Boston College backups help beat Louisville 34-27
BOSTON (AP) — Boston College coach Jeff Hafley thinks he spotted a tear in starter-turned-backup quarterback Dennis Grosel’s eye after the game.
The BC junior, who started in 2019 but lost his job to Phil Jurkovec this year, threw for two touchdowns after the Notre Dame transfer was injured and added a 44-yard run on Saturday to lead the Eagles to a 34-27 victory over Louisville.
“The starting quarterback gets beat out, yet he comes to work every single day. When his time came, he took the game over, and he made some huge plays,” Hafley said. “It’s such a good example for our young guys.”
Grosel completed 4 of 7 passes for 44 yards for the Eagles (6-4, 5-4 Atlantic Coast Conference). He also broke free for the run that set up a falling 11-yard touchdown catch by CJ Lewis that made it 27-13 early in the fourth quarter.
“It’s kind of like riding a bike,” Grosel said. “I did it last year, so I hopped right on and held on for the ride.”
After the game, Hafley went straight to Grosel to give him a hug.
“He deserved a moment like this, and I was just really happy for him. I think the whole team was,” Hafley said. “That’s a moment hopefully he’ll remember forever.”
Jurkovec completed 15 of 19 passes for 203 yards before the pocket collapsed around him in the third quarter and knocked him out of the game. He spent the rest of the game on the sideline with his left knee wrapped; Hafley said it was too early to say whether the injury is serious.
David Bailey ran 10 times for 53 yards and two touchdowns before he also left with an (unspecified) injury. Zay Flowers caught seven passes for 87 yards for the Eagles.
Malik Cunningham threw for 294 yards and ran for 133 more for Louisville (3-7, 2-7). After Grosel hit Jehlani Galloway from 21 yards out to make it 34-20 with just under five minutes remaining, Cunningham connected with Dez Fitzpatrick on a short pass-and-run for a 69-yard score.
Boston College went three and out, and Cunningham was moving the Cardinals before Jahmin Muse tipped a pass at the line of scrimmage and defensive lineman Shita Sillah intercepted it at the Louisville 47.
Cunningham finished 19 for 31, with two touchdowns and an interception, hitting Fitzpatrick eight times for 182 yards.
Cunningham was also tended to on the field after taking a hard hit following a 20-yard run to the BC 2 late in the first half. He left the game and Evan Conley replaced him for the next play, a 2-yard touchdown run by Jalen Mitchell.
Cunningham returned for the Cardinals’ next possession.
Louisville: Turnovers were a problem again. The Cardinals, who entered the game fourth-worst in the nation with 18 turnovers, fumbled the ball away on back-to-back first-half possessions, leading to 13 BC points. They had three giveaways in all.
BC: The Eagles won despite finishing the game without their starting quarterback and running back. In Hafley’s first season as a head coach, BC clinched a winning record.
Louisville: Off the next two weekends before playing Wake Forest on Dec. 19. The game was originally scheduled for Dec. 5, switched to Saturday, and then moved to Dec. 19 to make room for the BC game.
BC: Wraps up the season against Virginia next Saturday.
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