MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. — Matt Ryan threw for 323 yards and three touchdowns and Brian Toal ended Central Michigan's final scoring threat with a late interception as Boston College held on for a 31-24 victory on Thursday night.
Central Michigan drove to the Eagles' 34 with under two minutes to play. The Chippewas decided to get tricky, lining up in a strange formation with the center and quarterback at the far hash mark and the rest of the line in the middle of the field.
But the play went awry when redshirt freshman Dan LeFevour forced a throw into traffic near the sideline and was intercepted by Toal.
LeFevour took over after Chippewas starting quarterback Brian Brunner was knocked out on the second play from scrimmage. LeFevour was 22-of-37 for 221 yards and ran for 72 yards on 14 carries. His two short fourth-quarter touchdowns cut a 21-point Boston College lead to 31-24.
The teams exchanged field goals before the Eagles (1-0) took the lead back with 7:03 left in the first half when Toal, the linebacker who doubles as a short-yardage fullback, scored from a yard out.
The score was set up when Ryan connected on a 27-yard pass with Tony Gonzalez down to Central's 1-yard line.
Boston College then pushed its lead to 17-3 on a weird play as tight end Ryan Purvis recovered a fumble from teammate L.V. Whitworth at the Chippewas' 2 and ran in for the score.
The Chippewas (0-1) took advantage of a Boston College turnover to cut the lead to 17-10. Central's Calvin Hissong recovered a fumble on a punt return and LeFevour connected with Ontario Sneed on a 13-yard touchdown pass.
The teams exchanged fumbles just before the beginning of the fourth quarter, but the Eagles took advantage of Central's miscue and turned a fumble at the Boston College 24 into a nine-play, 76-yard scoring drive that finished with a 24-yard touchdown pass from Ryan to Kevin Challenger.
On the Eagles' next drive they tried to put any hope of a Central Michigan comeback to rest with a six-play, 61-yard drive that ended when Ryan found Gonzalez for a 19-yard score.
Central went back to work on its next drive and scored when LeFevour ran in from a yard out.
The Chippewas finished the scoring off when LeFevour scored from 2 yards out on a fourth down play with 3:55 left.