BOSTON (AP) - Chase Rettig's third-down pass to Alex Amidon helped Boston College turn around the game. Now the Eagles think it can be a turning point in their season, too.
Amidon slid his arms under a 19-yard reception that kept the game-winning drive going, and two plays later Rettig hit Johnathan Coleman for the go-ahead touchdown with 52 seconds left as BC beat Maryland 20-17 on Saturday to snap a five-game losing streak.
"It's good to get that one," BC coach Frank Spaziani said. "Hopefully we get some confidence, continue on and get better. It's a confirmation to me of what we believe in and what those kids have in them. I'm glad they were able to get the result. ... They're young and they need to have something like that."
Wearing stars-and-stripes uniforms for Military Appreciation Day, Boston College opened a 13-0 lead early in the third quarter thanks to a pair of interceptions and then came back after giving up the lead.
Rettig was 21 for 39 for 287 yards and two touchdowns, including a 14-yarder to Coleman for the game-winner. Amidon caught nine passes for 137 yards as the Eagles (2-6, 1-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) earned their first win over a Football Bowl Subdivision opponent this season while avoiding their worst start since 1989.
"The last five weeks have been tough, obviously," Rettig said. "Offensively, we've done some good things this year. People have taken notice. We could have done more in other games. It's just nice that we finally put it together at the end of the game there and scored a touchdown."
Former fourth-stringer Caleb Rowe completed a 66-yard touchdown pass to Stefon Diggs midway through the fourth quarter to give Maryland (4-4, 2-2) its first lead of the game. But on the first play after BC's go-ahead touchdown, Rowe was intercepted by Spenser Rositano.
"It was a great feeling, our first ACC win. We've just got to keep the ball rolling," BC receiver David Dudeck said. "It gives us a lot of confidence. This is going to be a huge, huge boost for us."
A freshman making the start because of injuries to Maryland's top three quarterbacks, Rowe completed 23 of 42 passes for 240 yards and two touchdowns. But he was also picked off three times.
Diggs had 11 catches for 152 yards for Maryland, and Wes Brown ran 23 times for 73 yards.
"We're down 13-nothing and the kids really could have packed it in and mailed it in," Maryland coach Randy Edsall said. "But they didn't. I do know this: These guys will learn and they'll get better. That's why it's so hard and I feel for the kids."
The Eagles scored on a two-play, 39-yard touchdown drive on their first possession and took over on the Maryland 19 on their second thanks to Spiffy Evans' 72-yard punt return. But Andre Williams fumbled the ball into the end zone, where it was recovered by Darius Kilgo for a touchback.
BC made it 10-0 on Nate Freese's 36-yard field goal early in the second quarter and made it 13-0 on a 28-yarder early in the third.
They had a chance to ice it when Rowe sailed a third-and-7 pass over the middle into double-coverage that linebacker Nick Clancy had in his hands but dropped. On fourth down, Rowe hit Kevin Dorsey for 26 yards; on fourth-and-goal from the 1 yard-line, Rowe connected with Nigel King for the touchdown that made it 13-7.
After BC went three-and-out, losing 13 yards on two of Maryland's five sacks, Rowe led the Terps into position for Brendan Magistro's 28-yard field goal that made it 13-10.
BC twice went three-and-out before Maryland took over at its own 27 yard-line and needed just three plays to score. Rowe hit Diggs on a slant pattern, and the receiver headed to the left sideline before outsprinting the coverage to the end zone.
BC took over with 4:45 left, and Rettig missed on four of his first six attempts before clicking. He completed two straight passes, each for a first down, before a sack that set up a second-and-17 that became a third-and-9 and forced BC to call a timeout.
But Rettig hit Amidon for 17 yards to the Maryland 19, a play that was reviewed and upheld after replays showed the receiver got his arms under the ball. Bobby Swigert caught a pass for five more yards, and then Rettig found Coleman in the right flat, with no one between him and the goal line.