Miami shocks No. 18 Boston College, becomes bowl eligibleNov 24, 2006 - 5:00 AM MIAMI (Ticker) -- In more ways than one, Miami made sure it was an unhappy 22-year anniversary for Boston College.
Javarris James scored the go-ahead touchdown and cornerback Glenn Sharpe came up with a huge defensive stop in the fourth quarter as the Hurricanes held on for a 17-14 triumph over the 18th-ranked Eagles in an Atlantic Coast Conference battle.
The loss ended any hope of Boston College (9-3, 5-3 Atlantic) winning the Atlantic Division title. The Eagles would have advanced to the ACC title game with a win and a Maryland victory over Wake Forest on Saturday.
"It was very disappointing to have a shot at playing in the ACC Championship and not be able to do so," Eagles linebacker Brian Toal said.
The last time Miami (6-6, 3-5 Coastal) suffered a loss in this series was on November 23, 1984 when Heisman Trophy winner Doug Flutie found Gerard Phelan for the game-winning touchdown as time expired in the "Miracle in Miami" to lift the Eagles to a 47-45 win.
Miami, which became bowl eligible, extended its winning streak against Boston College to 15 straight games. This was the first matchup between the two programs as ACC opponents.
"Look at the bowls. There are how many thousands of bowls," Miami coach Larry Coker said. "I would like to see us go to a bowl. I would like to see these players go to a bowl."
In the third quarter, James gave Miami the lead for good with 7:15 remaining on his two-yard touchdown run up the middle to make it 17-14. He carried 20 times for 45 yards.
The Eagles had a chance to march down the field with just under three minutes to go, but Sharpe intercepted Matt Ryan's pass to seal the upset.
"I read the play pretty well and stayed with the receiver," Sharpe said. "I knew immediately that I was going to make a play, especially if the quarterback didn't see me. He put it up there, and I was lucky enough to come down with it."
"That was a dumb play," Ryan added.
Miami quarterback Kirby Freeman completed 13-of-26 passes for 181 yards but was intercepted three times.
"(Freeman) showed me two things," Coker said. "He needs more experience because he hasn't played much at this level. He is a tremendous player who the other players really gravitate to. The players never gave up on him."
Freeman's seven-yard TD pass in the right corner to Lance Leggett with 10 seconds left in the first half brought the Hurricanes within 14-10.
"(The play before the half) was huge," said Freeman, who picked up his first career win. "It gave us confidence and everybody was behind me, my teammates and the coaches."
"We weren't deflated at all. We were ahead 14-10," Eagles coach Tom O'Brien said. "I think the most important thing was the third quarter."
Boston College cornerback DeJuan Tribble had three interceptions, including a 21-yard touchdown return in the second quarter that built a 14-3 advantage.
Ryan completed 17-of-34 passes for 169 yards with one interception and Andre Callender ran for a TD for Boston College, which converted just 2-of-14 on third downs.
"It was a tough loss with all that was on the line," Ryan said. "It's not easy to swallow, and we'll have to go back and look at the tape."
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