Boston College Live Blog: Dramatic Comeback Comes Up Short, Northwestern Wins 24-17

Boston College Live Blog: Dramatic Comeback Comes Up Short, Northwestern Wins 24-17

Final, 24-17 Wildcats: No Doug Flutie flashbacks in this one.

After driving down the field to enter the red zone, time ran out on the Eagles as Chase Rettig was sacked on a broken play as the clock expired. To add injury to insult, he may have hurt himself on the play and had to be helped off afterwards.

Boston College will fall just short and Northwestern claims this one by a final score of 24-17. Kain Colter grabs the win while filling in admirably for Heisman candidate Dan Persa.

BC will face off against next week against Central Florida and look to avenge the season-opening loss.

Fourth quarter, 1:37 Wildcats 24-17: BC stops the Wildcats on fourth down and gets the ball back with 1:37 to go. They're out of timeouts and will have the ball on their own 36 yard line.

Fourth quarter, 2:48, Wildcats 24-17: Boston College was stopped on 4th-and-10 from their own 42-yard line and turn it over on downs.

The Eagles have two timeouts remaining but will need a stop and some drama to tie this game up.

Fourth quarter, 3:35, Wildcats 24-17: The BC defense gets a big stop and Northwestern goes three and out.

The Eagles take over from their own 24-yard line with under four minutes to go.

Fourth quarter, 6:00, Wildcats 24-17: Boston College finally sparks to life on offense with Chase Rettig connecting to favorite target Ifeanyi Momah to get the ball down to the 2 yard line.

Andre Williams punched it in from there and all of a sudden we have ourselves a seven-point game.

It's Williams' second TD of the game, and Momah is sneakily having a strong game. He's gotten seven catches for 153 yards with six minutes left to go.

Fourth quarter, 9:24, Wildcats 24-10: 3:01. 2:47. 3:07. 4:32. That's how long it's taken Northwestern to put up some points on each of their scoring drives this game.

Backup QB Kain Colter looks like he could be starting for a lot of programs and hasn't missed a beat while directing the high-speed Wildcats offense. Other than an interception thrown to All-American linebacker Luke Kuechly, Colter has been nearly flawless is his first collegiate start.

Northwestern is executing the option attack flawlessly as Adonis Smith walks in untouched to extend Northwestern's lead to 24-10.

Boston College will need some big plays from the offense to get back into this one as well as some big defensive stops. So far, they haven't shown themselves capable of either, but crazier things have happened with this football team in the past (See: BC vs. Virginia Tech circa 2007).

Fourth quarter, 14:08, Wildcats 17-10: Nate Freese has missed two field goals today, and those points could come in handy right about now for the Eagles.

After missing wide right on a 31-yarder, he hooked a 40-yard attempt badly to the left and never gave it a chance.

The Eagle defense seems to have tightened up, but chances are running out for the offense to put it all together and finish another drive.

Third quarter, 1:52, Wildcats 17-10: It's beginning to feel like Boston College may need some help from special teams or a turnover to spark some points onto the board.

Despite a 29-yard completion from Rettig to Momah, the offense stalled and the Eagles were forced to punt. They were able to down the ball inside the Northwestern 1, so things should be interesting. A good chance here for the defense to get a stop and recover some field position.

Right on cue, they do get a stop and will take over from the Northwestern 40 yard line.

Third quarter, 8:29, Wildcats 17-10: Chase Rettig continues to show flashes of talent, but not the consistency that the Eagles need to get rolling.

After connecting on a first down completion to Momah that could have been more if he'd hit the receiver in stride, Rettig took a costly sack while scrambling around in the backfield to kill the drive. He looks uncomfortable under pressure when his first and second options are covered, and he seems to take his eyes off of the receivers once he feels pressure and starts to move his feet.

Northwestern will get the ball back after forcing a Boston College punt and now the Wildcat offense will look to find the end zone on a third straight drive.

Third quarter, 11:53, Wildcats 17-10: Well, Northwestern picked up right where they left off at the end of the first half, marching down field in quick succession to score and take the lead on a Mike Trumpy rushing TD.

It's very uncharacteristic of Boston College's defense to look so porous. Luke Kuechly has 11 tackles on the day, his 23rd straight game in double digits, but nobody else has stood out for the Eagles.

Defensive lineman Kaleb Ramsey has been announced out for the rest of the game after leaving early with a foot injury, but the lack of stopping power on the D looks deeper than that. The Eagles look passive and Northwestern is dictating the tempo in this one.

If the offense falters and can't answer, then the Eagles will have to get mean to stop this Northwestern attack from continuing to roll and gain even more confidence and momentum.

Halftime, 10-10: There are plenty of reasons for both teams to walk away from this first half disappointed.

For Boston College, their usually stalwart defense is allowing Northwestern's backup quarterback to run wild. BC was tops in the nation in run defense last season but Northwestern already has over 100 yards on the ground, 56 courtesy of Kain Coulter.

Northwestern similarly has reasons to look to improve in the second half. The Wildcats held the Eagles out of the end zone on two trips to the red zone and only a Luke Kuechly interception return set up a chance to punch it in on a third one. That missed fourth-down conversion looms large too, and this could easily be 13-10 in favor of Northwestern.

