolonn Dunbar and DeJuan Tribble took advantage of sloppy play by Maryland's offense.

Dunbar returned a pair of fumbles for touchdowns and Tribble took an interception back for a score as No. 20 Boston College rolled to a 38-16 victory over the 21st-ranked Terrapins in an Atlantic Coast Conference matchup.

Entering the contest tied atop the ACC Atlantic Division with Wake Forest, Maryland (8-3, 5-2) paid a heavy price for being unable to hold onto the ball in the first quarter en route to losing for the first time in six games.

"We didn't have a very good game," Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen said. "I didn't do a very good job of getting the kids ready to play in this magnitude of a game. I'm very disappointed."

A junior linebacker, Dunbar scooped up a pair of fumbles in the opening quarter and took them in for touchdowns to give the Eagles (9-2, 5-2 Atlantic) a 14-0 advantage before the offense stepped on the field.

"I wish that happened every time," Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan said. "You go out there the first time you take a snap and you have a 14-0 lead."

Dunbar became just the fourth player in NCAA history since 1992 to return two fumbles for scores in the same game.

The first fumble came after senior cornerback Larry Anam came up to support the run and laid a big hit on Danny Oquendo, forcing out the ball that Dunbar picked up and ran 14 yards for the first of his record-tying two TDs.

"The defense started off the game with Larry making that great hit and Jolonn picked it up and ran it back so that was huge momentum for us to start with," Ryan said.

Anam injured himself on the hit, going to Saint Elizabeth's Hospital for a CT scan and X-ray after he felt a tingling sensation in his shoulder. The tests were negative and he returned in the fourth quarter.

The second came with 3:08 expired as Terrapins running back Lance Ball failed to handle a pitch from quarterback Sam Hollenbach, allowing Dunbar to pick up the loose ball and return it 38 yards for the score.

"On the first fumble, I was running to the ball and it popped out, and was able to grab it and run," Dunbar said. "I'm grateful for Larry Anam since he made the big play there to get the ball loose. The second fumble was similar, and I'm grateful to my teammates for making blocks for me. Today, I just wanted to fly to the ball and play the best I could."

It was the third TD in the last two games against Maryland for Dunbar, who also returned a fumble a school-record 94 yards for a score in Boston College's 31-16 victory on the road last season.

"Obviously, Larry Anam made a great play on the first one to cause the fumble," Boston College coach Tom O'Brien said. "Jolonn was pursuing the way he should on the play. He picked it up and scored. They made a bad pitch on the second one. He picks up the ball and this year, he didn't need oxygen to get into the end zone like he did last year."

With the Terps attempting to get back in the contest in the third quarter, Tribble hauled in an errant pass from Hollenbach and sprinted down the right sideline 41 yards to give the Eagles a 35-9 advantage.

With his defense providing 21 points on four turnovers, Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan had a pressure-free day, completing 19-of-29 attempts for 249 yards and two touchdowns.

The Eagles finished their season at Alumni Stadium at 7-0, outscoring their opponents by a 151-26 margin in the last five games after posting double-overtime wins in the first two.

Hollenbach threw for 249 yards and two interceptions and Dan Ennis kicked three field goals for Maryland.

Ensuring a third consecutive season with at least nine wins, Boston College still holds a slim chance of winning the ACC Atlantic Division if it wins its remaining game at Miami next week and Wake Forest ends up losing its last two.

Instead of speaking about championships, coach O'Brien was more interested in looking at the historical aspects of the victory.

"In the long term, the significance is that this is the first time since (1984) that any (BC) team was 9-2 at this stage of the season," he said. "Those guys ended up going to the Cotton Bowl. That's the team that everything is measured against and we've got a chance to win 10. So that's where we're going."

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