Billy Flutie, the Boston College backup quarterback and nephew of Heisman Trophy winner Doug Flutie, threw for a 9-yard touchdown on a fake field goal Saturday to lead the 20th-ranked Eagles to a spot in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game in Tampa with a 28-21 victory over Maryland.
BC (9-3, 5-3 ACC) will play Virginia Tech on Saturday - the second straight year the former Big East foes will play for the ACC's spot in the Orange Bowl.
Maryland (7-5, 4-4) fell to 4-1 against ranked teams this season and into a logjam of ACC teams seeking a secondary bowl berth - the conference has 10 teams competing for nine guaranteed spots.
A sophomore who played quarterback in high school but had been a receiver, punter and kick-holder at BC, Billy Flutie had never completed a pass in college before Saturday. With BC at Maryland 9 midway through the third quarter, Flutie took the snap and rolled to his right before finding little-used tight end Jordon McMichael, who lumbered in from the 3 to make it 21-7.
Chris Turner led the Terrapins on an 11-play, 70-yard drive, converting a third-and-2 with a 23-yard pass to Emani Lee-Odai and a fourth-and-3 with a 5-yard pass to Danny Oquendo. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Turner and Oquendo connected again from 13 yards out for a touchdown that made it 21-14.
VIRGINIA TECH 17,
BLACKSBURG, Va. - Dustin Keys kicked a 28-yard field goal with 6:37 to play and offense-challenged Virginia Tech earned the opportunity to defend its Atlantic Coast Conference championship on Saturday in Tampa with a victory against Virginia.
The Hokies (8-4, 5-3) sealed the victory when Dorian Porch intercepted Marc Verica in the end zone with 2:15 to play. Virginia forced a punt with 1:51 to play, but it was downed at the 13 with 1:38 left and the Cavaliers lost yards thereafter.
Virginia (5-7, 3-5), which needed to win to qualify for a bowl game, lost in spite of the sometimes dazzling debut of Vic Hall at quarterback. The 5-foot-9 Hall ran for 109 yards and two long touchdowns as a surprise starter, but Virginia did little else.
SOUTH CAROLINA 14
CLEMSON, S.C. - James Davis ran for three touchdowns to lift Clemson to a victory over South Carolina (7-5), the Tigers' sixth win in the past seven games against their state rival.
Now, the Tigers (7-5) get to keep playing after qualifying for the postseason - and maybe interim coach Dabo Swinney gets to hold on to the job a little longer.
Swinney took over on Oct. 13 when Tommy Bowden walked away with the Tigers' expected ACC title season in shambles.
Clemson's defense rattled Gamecocks quarterback Chris Smelley into four interceptions and outshone a South Carolina unit that had led the Southeastern Conference much of the year.
NORTH CAROLINA 28,
DURHAM, N.C. - A near-perfect T.J. Yates threw three touchdown passes, and Trimane Goddard intercepted a pass in the closing seconds to seal North Carolina's victory over Duke.
Shaun Draughn rushed for 110 yards and a touchdown and caught another score from Yates to help North Carolina (8-4, 4-4) snap a two-game losing streak and beat the Blue Devils (4-8, 1-7) for the 18th time in 19 years.
Yates completed 15 of 19 passes for 190 yards with scoring passes covering 11 yards to Draughn, 25 yards to Hakeem Nicks and 32 yards to Richard Quinn.
WAKE FOREST 23,
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Alphonso Smith's record-tying 20th career interception set up Rich Belton's game-clinching touchdown run, and Wake Forest beat Vanderbilt to boost its bowl prospects.
Brandon Pendergrass and Kevin Harris also had rushing touchdowns for the Demon Deacons (7-5), who closed the regular season with a victory that should give them a school-record three consecutive bowl trips.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Larry Smith made his college debut in the second half for Vanderbilt (6-6), throwing a 5-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Barden on fourth down on the first play of the fourth quarter to cut Wake's lead to 17-10.