BOSTON (AP) — Boston College coach Jeff Hafley was trying to figure out how to stop Pittsburgh's offense in a second overtime when he took a quick look and realized the game was over after the Panthers missed an extra-point attempt to give the Eagles a 31-30 win on Saturday night.
“I was getting ready to go back on defense again and glanced up from my sheet and saw it was wide right,” Hafley said. “I think I actually jumped up on that.”
Phil Jurkovec threw three touchdown passes to Zay Flowers — the last a 25-yarder in overtime — and ran for a score to lead BC (3-1, 2-1 Atlantic Coast Conference).
“I was super shocked,” Jurkovec said of the missed PAT. “I was surprised because the kicker made the 58 yarder.”
Jurkovec, a sophomore transfer from Notre Dame, was 19 of 35 for 358 yards passing as the Eagles rebounded from a frustrating close loss to then-No. 12 North Carolina. Flowers had six catches for 162 yards.
Kenny Pickett completed 25 of 48 passes for 266 yards for Pittsburgh (3-2, 2-2). He threw two TD passes, ran for a score, and then limped off the field late in the third quarter but returned in the next series to throw an interception.
On BC’s first possession in overtime, Jurkovec threw a strike down the middle to Flowers in the end zone on third-and-10.
“I knew I was going to get the 25-yarder,” Flowers said. “I had a feeling.”
Pitt answered in OT when Pickett hit Taysir Mack with a 3-yard TD pass, but Alex Kessman missed wide right on the PAT. Kessman had hit a 58-yard field goal with 40 seconds left in regulation. BC’s Aaron Boumerhi was wide left on a 52-yarder as time expired to force overtime.
“Came up a little short with that extra point,” Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi said. “It’s disappointing, but we’ll stick together.”
A week ago, at the same end zone, BC lined up for a potential game-tying 2-point conversion with 45 seconds to play, but North Carolina’s Trey Morrison picked off Jurkovec and returned it for a score.
Pittsburgh rallied from a 10-point deficit.
Vincent Davis’ 4-yard scoring run sliced it to 24-21 late in the third. The Panthers took over at their own 38 with 3 1/2 minutes to play and marched to BC’s 26. Max Richardson sacked Pickett on third-and-5 for a 15-yard loss before the game-tying field goal.
Jurkovec hit Flowers with a 77-yard TD pass down the middle on the second play after halftime to give the Eagles a 24-14 lead. Jurkovec also found Flowers with a 44-yard strike in the left corner of the end zone early into the second quarter.
“He’s a good football player and that big pass in the second half took the wind out of us," Narduzzi said of Flowers. "Great throw by Phil.”
BC led 17-14 after an entertaining first half that was filled with pass interference calls, three long scoring drives — two by the Eagles — and over 300 combined yards passing.
In a matchup of the conference’s second and third ranked quarterbacks in yards passing per game, (Pickett was second and led with 1,123 total yards), both teams came out up-tempo on their first possession and drove easily before things settled down in the second quarter.
Pittsburgh: The Panthers’ defense came into the day second in the nation in fewest yards allowed per game but was picked apart. After giving up a late scoring drive in a loss to N.C. State last week, they’ll have to fix things quickly with tough matchups at Miami and against Notre Dame the next two weeks.
“Some days your defense is going to cover your offense. Some days your offense is going to cover your defense," Narduzzi said. "We’re not going to point any fingers.”
Boston College: Seems a bit ahead of schedule under first-year coach Hafley, but if Jurkovec keeps playing the way he is the Eagles will be a tough matchup for anyone.
Jurkovec has thrown for a program-record 1,181 yards in his first four games.
Pittsburgh: At No. 7 Miami on Saturday.
Boston College: At Virginia Tech on Saturday night.
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