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NCAA Game Summary - Boston College vs. Michigan State



(Thursday, December 27th)

Final Score: (14) Boston College 24, Michigan State 21

Orlando, FL (Sports Network) - Matt Ryan threw three touchdown passes, two to Rich Gunnell, as the 14th-ranked Boston College Eagles held off the Michigan State Spartans, 24-21, in the Champs Sports Bowl.

Ryan finished 22-of-47 passing for 249 yards with one interception for Boston College (11-3), which has won eight straight bowl games, the longest active streak in the nation. Gunnell hauled in six passes for 138 yards for the Eagles, who won 11 games in a season for the first time since 1940.

Brian Hoyer completed 14-of-36 passes for 131 yards with two touchdowns, but he was picked off a career-worst four times and responsible for all five Michigan State turnovers, as the Spartans were making their first bowl appearance in four years.

Javon Ringer ran for 101 yards for Michigan State (7-6), which came into the game riding a two-game winning streak to become bowl eligible.

Down 24-13, the Spartans' defense came through to put the offense in position to make the game interesting down the stretch. On 2nd-and-20 from the BC 45, Ryan was sacked by Greg Jones and fumbled the ball. MSU's Oren Wilson recovered at the 37 and two plays later the offense found the end zone.

Hoyer, rolling out to the right, found Deon Curry wide open in the back of the end zone for a 14-yard TD pass. Hoyer then hit Kellen Davis to complete the two-point conversion and draw the Spartans within 24-21 with 6:04 to play.

The Michigan State offense had two last chances to at least force a tie. However, they had to punt with 4:25 left and then after taking over on their own four with 2 1/2 minutes left, Hoyer was picked off at the 29 to end any chance at a rally.

Hoyer hadn't thrown more than two interceptions in a game this season.

Michigan State came out on fire, but managed just seven points. After Hoyer hooked up with Davis on a 18-yard TD pass just three plays into the game, the Spartans came up empty on a couple of key drives.

MSU was moving the ball with ease on the Eagles, but the second possession ended at the BC 35 when the Spartans failed to converted a 4th-and-7. Then, Hoyer was picked off by Jamie Silva in the end zone to end the third possession.

Boston College came up empty on all of those opportunities, but finally did capitalize on a MSU turnover. On the second play of the Spartans' fourth possession, Hoyer fumbled the snap, giving Boston College the ball at MSU's 11.

Four plays later, Ryan tied the game when he hit Jon Loyte for a one-yard touchdown.

Then, just over six minutes into the second quarter, the Eagles went in front when Ryan capped a 10-play, 70-yard drive with a 29-yard TD pass to Gunnell.

"We started out a little bit rusty," said Boston College head coach Jeff Jagodzinski. "I think maybe the layoff hurt us a little bit. But our guys fought."

Michigan State cut the deficit to 14-10 going into the locker room as Brett Swenson converted a 39-yard field goal with 2:17 left in the stanza. Swenson then capped the opening possession of the second half with a 23-yard field goal to make it a 14-13 game.

"I thought the turnover in the red zone with the mishandled snap hurt us," said MSU head coach Mark Dantonio. "Not scoring and not getting the touchdowns it he red zone hurt us."

Boston College answered with a 28-yard field goal by Steve Aponavicius with just over five minutes left in the third quarter and then grabbed an 11-point lead early in the fourth.

After taking over at their own 20 following a touchback on a punt, Ryan scrambled for a yard, hit Brandon Robinson for an 11-yard gain and then connected with Gunnell on a 68-yard pass play for a touchdown and a 24-13 lead with 9:21 to play.

"We knew coming into the game we wanted to take some chances deep against their corners," said Ryan. "They were bringing pressure all night and had a bunch of guys in the box so we wanted to take advantage of the 1-on-1 coverage." Game Notes

Andre Callender ran for only 38 yards for BC...The Eagles improved to 4-1-1 against MSU...BC improved to 13-6 in bowl games...MSU fell to 7-11 in bowl games...Silva was named the bowl's MVP, picking off two passes.

12/28 23:02:10 ET

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