12:00 PM ET, October 18, 2003
Carrier Dome, Syracuse, NY
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) -- R.J. Anderson threw three touchdown passes and ran for another score as the Orangemen beat Boston College 39-14 on Saturday.
Syracuse (4-2, 1-1 Big East) won days after Boston College (4-3, 1-2) announced it was leaving the Big East to join the ACC.
While the Syracuse defense held Derrick Knight to 30 yards on 10 carries in the first half, Anderson was 16-for-21 for 172 yards and all three TD passes before the break.
Anderson finished 20-for-27 for 215 yards as Syracuse remained the only team in Division I-A that hasn't thrown an interception.
Anderson hit Rashard Williams with a 12-yard scoring pass in the first quarter and combined with Johnnie Morant on touchdown passes of 52 and 10 yards in the second to stake the Orangemen to a 19-7 halftime lead.
Syracuse took a 32-7 lead with two more touchdowns in the third.
Walter Reyes scored on a 1-yard run with 4:44 left and Anthony Smith returned a blocked punt 20 yards for another score. That prompted the near-capacity crowd of 45,313, the largest of the season, to chant "ACC! ACC! as the Eagles lined up to receive the kickoff.
It marked the 11th straight game Reyes has scored a touchdown and broke the school record set in 1964 by Jim Nance. Reyes, who was averaging 144 yards rushing, finished with only 55 yards 23 carries.
Coming off a humiliating 51-7 loss at Virginia Tech in which they allowed 337 yards rushing, it was an impressive turnaround for the Orangemen. Knight, who began the day averaging nearly 148 yards per game, finished with 51 yards on 19 carries and caught five passes for 61 yards.
Quinton Porter was 20-for-28 for 249 yards and was intercepted twice, but BC managed only 70 yards rushing on 30 carries.
The last game in what has been a heated rivalry began as Syracuse safety Diamond Ferri probably dreamed it would.
Ferri, who grew up in Massachusetts and was a standout running back against Knight in high school, intercepted Porter's second pass of the game, catching the ball after cornerback Thomas Whitfield deflected it and returning it 17 yards to the BC 19 to set up Anderson's scoring pass to Williams.
BC briefly came to life early in the second after substitute kicker Ricky Krautman missed a 36-yard field goal. Porter gained 19 yards on two straight scrambles and hit Grant Adams for 17 yards over the middle on a third-and-13 play to near midfield.
After Knight gained 16 yards up the middle, Syracuse was penalized for pass interference and Porter hit wide-open tight end David Kashetta with a 21-yard touchdown pass in the left corner of the end zone for a 7-6 lead.
Anderson put Syracuse back in front for good just over two minutes later. Facing a third-and-9 from near midfield, he hit Morant for a 52-yard touchdown pass. Morant made a nice fingertip catch over his left shoulder near the 10 and coasted in for a 12-7 lead with 9:54 left in the half.
The Eagles appeared to regain some momentum when punter Jeff Gomulinski sailed a kick out of bounds inside the Syracuse 1. But the Orangemen punted out of danger and a strong rush the next time Gomulinski kicked forced him into a 10-yard punt, giving Syracuse possession near midfield.
Anderson capitalized by hitting Morant on a throwback pass in the left corner of the end zone with just 9 seconds left after rolling out to the right.