Boston College 34, No. 18 Clemson 33, 2OT

BOSTON (AP)—Clemson’s kicks kept winding up in the wrong hands.

Jeff Smith returned one kickoff for a 96-yard touchdown and had three other long runbacks to help Boston College force overtime on Saturday, then Jolonn Dunbar blocked an extra point in the second OT to lead BC to a 34-33 victory over No. 18 Clemson.

“After they scored, I just knew I had to try as hard as I could to get through there,” said Dunbar, who deflected Jad Dean’s point-after attempt. “I knew our offense would score. I wanted to put an end to it as quickly as possible.”

Ryan Ohliger, who missed a 36-yard field goal in the fourth quarter, kicked a 35-yarder on BC’s first possession of overtime. Clemson went backwards after a first-and-goal from the 3 and settled for a tying field goal; then, after Dean was blocked on Clemson’s second possession, L.V. Whitworth scored on a 6-yard run and Ohliger split the uprights for the game-winning PAT.

“I would say special teams hurt us,” Clemson coach Tommy Bowden said. “I don’t ever remember a game coming down to an extra point. (We didn’t) cover kicks. I don’t think it takes a genius to figure out how we’d win the game.”

It was the second consecutive year BC (2-0, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) has beaten Clemson (1-1, 0-1) in OT. Last year, the Eagles took a 10-0 lead in their first-ever ACC road game before beating the Tigers 16-13 in overtime.

“Losing in overtime two years in a row is tough to swallow,” said Clemson quarterback Will Proctor, who completed 25 of 40 passes for 343 yards and two touchdowns.

This time, BC came back from 10-0, 17-7 and 24-17 deficits to set off a celebration in Chestnut Hill. It was the first home victory over a ranked team for BC coach Tom O’Brien in 10 seasons at Boston College.

“We don’t do anything easy,” O’Brien said, noting that bad ball-handling forced BC inside its own 10 yard-line on its first two drives. “We were really excited to play this game and I think it showed. A lot of things went wrong there early.”

One of them was an muffed kickoff by Smith that left BC on its own 8. But he followed that with returns of 45, 39, 96 and 29 yards to keep the Eagles in the game. His 213 return yards were one shy of the school record.

“After that happened, I got my head back in the game,” Smith said. “I said, ‘I can’t let it end like that.’ There was a lot of support from the sidelines. They said, ‘Forget it. There’s still a lot you can do.”’

Matt Ryan, who didn’t practice with the first team most of the week because of an ankle sprain, was 22-for-38 for 212 yards and a touchdown. BC linebacker Brian Toal left the game with a sore shoulder.

Chansi Stuckey caught 11 passes for 124 yards, and James Davis ran 24 times for 93 yards and two TDs for Clemson.

Clemson was called for offensive pass interference in the second OT, leaving it with a second-and-26 from the 41. But Proctor hit Stuckey with back-to-back 20-yard passes to put the ball on the 1.

Davis punched it in on second down. But Dunbar came inside the tight end to deflect the point after and give the Eagles an opening; Dean had been 60-for-63 on extra points in his career.

“I wasn’t even looking. Jad’s a great kicker,” cornerback Duane Coleman said. “Then when I heard the crowd cheering, I looked at the extra point on the Jumbotron.”

Clemson took a 24-17 lead on Davis’ 1-yard run with 8:20 left in regulation thanks to two late hits that extended an 80-yard drive. Smith set BC up on its own 42 with a 29-yard return.

Ryan brought BC into Clemson territory and hit Kevin Challenger at the 14 yard-line, but Michael Hamlin took the ball away from him for what the officials called an interception. The replay review gave BC the ball back and Ryan hit Tony Gonzalez, who dove inside the 1.

On the second quarterback sneak, Ryan made it in and it was tied 24-all with 4:59 left.

BC fell behind 10-0 early but had a chance to take the lead midway through the second quarter when Andre Callender broke free for 15 yards to the Clemson 2 yard-line. On the next play, he was stopped at the line of scrimmage and, when he reached out with the ball to try to break the plane of the goal line, the ball was knocked free for a fumble.

Two plays later, Proctor threw a short dump pass to C.J. Spiller, who broke several tackles on the right side before cutting across the field and sprinting down the left sideline for an 82-yard touchdown that made it 17-7.

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W. Proctor W. Proctor, QB
25-40, 343 yds
2 TDs
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M. Ryan M. Ryan, QB
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1 TD
5 Rush, 0 yd, 1 TD