Oct. 23, 2004
By TOM COYNE
AP Sports Writer
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Paul Peterson threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Tony Gonzalez with 54 seconds left to give Boston College a 24-23 victory Saturday over No. 24 Notre Dame, the Eagles' fourth straight win over the Irish.
A 55-yard field goal attempt by Notre Dame kicker D.J. Fitzpatrick fell well short as time expired.
The Eagles (5-2) dominated the second half after trailing 20-7 halftime, outgaining the Irish 319 yards to 122 yards and outscoring them 17-3. The Irish (5-3) were held to just 24 yards rushing in the second.
Peterson engineered the comeback, completing 27-of-41 passes for 383 yards, including 19-of-23 for 297 yards in the second half. He had a 21-yard TD pass to Joel Hazard in the third quarter and set up a 21-yard field goal by Ryan Ohliger early in the fourth quarter that cut the lead to 20-17.
Two key defensive plays in the first half kept the Eagles within range of Notre Dame. Jazzmen Williams intercepted Brady Quinn's pass at BC's 1 and DeJuan Tribble picked off Quinn at the Eagles 11.
Quinn was 20-of-33 passing for 231 yards with a TD pass and a touchdown run, but couldn't get the Irish going in the second half.
Gonzalez made a great catch on the game-winning touchdown, going up over Irish cornerback Mike Richardson and coming down with the ball in the end zone.
The Eagles came out strong in the second half, driving to the Notre Dame 4. They couldn't score a TD, though, and a 22-yard field goal attempt by Ohliger was blocked by Derek Landri.
But the Eagles came right back on their next possession with a touchdown when Joel Hazard scored on a 21-yard pass from Peterson. Hazard caught the ball at the 14 and just got into the end zone before Quentin Burrell knocked him out of bounds.
Fitzpatrick's 43-yard field goal upped the lead to 23-17 with 2:51 left, more than enough time for Peterson to direct the game-winning drive.
Larry Lester had eight catches for 111 yards for Boston College.
The Eagles narrowed Notre Dame's lead in what has become a heated rivalry to 9-7.