Despite one of the best performances fans have seen from senior quarterback Marc Verica to date, the Cavaliers came up just short against Boston College in a game that could have gone either way. The 17-13 loss marks the 12th straight game lost in the month of November for Virginia, dating back to the 48-0 shutout victory over Miami to close out the Orange Bowl in 2007. It was also the fifth consecutive loss to the Eagles.
Credit Marc Verica. Though his offensive line offered him solid protection all day, Verica did a downright impressive job at avoiding tackles -- even after initial contact -- dancing around players, and getting rid of the ball (interception notwithstanding).
Down 17-13 heading into the fourth quarter, the Cavaliers remained composed, and Verica commanded his offense, as the team marched down the field. With just over five minutes to go, it appeared that Virginia would take the lead on third-and-goal pass to senior wide receiver Dontrelle Inman at the back of the end zone. The catch, however, was ruled out of bounds. Robert Randolph lined up for the field goal attempt, and just as the ball was being snapped, there was a booth review called from above. Randolph made the 25-year old attempt that was called dead.
Replays appeared to show that he had landed with his left hand in first before any other body part touched the ground out of bounds, while having possession of the ball. However, because the initial ruling on the field was out, and there was not "indisputable evidence" otherwise, the ruling on the field stood.
Randolph would go on to miss the field goal.
Virginia’s next possession with just over a minute to go brought the Cavaliers to first-and-ten at the BC 45. Because a field goal would not have won the game, Virginia was forced to go for the end zone rather than fight for yardage to make long field goal kicker Chris Hinkebein’s job a little easier.
Following the game, head coach Mike London remarked, "I asked the question, ‘Was it a touchdown or a play that should be reviewed?' No, I did not see a replay. Dontrelle said he landed on top of the guy with the ball, in bounds. Obviously, they didn't call it. I never got an explanation for that, but I guess I will soon."
Noteworthy is London’s willingness to throw some trick plays into the mix. After scoring a touchdown off a fake field goal in the last two games, London opted to go for an onside kick for BC’s second possession of the game. Everything was set to perfection as the players lined up and advanced towards the ball. The problem arose when the ball rolled a slow nine yards, surrounded by patient Virginia players waiting for the 10-yard mark before touching the ball. Unfortunately for the Cavs, the ball didn’t have enough power for that final yard. BC started its drive on the Virginia 34, but was held to just a field goal.
This week marks Rivalry Week, as the Cavaliers look to get the elusive fifth win of the season against Virginia Tech, a team that’s had Virginia’s number for the past six years straight. Kick-off is scheduled for noon and the game will be televised on the ACC Network.