Boston College might have a quarterback controversy on its hands after backup sophomore Matt Ryan relieved struggling starter Quinton Porter with 3:29 to play and brought BC back from a 30-21 deficit to beat Wake Forest, 35-30. Ryan completed 7 of 9 passes for 134 yards and threw touchdown passes of 38 yards to Tony Gonzalez and 26 yards to Kevin Challenger. The scoring pass to Challenger with 1:18 to play was the game winner. Porter, a fifth-year senior, completed 20 of 41 passes for 184 yards and two touchdowns, but threw three interceptions and fumbled once. Ryan led the Eagles to victories against Clemson and Ball State earlier this season after Porter sprained his right ankle against Florida State. Asked whether he was planning to re-evaluate the starting job before the Eagles' Oct. 27 showdown with Virginia Tech, BC coach Tom O'Brien was noncommittal.
After playing five of its first seven games in Chestnut Hill, BC plays three of its final four on the road. First up is Virginia Tech in Blacksburg followed by a Nov. 5 date against North Carolina in Chapel Hill. After returning home to play North Carolina State, the Eagles close the regular season by visiting Maryland.
The Wake Forest win made BC bowl eligible for a record seventh consecutive season. "I think it's significant," O'Brien said. "We want to go to a bowl game. That's one of the goals of this football team. We have four games left, and we have to work hard."
O'Brien said defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka has not been able to practice this week and "still has some issues"
with a knee injury suffered Oct. 8 against Virginia.
Several players might serve one-game suspensions Saturday against winless Temple for their roles in an ugly brawl with South Carolina last season. Among the players who might sit out are linebacker Anthony Waters and offensive guards Nathan Bennett and Roman Fry. All three are starters. Waters leads the ACC in tackles for loss with 10½. The ACC allowed Clemson to decide when the suspensions would be served. "I wanted to win as many games as I could with a full deck right off the bat, try to get off to the best start that I possibly could," coach Tommy Bowden said. "Then I would address that."
Injured tailback James Davis hopes to return to the lineup for the Oct. 29 game against Georgia Tech. Davis had a metal rod inserted into his fractured left wrist after being injured against NC State last week. He rushed for 143 yards on 12 carries in one half of action before suffering the injury Jad Dean is making a claim at being the country's best kicker. The junior is tied with Oregon State's Alexis Serna for the nation's lead in field goals made (14). Going back to last season, Dean has missed only five attempts in 31 opportunities. His shortest miss was a 39-yarder last week against NC State Clemson and Virginia Tech are the only teams in Division I-A that have not lost fumbles this season.