BOSTON (AP) -- Quinton Porter looked like someone who hadn't played in a while.
Boston College's senior quarterback, who had missed two games with a sprained right ankle, completed 4-of-9 passes for 20 yards in the first quarter. But Porter found his rhythm and finished 25-for-37 for 301 yards and two touchdowns, helping the Eagles
overcame sloppy play and the loss of their best defensive player for a 28-17 win over Virginia on Saturday.
"I thought he was phenomenal today," BC coach Tom O'Brien said. "He was a little rusty in the first half, which was to be expected after sitting two weeks. He came out on fire in the second half."
Porter, who was told he'd start the night before the game, said his ankle felt numb at first and he wasn't even sure he'd be able to play the entire game.
"I took a little hit, in like the second series, and I told the coach, 'You've got to warm up [backup] Matty [Ryan],'" he said. "Then it kind of loosened up."
Linebacker Brian Toal scored on two short runs as the Eagles (5-1, 2-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) won despite missing three field goals, being penalized 11 times for 111 yards and losing defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka, who was ejected in the third quarter for punching Virginia lineman Bill Butler.
Kiwanuka and Butler were pushing and shoving the whole game, and earlier Butler blocked Kiwanuka in the back of the knees after the whistle, sending him to the sideline with an injured right ankle.
"I play hard and I play to the whistle," Butler said but otherwise refused further comment on the matter.
Rather than collapsing with the loss of their best defensive player -- Kiwanuka was the Big East defensive player of the year last season -- the Eagles rallied.
"Whatever it was, we took it in stride and the younger players defensively stepped up," Kiwanuka said.
"When Kiwi went out, I went up to him and said 'We're not going to lose this game,'" said BC linebacker Ray Henderson.
Marques Hagans led Virginia (3-2, 1-2), going 21-of-35 for 195 yards and two touchdowns, both of which were aided by 15-yard penalties against Boston College.
Andre Callender scored on a 35-yard run in the second quarter and Virginia tied it late in the first half when Hagans threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Fontel Mines to complete a 15-play, 80-yard drive, aided by a 15-yard roughing the passer call. Mines made a leaping, one-handed grab at the back of the end zone and got one foot down before falling out of bounds. The play was reviewed, and the ruling stood.
Much of Virginia's drive came with Kiwanuka on the sideline getting his ankle retaped.
Hagans threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Deyon Williams, again after a 15-yard personal foul against the Eagles, to make it 14-7 in the third quarter.
BC tied it with a nine-play, 72-yard drive, capped by Porter's 19-yard pass to Tony Gonzalez.
After BC's Paul Anderson blocked a punt that gave the Eagles possession at Virginia's 2-yard line, Toal plunged in from the 1 to give the Eagles a 21-14 lead. Toal, a linebacker who plays fullback on short yardage situations, got his second at 8:17 of the fourth quarter. He has a team-leading five touchdowns this season.
The Cavaliers had their chances in the fourth quarter but couldn't make plays when they counted most, including an incompletion from the 2-yard line on fourth down.
"I would say in the last 12 minutes, we had the opportunity to make some plays and BC had the opportunity to make some plays," Virginia coach Al Groh said. "The game hinged on their ability to make those plays and the fact that we did not."
The last time Virginia played at Boston College was 1963, and the Cavaliers lost 30-21. The teams also met in the 1994 Carquest Bowl in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., when the Eagles won 31-13.