BOSTON (AP)—No. 24 Boston College wore throwback uniforms to honor Doug Flutie’s team on Saturday.
The Eagles should have looked back even further.
Paul Peterson scored on a 1-yard run and threw for a touchdown to lead BC to a 21-10 victory over Rutgers and clinch a sixth consecutive winning season for the first time in half a century.
“It’s six years in a row we’ve got six wins. We made ourselves bowl-eligible,” coach Tom O’Brien said. “But we’re not satisfied with where we are.”
BC posted seven winning seasons in a row from 1953-59 under Mike Holovak. The team played in Fenway Park for the first four of those seasons until Alumni Stadium was built.
Peterson was 22-of-38 for 296 yards for BC (6-2, 2-1 Big East), but also fumbled once and threw two interceptions. The Eagles moved into the rankings for the first time since the 2001 season after beating Notre Dame on Oct. 23.
Ryan Hart completed 29 of 43 passes for 302 yards—his fifth game of the year over 300 yards. But he also had three interceptions as Rutgers (4-5, 1-4) lost for the third consecutive week, and for the second week in a row to a ranked opponent.
“We did too many things tonight that aren’t what good football teams do,” Rutgers coach Greg Schiano said.
The Scarlet Knights lost last week to No. 15 West Virginia, which hosts BC next Saturday.
BC is leaving the conference for the Atlantic Coast Conference next year. But with victories over West Virginia, Temple and Syracuse, the Eagles could earn the BCS bid in a depleted conference that has already lost Miami and Virginia Tech.
“We’re still in it,” O’Brien said. “The championship road goes through Morgantown and we still have to go there.”
Since beating Boston College in the Big East’s first game, Rutgers is 0-12-1 against the Eagles. The Scarlet Knights took a 10-7 lead in the third quarter, but Peterson went 8-for-9 for 121 yards on the next two drives with two TDs— one running and one passing.
“It’s almost like we’ve got to wait for them to take the lead so we get ticked off,” Peterson said.
On a day when BC wore the throwback uniforms from 1984—the year of Flutie’s last-second touchdown pass to Gerald Phelan to beat Miami—the Eagles didn’t need any luck.
BC took the lead on the fifth play of the game when Mathias Kiwanuka intercepted Hart at the Rutgers 32 and ran it in, stretching to put the ball over the goal line. But the Eagles couldn’t expand their lead in the first half despite plenty of chances.
On BC’s first drive, Peterson scrambled and found Grant Adams at the 5, but he dropped the pass. Ryan Ohliger’s 34-yard field-goal attempt was wide to the right.
In the second quarter, BC had a first-and-goal from the 3 but couldn’t score. Peterson couldn’t connect with Adams on first down; Andre Callender ran it to the 1 and then Callender couldn’t punch it in on third or fourth down.
That left it 7-7 at the half.
Joe Porter intercepted Peterson’s pass on the first drive of the second half, but Rutgers could only get to the 37 before Jeremy Ito missed a 55-yard field-goal attempt, short and to the right.
On BC’s next possession, Peterson tried to scramble free but lost the ball after an 18-yard sack, giving Rutgers the ball on the BC 32. Ito converted a 24-yard field goal to give the Scarlet Knights a 10-7 lead.
It was their only lead of the game and it only lasted 75 seconds.
On BC’s next possession, Peterson hit Adams for 20 yards to the Rutgers 27 and then found Larry Lester at the 2, in the corner.
Lester fumbled when he was hit but, in reaching for the ball, he knocked it out of bounds at the 1. Rutgers drew a misconduct penalty arguing that Lester never caught the ball, moving it even closer before Peterson took it in on a sneak to make it 14-10 with 3:42 left in the third quarter.
“The big play was not a catch. That’s what I saw,” Schiano said. “We have to be able to overcome that.”
BC made it 21-10 when Peterson hit David Kashetta for a 13-yard touchdown with 13:31 left in the game.