BOSTON (AP) — Phil Jurkovec and Boston College came through with enough good plays to make up for some really bad mistakes.
Louisville couldn't make up for the loss of quarterback Malik Cunningham.
Jurkovec completed 18 of 21 passes for 304 yards and three touchdowns and scrambled for a 33-yard run to that set up the game-winning field goal on Saturday as BC knocked Cunningham out of the game and beat the Cardinals 34-33.
Jurkovec also threw for one interception, fumbled twice and took a knee too early on what could have been the game's final play, giving Louisville one more chance with 1 second left on the clock.
But BC (2-3, 1-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) held on.
“I know he would like a couple of those plays back,” Eagles coach Jeff Hafley said. “But he never quit, he never stopped.”
Cunningham ran for three touchdowns and threw for another before finishing the game on the sideline. He was taken out for one play in the third quarter following a hit to the head; he came back for two full series before backup Brock Domann handled the last two possessions of the game.
The second, after Connor Lytton’s 26-yard field goal gave BC the lead with 1:56 left, ended where it started after four straight incompletions.
Boston College then ran out the clock — or tried to. With 2 seconds left for the fourth-down play, Jurkovec took several steps back before kneeling and the time showed 0:00.
But after the teams left their benches for the postgame handshakes — and some BC fans joined them — the officials put 1 second back on the clock and gave Louisville a final play. Domann's pass was intercepted at the BC 13-yard line by Kam Arnold.
“The offense had to win it at the end, the defense had to get back on the field twice — once after we thought we won the game,” Hafley said. “To finish like that, that’s a special moment for those guys.”
Zay Flowers caught five passes for 151 yards — including touchdowns of 57 and 69 yards — and Alex Broome ran for a 40-yard score for BC. Chibueze Onwuka blocked an extra point in the second quarter that turned out to be the difference in the game.
Cunningham threw for 186 yards and ran for 53 more for Louisville (2-3, 0-3). Coach Scott Satterfield did not disclose the injury after the game.
OUT AND BACK
Cunningham missed one play after he was hit in the head by BC defensive back Jaylen Blackwell in the third quarter. The quarterback went into a slide but Blackwell didn’t pull up, leading to a targeting penalty.
The Boston College bench was called for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after the play, so instead of the Cardinals facing a fourth-and-3 from their own 46, they were at the BC 26. Domann came in and handed the ball off before Cunningham returned; Louisville settled for a field goal that made it 26-21.
But Domann was back in the fourth quarter, taking over at 7:24 but failing to advance the offense in two drives plus one final Hail Mary.
Jurkovec completed a 50-yard pass to Jaelen Gill on his first throw of the game and then found Jaden Williams inside the Louisville 5 on the next play. But the ball bounced off the receiver’s chest and it was picked off by Monty Montgomery.
That one might not have been the quarterback’s fault.
But he also fumbled twice, the first on Montgomery’s sack near the end of the first quarter, setting up a field goal that gave the Cardinals a 10-7 lead. And then there was Jurkovec’s attempt to avoid a sack midway through the second quarter.
BC led 14-10 with the ball near midfield when the pocket collapsed around Jurkovec and, as he was being taken down, he tried to throw it to Patrick Garwo. The ball – a lateral – just rolled through the backfield and all the way back to the BC 17.
“The analytical mind’s not going right there. I felt it and I just spit it out,” Jurkovec said. “I make a horrible play there and we gave them the ball.”
Garwo got to it first but inexplicably circled around it, allowing Louisville’s YaYa Diaby to fall on it. Two plays later, Cunningham ran it up the middle and into the end zone; the point after was blocked, leaving the score 16-14.
Boston College had big plays of 50, 57 and 69 yards and runs of 40, 26 and 20 yards to make up for three turnovers and 13 penalties for 80 yards. Louisville looked dangerous with Cunningham on the field but impotent without him.
Louisville: Visits Virginia on Saturday.
Boston College: Hosts No. 5 Clemson on Saturday night.
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