The 18th-ranked Eagles have gotten solid play from Matthew Ryan, Porter’s replacement, and appear confident with either player as they return to Atlantic Coast Conference action with a matchup against Virginia on Saturday.
Ryan ran for a pair of first-half scores and threw a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter, leading Boston College (4-1, 1-1) to a 38-0 win over Ball State last Saturday.
Ryan started for the second straight week for Porter—sidelined with a right ankle injury that occurred two weeks ago in a loss against Florida State — and completed 21 of 29 passes for 206 yards with no interceptions.
Tom O’Brien has made it clear Porter will start again once he is healthy, but Ryan’s play has afforded the coach some time to make sure his first-stringer is absolutely ready. Eagles quarterbacks have combined to complete 68 percent (107-for-158) of their passes.
“He’s going to have to make some improvement this week to be able to play,” O’Brien said of Porter. “I think as long as Quinton can play and not further injure himself or injure the football team by playing, he will play. We’ll have to wait and see.”
Boston College had 471 total yards, 223 on the ground, in its final nonconference game of the season.
The Eagles also continued their outstanding play on defense, holding Ball State to 46 yards rushing and 159 total yards. They lead the ACC and are second in the nation in rushing defense, holding opponents to 53 yards per game.
Virginia (3-1, 1-1) surrendered 570 yards in a 45-33 loss to Maryland last Saturday, and dropped out of the Top 25 on Sunday.
The 570 yards were the most allowed by the Cavaliers since Georgia Tech got 627 in 2000.
Marques Hagans threw for 270 yards and scored two rushing touchdowns, and Virginia got four field goals from Connor Hughes. Chris Cook also returned an interception 30 yards for a touchdown, but the Cavaliers just couldn’t keep up with Maryland’s offense.
“We didn’t score enough. We gave up too much,” coach Al Groh said.
Boston College has won each of the two meetings between these teams, including a 31-13 victory in the 1994 Carquest Bowl.