Will be interesting to see what changes the teams have in store for this one. We'll be back with more when play resumes for the second half.

Second quarter, 0:38, 10-10: Northwestern's no-huddle offense sliced and diced its way down the field in rapid succession before slowing down inside the Eagles' red zone.

Kain Colter ran it in on what might have been a designed QB draw play and Northwestern has knotted it up on a 10-play, 80-yard drive.

Wouldn't expect the Eagles to try anything with so little time left in the half, so it looks like the teams will head to the locker rooms with the game even at 10 apiece.

Second quarter, 8:03, Eagles 10-3: Chase Rettig is intercepted for the first time this season while trying to take a shot at the end zone with Alex Amidon.

Luckily, all-everything Luke Kuechly bailed his QB out with an interception of his own on the next series and almost returned it to the house.

Andre Williams takes it in to the end zone off the left edge and the Eagles finally find the end zone.

They now lead 10-3 and Andre Williams is over the 100-yard mark early in the second quarter.

Second quarter, 14:56, 3-3: On 4th-and-1 from the BC 10-yard line, Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald decided to go for it with a QB sneak. BC's interior defensive line informed him that it would turn out to be a poor decision.

The Eagles take over on downs from the shadow of their own end zone and are driving.

At this juncture in the game, you'd expect Northwestern to take what points they could get in what is looking to be a close affair. It might be the case that Fitzgerald has seen BC knock on the Northwestern door a couple of times and may be expecting the Eagles to break through one of these times.

He may also be frustrated after a running touchdown was negated by a holding penalty.

In any case, if the game ends up coming down to the wire, it may be an opportunity lost that Northwestern looks back on with some questions.

First quarter, 4:05, 3-3: Baylor-TCU this is not.

Rettig misses an open Ifeanyi Momah in the end zone and once again the Eagles are forced to settle for another field goal attempt.

Nate Frees misses this one wide right and BC's red zone troubles continue. Last season, the offense only managed TD's 31.71 percent of the time and they are 0-2 so far against Northwestern.

Meanwhile, Colter is showing off his ability to make plays with his feet as he's scampered up the field and has the Wildcats threatening to make BC pay for its missed opportunities.

First quarter, 7:01, 3-3: Northwestern answers with a 43-yard field goal to tie the game 3-3 halfway through the first quarter.

First-time starting QB Kain Colter has been impressive so far for the Wildcats. He's shown some bursts of speed on the ground and the team has been confident enough in him to run a hurry-up offense, usually the hallmark of a veteran QB.

BC's defense, led by All-American Luke Kuechly, has looked average early, allowing some large chunks of yards to Northwestern while at the same time getting some pressure on passing downs.

First quarter, 11:00, Eagles 3-0: After a stop by the defense, Chase Rettig wastes no time reacquainting himself with top receiver Colin Larmond, Jr.

Larmond is back after an injury (seems to be a theme today) and showed no rust on an early catch and run.

The Eagles were stopped after only one first down, but that they have come out slinging on this second drive must be a welcome change for many BC fans who grew frustrated under the conservative offense ran by the team last year.

Ryan Quigley gets his first punt of the year to bounce to the 24 yard line and Northwestern will take its second shot at the Eagles D from there.

First quarter, 12:49, Eagles 3-0: Andre Williams takes the first handoff of the season around the left side for 69 yards down to inside the Northwestern 10. Unfortunately, the offense stalls afterwards and the Eagles settle for a 19-yard field goal from Nate Freese.

Boston College takes a 3-0 lead less than three minutes in, but it's a bittersweet score after such a promising start.

12:00 p.m. ET: Both teams are on the field and awaiting kickoff. Boston College will be wearing their new-look stained glass uniforms with maroon tops and gold pants.

Northwestern dons their away whites with purple pants.

All-ACC running back Montel Harris is among the list of big names sitting this one out and we havn't discussed him yet. The ACC preseason player of the year underwent a second offseason knee surgery a couple of weeks ago and is expected to miss at least the first two games.

Andre Williams filled in capably for Harris in the last two games of the 2010 season and is expected to continue to produce on the ground for the Eagles.

Boston College will receive the opening kickoff.

11:45 a.m. ET: The sun is shining, the birds are singing and football has returned to The Heights.

Boston College kicks off its football season Saturday against the Northwestern Wildcats in Chestnut Hill in a game full of firsts for both teams.

Heisman "candidate" Dan Persa will not play for Northwestern while continuing his recovery from Achilles tendon surgery. In his place, sophomore quarterback Kain Colter will make his first collegiate start.

For the Eagles, the offense under second-year starter Chase Rettig will show off its new look under  offensive coordinator Kevin Rogers. Rogers takes over an offense that ranked towards the bottom of the NCAA in many offensive categories last year under now-retired Gary Tranquill.

On the defensive side of things, the Eagels will debut freshman cornerback Albert Louis-Jean in place of the injured Donnie Fletcher.

Kickoff is at 12:00 noon, so check back then for updates.

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