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Canes Rout Eagles to Close Regular Season

Canes Rout Eagles to Close Regular Season

by Carter Toole

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — On a blustery post-Thanksgiving afternoon in New England, the Miami Hurricanes had an opportunity to finish their regular season on a positive note.

The note they struck was as decisive as they come.

The Canes jumped on the Boston College Eagles from the outset, scoring touchdowns on four of their first five drives and rolling to a 45-20 win at Alumni Stadium Friday.

Miami improved to 7-5 and 3-5 in ACC play and now awaits its bowl destination. Boston College finished 6-6 and 3-5 in conference play.

The Canes displayed an efficient, balanced offensive attack from start to finish, running for 242 yards, passing for 290 yards, averaging 9.5 plays on their six touchdown drives and converting six of seven red zone opportunities. The Canes held the ball for more than 35 minutes and their 532 total yards were their most since UM’s Week 4 win at Temple.

Meanwhile, Miami’s defense kept BC’s offense in check, limiting the Eagles to just 219 yards after a game-opening touchdown drive. The Canes also forced two turnovers.

“It was maybe our most complete game of the year,” head coach Mario Cristobal said. “It was good to watch those guys have fun…we’ve come miles and miles and miles…Miami is trending in the right direction.”

Quarterback Tyler Van Dyke completed 23 of 36 passes for 290 yards and two touchdowns. Wide receiver Xavier Restrepo caught six passes for 117 yards, leaving him just seven yards shy of becoming the sixth Hurricane to register 1,000 receiving yards in one season. Fellow wideout Jacolby George had six receptions for 89 yards and one touchdown, while Colbie Young snagged three passes for 34 yards and a score.

Running back Henry Parrish, Jr. paced the Canes with 111 yards and two touchdowns. Ajay Allen rushed for 68 yards and one touchdown, while Mark Fletcher recorded 44 yards and a score.

Linebacker Francisco Mauigoa again led Miami in tackles with nine, including a sack and two tackles for loss. Safety James Williams had four tackles and a forced fumble. Defensive end Ahmad Moten and linebacker Marcellius Pulliam each had an interception.

BC quarterback Thomas Castellanos completed 15 of 25 passes for 151 yards with one touchdown and two picks. He was also the Eagles’ leading rusher with 130 yards and one score. Wide receiver Lewis Bond caught six passes for 46 yards and one score. Cornerback Khari Johnson led BC’s defense with nine stops.

The Eagles got the ball to open the game and Castellanos converted a 3rd and 7 at midfield with 40-yard completion to wide receiver Dino Tomlin. Three plays later BC faced 4th and goal at the one-yard line and running back Kye Robichaux leaped over the goal line to give the Eagles a 7-0 lead.

Van Dyke marched the Canes into BC territory on Miami’s opening possession, and the Canes faced a 4th and 1 of their own at the Eagles 17. Fletcher rushed for five yards to pick up the first down and then rushed for 10 yards on the next snap to set up first and goal at the three-yard line. Two plays later Fletcher bulldozed his way into the end zone and the score was tied after a 15-play drive that took 7:21 off the clock.

Miami’s defense forced a three-and-out and the Canes got the ball back at their 37. After a first-down completion Van Dyke pitched the ball forward to George, who raced 25 yards to the BC 27. Four plays later, Parrish scampered around the left side for a 15-yard touchdown and Miami had a 14-7 lead.

Two drives later Miami went for it on 4th and 8 from the BC 34 and Van Dyke lofted a 24-yard pass to Restrepo for a first down. Three plays later Van Dyke hit Young on a crossing route for a 10-yard touchdown and the Canes had a two-touchdown lead with four minutes left in the half.

The Canes got the ball right back and Van Dyke found Restrepo twice more for 22 yards and 15 yards and Miami was at the Eagles 30. Two plays later Van Dyke hit George for 28 yards to the two-yard line. Parrish covered the rest on his second scoring run and Miami’s lead was 28-7 heading into the locker room.

The Canes received the ball to open the second half, but Van Dyke fumbled on a handoff exchange with Allen and the Eagles took over at their 49. Castellanos converted a fourth down with a five-yard run and three plays later rushed up the middle for a 21-yard touchdown to cut Miami’s lead to 28-14.

On the ensuing drive, Van Dyke picked up a third down with a nine-yard completion to Restrepo before Parrish ripped off a career-long 38-yard run to the BC 39. Miami then faced a 4th and 4 at the 35-yard line and Van Dyke lofted a ball to Restrepo, who stretched out to make a diving catch at the Eagles 5. Three plays later Van Dyke found George in the left flat for a four-yard score and the lead was back to three touchdowns.

Miami drove into the red zone again on its next possession, but the drive stalled at the BC 16 and Andy Borregales’ 33-yard field goal attempt was blocked. But defensive end Chantz Williams deflected a Castellanos pass and Moten plucked it from the sky to give the Canes the ball back at the Eagles 44. Parrish rushed for 28 yards to eclipse the 100-yard mark, putting Miami in position for another Borregales attempt. This one was true from 26 yards out and the Canes had a 38-14 lead.

Castellanos led the Eagles on their best drive since their first drive, capping an eight-play, 75-yard march with a two-yard touchdown pass to Bond. The two-point conversion attempt was incomplete, and the lead was 38-20 with 5:50 left.

Content to run out the clock, the Canes kept the ball on the ground until Allen burst through an opening and raced 30 yards for a touchdown. Pulliam capped off a banner day for the defense with an interception with just 31 ticks on the clock.