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Saturday, November 12, 2011
Rapid Reaction: BC 14, NC State 10

By Jack McCluskey

NEWTON, Mass. -- Boston College got its third win of the season, beating NC State 14-10 at Alumni Stadium.

How it happened: The Eagles scored on their first possession of the game and held the Wolfpack to a single field goal in the first half.

NC State won the coin toss and elected to defer to the second half, giving the Eagles the first offensive series. Chase Rettig & Co. didn’t waste it.

Andre Williams, finally healthy after dealing with injuries the past few weeks, ripped off a pair of 8-yard runs. Rettig hit Alex Amidon down the left sideline for 41 yards. Williams had another 6-yard gain and then redshirt freshman QB Josh Bordner faked an end around to Amidon and rumbled untouched 3 yards into the end zone.

Nate Freese iced the point after attempt and the Eagles led 7-0 after just 2:03.

With every play gaining positive yardage, the opening drive literally couldn’t have gone better for the Eagles.

But the second half was a different story. The offense struggled to move the ball, the defense struggled to stop the ball and NC State rallied.

With NC State threatening with less than seven minutes left, the Eagles’ D needed to make a play. Donnie Fletcher did.

Mike Glennon, who’d picked the Eagles apart all afternoon, got a little greedy on first-and-10 from the BC 23-yard line with the score 14-10 BC. He tried to find T.J. Graham in the right side of the end zone but put a little too much air on the ball, just enough to get over Graham and settle into Fletcher’s outstretched arms as he fell backward into the end zone.

Though the Eagles’ offense went three-and-out on the ensuing possession, the play changed field position and made the Wolfpack drive down the field again.

Time was working against NC State. Glennon moved the Wolfpack down the field and into Eagles’ territory, and with the clock reading 1:10 faced a fourth-and-5 from the 27. With the game on the line, Max Holloway leaped into the air and batted down Glennon’s pass to give the Eagles the ball on downs and seal the win.

What it means: The Eagles send their seniors out in style, winning on a sunny Senior Day in Chestnut Hill. The loss denies NC State bowl eligibility for at least one more week, and drops the Wolfpack and head coach Tom O’Brien to .500 (NC State is 5-5 in ‘11, O’Brien’s career record at the school is 30-30).

O’Brien, the winningest coach in BC history (75 wins), still never has won as a visiting coach at Alumni Stadium.

What’s next: BC hits the road for its final two games, starting next Saturday in South Bend, Ind., for the annual game with Notre Dame (4 p.m. ET, NBC).

Jack McCluskey is an editor for ESPN.com and a frequent contributor to ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter @jack_mccluskey.