SI Flashback: Payback!
Avenging last year's rout, Boston College shocked No. 1 Notre Dame on a wild Saturday that saw two other Top 5 teams fall as well
Posted: Wednesday October 24, 2007 2:50PM; Updated: Wednesday October 24, 2007 2:50PM
Issue date: November 29, 1993
In the gloaming at Notre Dame Stadium, at the end of the most gripping game in one of the most baffling college football seasons in memory, Boston College's fortunes rested in the hands of senior quarterback Glenn Foley -- which was perfectly fine with fans of the Irish.
Sure, the red-haired Foley had been brilliant in guiding the Eagles to a shocking 38-17 lead over top-ranked, 10-0 Notre Dame early in the fourth quarter. He had completed 26 of 41 passes for 264 yards and four touchdowns, the last one a perfectly lobbed two-yard toss to tight end Pete Mitchell in the Irish end zone. Mitchell caught the ball just a few yards from some members of the Notre Dame band, whose silence eloquently posed the questions $ that were on everyone's mind: How could this be happening? How could Notre Dame be losing by so much to Boston College only a week after it had gained the No. 1 ranking by upsetting supposedly invincible Florida State on this same field?
But then, after the Irish had shown signs of life with a touchdown and a two-point conversion, Foley was betrayed by the very hands that had served him so admirably for more than three quarters. He let Notre Dame back into the game by twice failing to complete the shortest pass in football -- the center snap. The first bobble led to a Notre Dame touchdown that cut the gap to 38-32 with 4:02 remaining. The second fumble occurred on third-and-nine during the next BC series. Foley recovered the ball, but the Eagles were forced to punt with 2:59 left. The rejuvenated Irish then stormed downfield and scored on fourth-and-goal from the BC four when quarterback Kevin McDougal hit Lake Dawson with a perfect strike in the back of the end zone.
When Irish kicker Kevin Pendergast made the extra point, putting his team ahead for the first time, 39-38, with a scant 1:09 left on the clock, the crowd of 59,075 erupted in a kind of mass catharsis. After all, hadn't Notre Dame saved its top ranking and its national-championshi p hopes? Wouldn't the Eagles, who lost to the Irish 54-7 on this same field last year, be content to go home with such a redeeming near miss? And wasn't Foley more likely to fumble another snap than to drive the Eagles into field goal range?