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NCAA Game Summary - Boston College vs. Southern California



(Saturday, December 26th)

Final Score: Southern California 24, Boston College 13

San Francisco, CA (Sports Network) - Matt Barkley threw a pair of touchdown passes and ran for another score, as the USC Trojans held off the Boston College Eagles, 24-13, in the Emerald Bowl at AT&T Park.

Barkley connected on 27-of-37 passes for 350 yards and two interceptions for the Trojans (9-4), who were playing in a non-BCS bowl game for the first time since 2001. Stanley Havili caught six passes for 83 yards and two scores while Damian Williams hauled in 12 passes for 189 yards for Southern California, which was making its 48th postseason appearance.

USC was without star running back Joe McKnight, who was not cleared by the school to play in the game due to an investigation into his relationship with a Los Angeles-area businessman. Junior running back Allen Bradford got the start and rushed for 72 yards on 17 carries for the Trojans, who picked up their 32nd bowl win.

"It means a lot. We came out here and played like we always played. We came out with a victory and that's what we wanted to do," USC safety Taylor Mays said.

Dave Shinskie completed 14-of-33 passes for 218 yards with one touchdown and an interception for the Eagles (8-5), who were appearing in their 11th straight bowl game. Montel Harris carried the ball 23 times for 102 yards and a TD. Rich Gunnell hauled in six passes for 130 yards and a score in defeat on a rainy night in the Bay Area.

Down 17-13, the Eagles faced a 3rd-and-10 from their own 31 early in the fourth. Shinskie was picked off by Shareece Wright near midfield, and USC wasted little time taking advantage of the turnover.

On the first play, Barkley tossed a 48-yard pass to Williams, who made a great catch at the one between a trio of defenders. Barkley went into the end zone on a QB sneak to make it a 24-13 game with less than 12 minutes to play.

Boston College got to the USC 36, but a sack and incomplete pass forced the Eagles to punt. BC got the ball back with 4:42 remaining after forcing the Trojans to punt.

On 4th-and-7 from the USC 45, Shinskie's pass to Gunnell was incomplete. The Trojans took over with three minutes to play and ran the clock out to preserve the victory.

"It was definitely frustrating. Especially with the missed opportunities, with the turnovers on the 10-yard line, and we had a few dropped passes," Harris said.

The Trojans marched down the field and scored a touchdown on their opening drive. USC didn't face a third down on the eight-play, 90-yard march that Havili capped off with a 53-yard catch-and-run for a TD with six minutes left.

Southern California extended its margin with a scoring drive that bridged the first and second periods. The Trojans converted three third downs on the 12- play, 82-yard march, which Havili capped with a five-yard touchdown catch to make it 14-0 with about 12 1/2 minutes to go until half.

Boston College responded with a TD of its own to get on the board. Harris rushed for 48 yards on a 68-yard drive that resulted in a seven-yard Harris touchdown run. The extra point went off the right upright, making it 14-6 with about 10 minutes remaining.

The Eagles' defense then came up big, as Wes Davis picked off Barkley at the BC 12. Boston College was faced with a 3rd-and-20 from its own 42. A pass interference call on USC gave the Eagles a first down. Following a false start penalty, Gunnell scored on a 61-yard catch-and-run to make it 14-13 with less than four minutes left.

The second half started with a pair of turnovers. Marcellus Bowman intercepted Barkley on the first play of the frame. However, Harris fumbled the ball away and Jurrell Casey recovered for USC at the Trojans 32. Faced with 3rd-and-8 at midfield, Ronald Johnson hauled in a 20-yard pass for a fresh set of downs. USC settled for a 38-yard Jordan Congdon field goal for a 17-13 lead with over nine minutes to go in the third.

After the Eagles were forced to punt, Congdon was short on a 35-yard field goal. The score remained 17-13 heading to the fourth.

Game Notes

USC outgained Boston College, 438-312...The Trojans held the ball for over 34 minutes...The Eagles are the first team in Emerald Bowl history to play in the game twice. They beat Colorado State, 35-21, in 2003 in what was then called the Diamond Walnut San Francisco Bowl...The Eagles had won eight straight bowl games prior to a 16-14 loss to Vanderbilt in the Music City Bowl last year.

12/27 01:49:43 ET