SAN FRANCISCO – Boston College safety T.J. Stancil did not have
an interception all season. But the junior said he told a friend at
the Eagles’ hotel that he would have three interceptions against
CSU in the Diamond Walnut San Francisco Bowl Wednesday.
Stancil lived up to his promise, recording three of BC’s (8-5)
five interceptions. CSU (7-6) quarterbacks Justin Holland and
Bradlee Van Pelt combined to throw five interceptions as the Eagles
pounded the Rams 35-21 in front of an announced 25,621.
“A lot of people have been getting on me because I haven’t had
any picks,” Stancil said. “We had a great scouting report.”
The Rams came into the game ranked 105th out of 117 Division I-A
teams in turnover margin. To make matters worse, Van Pelt was still
recovering from a broken right hand and had problems with swelling
throughout the game.
“You look at five interceptions, you’re going to lose the game,”
said Van Pelt, who had an x-ray on his hand after playing his last
collegiate game. “It’s the story of our season where we shoot
ourselves in the foot.”
The Eagles jumped out to a 21-0 first quarter lead behind good
field position set up by turnovers, special teams and big plays by
the offense. BC’s Will Blackmon returned the opening kickoff 59
yards to the CSU 41-yard line to set up the first Eagles’ score. BC
started the next drive on their own 2-yard line, but quarterback
Paul Peterson led the Eagles down the field, hooking up with
receiver Larry Lester on a 50-yard bomb to put BC up 14-0. Holland
started the game for CSU and threw the first of his two
interceptions on the second Ram possession. BC star running back
Derrick Knight took over from there, scoring his second touchdown
to put the Rams in a huge hole. Knight had 30 carries for 122 yards
and three touchdowns.
“In the beginning we started real flat,” said senior cornerback
and returnman Dexter Wynn, who also caught the first two passes of
his career on offense. “But we knew we could play with them when
the second quarter rolled around and we shut them out.”
The CSU defense began to shut down Knight and Peterson and CSU
got on the board on Van Pelt’s first drive of the game as running
back Jimmy Green ran it in from seven yards.
The Rams looked to be headed for another score just before
halftime, but Van Pelt threw across his body on a rollout and
Stancil made his second interception of the game in the end
CSU inched closer to 21-14 in the third quarter when Van Pelt
hit receiver David Anderson on a deep post for 40 yards and a
touchdown. Anderson’s 10 catches for 134 yards gave the sophomore
the all-time single season high in CSU history in both receiving
yards (1,293) and receptions (72). With the absence of starter
Chris Pittman due to academic ineligibility, Anderson played a key
role in the passing game and also set the school’s bowl game record
in receiving yards and receptions.
“I got hit pretty hard one play so I couldn’t really tell you
how it is (to get the record),” Anderson said. “But it’s nice I
guess, but I’d like to get a victory, I’m 0-2 in bowl games.”
The Rams could come no closer than seven points, however as Van
Pelt and Holland threw three more interceptions and BC expanded the
lead to 35-14. Head coach Sonny Lubick took the blame for the team
not being ready and said a lot of work needs to be done to cut down
the turnovers for next season.