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Boston College upends Louisville as freshman AJ Dillon runs for 272 yards and four touchdowns

October 15, 2017 GMT

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Boston College staged a major upset in a hostile environment with a slumping kicker, a backup quarterback and a freshman tailback.

Colton Lichtenberg nailed a 27-yard field goal on the final play of the game to lift the Eagles to a 45-42 upset victory over Louisville yesterday at Papa John’s Cardinals Stadium.

BC improved to 3-4 with its first ACC victory of the season and will play at Virginia next Saturday. The staggering Cardinals (4-3, 1-3) absorbed their second straight league loss and play next at Florida State.

“It was a great team win on the road and we beat a great football team,” said BC coach Steve Addazio. “I thought we did it as a team in all three phases and I’m proud of our guys resolve, so there are a lot of positives.”

Lichtenberg entered the game 1-of-5 in his last six field-goal attempts and missed a 40-yarder on BC’s first possession of the third quarter. Still, the Eagles dominated with their power run game in the second half and provided Lichtenberg a realistic opportunity to make the biggest boot of his career.

“I missed the first one and I came out with the chance for redemption and that was it,” said Lichtenberg. “I told the guys: ‘I’ve got this, it’s going in.’ ”

“You don’t think about anything else, you don’t look anywhere, you are just looking at the uprights and visualizing the ball going through and that’s it.”

BC trailed 21-14 at the half and Addazio elected to go with a smashmouth attack that put the onus on his veteran offensive line plus tailbacks AJ Dillon and Jon Hilliman. BC rolled up 555 yards of total offense (361 in the second half) with 364 rushing yards and a staggering 27 first downs.

Dillon responded to Addazio’s call by rushing for 272 yards on 39 carries and four touchdowns. In the second half alone, the freshman ran for 239 yards including a “beast mode” 75-yard touchdown that put BC up 42-28 with 11:59 to play.

“The offensive line did a great job today,” said Dillon. “I feel like they are my brothers up there and they put it all on the line for me and Jon and Travis (Levy) and I can’t thank them enough.”

On BC’s first possession after the break, starting quarterback Anthony Brown left with a shoulder injury, and that drive concluded with Lichtenberg’s missed 40-yarder.

Brown was replaced by Darius Wade, who drove BC to touchdowns on its next four possessions as the Eagles flipped the script. Wade complemented BC’s power run game with timely and effective play-action passes, primarily to tight end Tommy Sweeney. Wade completed 7-of-10 passes for 91 yards.

“At the end of the day I was happy to play and help the team anyway I can,” said Wade. “It is a struggle anytime you are not playing but was mentally prepared to go.”

Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, completed 19-of-39 passes for 332 yards and two touchdowns. He rushed for 180 yards on 22 carries with three more scores.

While Jackson accounted for a lot of gains for the Cards, in the end it was not enough.