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Dillon, Eagles Upset Louisville for First ACC Win

With the score tied at 42-42, Colton Lichtenberg made a 27-yard field goal as the clock expired in the fourth to loft the Eagles over the Cardinals, 45-42, for their first ACC win of the season.

Freshman AJ Dillon was the star of the game, rushing for 272 yards and four touchdowns–one of which came from a 75-yard drive. Following four consecutive BC touchdowns, reigning Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson took Louisville down the field, capping the drive with a 40-yard touchdown pass that brought the Cardinals within one score, 35-28, with 12 minutes left in the game.

Just as it looked like Louisville would get going again, Dillon put the exclamation point on his already impressive day.

It started off looking like an innocent run to the left, but Dillon threw a would be tackler to the ground with a vicious stiff-arm and demonstrated breakaway speed as he exploded up the sideline and past the Louisville defenders for the long score.  The highlight reel of a game for Dillon featured career highs in both touchdowns and rushing yards.

The first quarter was off to a predictable start as Jackson got the Cardinals rolling to a quick two score lead, but a couple of forced three-and-outs by the BC defense kept it close and Anthony Brown hit Thadd Smith for a wide open 42-yard touchdown to pull the Eagles within a score, 14-7, with 53 seconds remaining.

A tired BC defense then conceded a long touchdown run in the middle of the second quarter to put the Cardinals up, 21-7. But the Eagles continued to fight as an impressive 30-yard scramble from Brown and some hard running from Dillon brought the Eagles within one touchdown, 21-14, at the half.

In the second half, the Eagles looked to continue their momentum with a strong drive, however, their hopes took a hit as Brown went down with a shoulder injury after an awkward fall while being tackled, and kicker Colton Lichtenberg continued his struggles (one for his last five coming into the game), missing another field goal.  The notoriously stout BC defense was able to contain Jackson and the Cardinals for the most part in the third quarter and Darius Wade excelled at quarterback in relief of Brown. Wade led three consecutive Eagle’s touchdown drives to put BC up by two scores by the beginning of the fourth quarter, 35-21.

But Jackson did his best to give his team a chance in the fourth, showing why he’s in the Heisman conversation yet again, with two impressive touchdown runs.  Jackson brought the Cardinals all the way back to tie the game at 42-42 and even had the ball with a chance to win the game with less than three minutes to go.

 A costly turnover, however, by wide receiver Jaylen Smith following a 20-yard pass from Jackson set up the Eagles with the ball in Cardinals territory at the 39 following an 11 yard return.  More hard running from A.J. Dillon and good clock management from the BC sideline set up Lichtenberg with a 27-yard attempt with three seconds to go.  Lichtenberg was able to convert the attempt as time expired, propelling BC over Louisville, 45-42.

The win is the Eagle’s first ACC victory this season, and they will look to continue this momentum as they travel to Virginia to face off against the Cavaliers next Saturday.

 

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Tommy O'Brien