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Miami Hurricanes crush Boston College, snap 3-game losing streak

Miami scores touchdowns on four of its five first-half possessions on its way to a 25-point victory.
 
Miami wide receiver Xavier Restrepo (7) reaches out for a completed pass during the second half of Friday's game in Boston.
Miami wide receiver Xavier Restrepo (7) reaches out for a completed pass during the second half of Friday's game in Boston. [ MARK STOCKWELL | AP ]
Published Nov. 24, 2023|Updated Nov. 24, 2023

BOSTON — Miami faced a fourth down in Boston College territory late in the third quarter against a BC team that had begun to show signs of a rally.

That’s when the Hurricanes turned to Xavier Restrepo.

Tyler Van Dyke lofted a pass down the middle of the field, Restrepo dove to haul it in, and Miami punched it into the end zone three plays later to put the game away and beat the Eagles 45-20 on Friday.

“You can always trust X,” said Van Dyke, who was 23-for-36 for 290 yards and two touchdowns. “I mean, he’s always going to find his way open. You’ve just got to get him the ball, and he’ll make the play for you.”

Restrepo caught six passes for 117 yards — giving him 993 receiving yards for the season — and Miami snapped a three-game losing streak. Henry Parrish Jr. ran for 111 yards and a pair of scores for the Hurricanes (7-5, 3-5 Atlantic Coast Conference).

Boston College quarterback Thomas Castellanos ran for 130 yards and a touchdown but only completed 15 of 25 passes for 151 yards and a TD. After a touchdown on the opening drive, the Eagles (6-6, 3-5) gave up 28 unanswered points and didn’t get in the end zone again until they converted to make it 28-14 after Van Dyke’s fumble on Miami’s first possession of the second half.

The Hurricanes got the ball back at their own 8 and advanced to the BC 35 before Mark Fletcher was stopped for just 2 yards on third and 6. Coach Mario Cristobal went for it, and Van Dyke found Restrepo for a play that effectively clinched the victory.

“The man just gets open,” Fletcher said. “He’s not the fastest guy. He’s not the biggest guy, but he knows how to get open. That’s what makes him so effective. That man’s very clutch.”

Miami was 6-for-13 on third-down conversions and 3-for-3 on fourth.

“They were just critical plays and executed at a really high level,” Cristobal said. “They had the opportunity to make plays, and they made them.”

No miracle this time

The game on the day after Thanksgiving even featured a Hail Mary — 39 years after Doug Flutie’s miracle pass to win in Miami and clinch the Heisman Trophy.

But Castellanos’ desperation pass at the end of the first half was picked off in the end zone and returned 55 yards before offsetting penalties negated the play. Castellanos was intercepted twice — once on a ball that was tipped at the line, and again on BC’s final possession.

Good starts

Boston College moved easily down the field to score on its opening drive, but then the Miami defense took over. The Eagles managed three straight three-and-outs and a four-and-out before finishing the half with the failed Hail Mary.

Miami scored touchdowns on four of its five first-half possessions. After the Eagles forced a fumble to start the third quarter, they scored on Castellanos’ 21-yard run to make it 28-14.

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But Restrepo’s 28-yard reception on fourth down set up a 4-yard pass from Van Dyke to Jacolby George that gave Miami a 35-14 lead.

“It started well. I thought we executed at a high level coming out on that first drive,” BC coach Jeff Hafley said. “We had a chance to stop them several times to get them to fourth down. They made more plays than we did. We had opportunities to get off the field and we didn’t.”

The takeaway

Miami, which won its first four games of the season and rose to No. 17 in The Associated Press Top 25, lost five of the next seven. The Hurricanes still have a chance to reach eight wins for the first time since Manny Diaz led them to the Cheez-It Bowl in 2020.

Boston College finishes with a .500 record with the hope of a bowl game victory that would give them seven wins for the first time since 2018.

“Getting the bowl game was really good, but I feel like that’s when we really like stopped at,” Castellanos said. “We kind of got complacent. We got over our heads and we didn’t keep our head on and keep fighting. I feel like once we got the bowl game guys kind of laid off, and said: ‘Ah, we’ve got a bowl game now.’”

Up next

Both await their bowl assignments.

By JIMMY GOLEN AP Sports Writer

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