7:45 PM ET, September 20, 2003
Alumni Stadium (MA), Chestnut Hill, MA
BOSTON (AP) -- Miami once again proved it's in a different league than Boston College.
Roscoe Parrish set a school record with a 92-yard punt return and Sean Taylor returned an interception for another score as the second-ranked Hurricanes won their final Big East meeting against the Eagles, 33-14 Saturday night.
Miami (4-0, 1-0) is departing the conference for the ACC after the season, giving even more meaning than usual to this game. But the Hurricanes were businesslike in their approach and finished with a perfect record against Boston College (2-2, 0-1) in conference play.
"We really don't try to get all hyped up about something people want to hype up," Miami quarterback Brock Berlin said. "Obviously it's a very good rivalry, but we've got to move on."
Boston College has lost 14 straight to Miami since the "Hail Flutie" game in 1984, seven years before the Big East began playing football. Temple and Rutgers are the only other Big East schools to lose every conference game against Miami.
"This is a lost cause," BC running back Derrick Knight said. "It's something we'll never get back. It's too bad it's our last chance against them."
After waiting until the final seconds to put away wins on their last four trips to Alumni Stadium, the Hurricanes started quickly this time, taking a 7-0 lead on Parrish's punt return before their offense even took the field.
"We've heard a lot about that," Parrish said. "We heard about every time we come up here it will be a dogfight with Boston College. The coaches reminded us of that all week."
Punts were a recurring problem for the Eagles. Jeff Gomulinski bobbled a snap to set up Frank Gore's 1-yard touchdown run that made it 14-0 and Chris Miller snapped a ball over Gomulinski's head for a safety in the third quarter.
BC made plenty of other mistakes. The Eagles had an interception wiped out in the second quarter when Al Washington roughed quarterback Brock Berlin. It turned into 30 yards of penalties when Boston College was flagged for excessive celebration.
That was about all the Eagles could celebrate. By the time Knight scored on a 5-yard run with 11:28 to play, they trailed 33-7.
"We had trouble moving the ball on offense and couldn't make a snap on a punt," BC coach Tom O'Brien said. "Too many big plays against a team like Miami. You have to give credit to them. They took advantage of that."
Boston College counted on joining Miami in the ACC but was passed over in a surprise last-minute move when Virginia Tech was invited instead of the Eagles and Syracuse.
Despite the bitterness over the Hurricanes' departure, Miami president Donna Shalala said she was greeted warmly by Eagles fans as she walked through the stands. Shalala also said she assured BC's president, the Rev. William Leahy, that Miami wanted to resume the series soon.
"We don't know when," she said. "We like playing here."
And with good reason.
This game was a mismatch from the start. Miami stopped BC on its opening drive and Gomulinski punted from his 43. Parrish fielded the ball at the 8, broke two tackles and ran up the sideline for the score.
"He's probably the most exciting football player I've ever been around," Miami coach Larry Coker said. "He loves to play. He's tough. Every time he touches it, he's one of those you say, 'He might go."
The return broke the record set by Kevin Williams, who ran one back 91 yards in 1991 against Penn State.
Trailing 14-0, BC moved into Miami territory with help from a double-penalty on Vince Wilfork -- an offsides and personal foul -- and a 13-yard run by Knight.
Backup quarterback Paul Peterson, who usually comes in for the first series of the second quarter, then threw a ball right to Taylor, who went 67 yards for the score that made it 21-0.
It was Miami's seventh return for a touchdown this season and 40th since 1999 -- the most in the nation.
"Two years ago when we were a very good team we had a lot of touchdowns on defense," Coker said. "As long as we do things like that it gives us a chance to grow up on offense.'
Miami's offense wasn't spectacular but didn't need to be in its 25th straight Big East win. Berlin was 18-for-30 for 151 yards and one interception and Gore ran for 74 yards on 16 carries. Jarrod Payton scored on a 5-yard run to make it 33-0 in the third quarter.
Knight, who came into the game fourth in the nation with 156.7 yards rushing per game, had 83 yards on 21 carries.