Eagles find No passing fancy

Mike Petraglia
November 21, 2009 - 12:02 pm

CHESTNUT HILL  --  This might have been Dave Shinskie's worst nightmare - and his worst game at Boston College. Facing an aggressive, talented North Carolina defense without his 'A' game, Shinskie threw four of BC's five interceptions on the day, three alone to free safety to Deunta Williams, as North Carolina ended any ACC title game hopes with a 31-13 smackdown at Alumni Stadium. Despite getting reasonable good protection all day, Shinskie looked shaky throwing over the middle. He completed just 12-of-28 passes for 101 yards, a TD and three sacks. "I was getting good protection," Shinskie said. "Maybe I was just wary of those guys because they were coming in hard all day and I just didn't get enough zip on the ball. I was kind of floating the ball over the middle. You can't do that. You can't throw the ball over the middle late. That's what happens, you get interceptions." And you get interceptions when you force the ball trying to convert a third down. The Eagles were an almost unbelievable 0-for-13 on third down Saturday. "You just try to find where the pressure is coming from and try to avoid it," Shinskie adde. "But these guys were really good. It seemed like every time I would try to go around or step up, another guy was there. They just had a great defense. It was a tough one today. We have to put it behind us and come back next week." And Williams was really, really, really good for UNC. "I had one game with three interceptions in high school and I should have had three interceptions in our first game of the season but I dropped one," Willliams said. Williams may have had the most but Kendric Burney had the game's most pivotal one. Already up 14-0 nine minutes into the game, Burney jumped in front of an out pattern intended for Rich Gunnell and raced 30 yards up the right sideline for a TD and a 21-0 UNC lead with 5:14 remaining in the opening quarter before a stunned Alumni Stadium audience on Senior Day. "The play was designed to go to the right, over to Rich's side," Shinskie said. "We worked in the film room. If they play off, we've got five-step hitch over there. I just threw a bad ball and they got a pick-six." It was Burney's third career interception return for a TD, all coming in his last four quarters of play and gave him the new school record. "Wow, I did not know that," Burney said. "But you have to give credit to the rest of the guys on defense for giving me that opportunity, especially the front four. They straight dominated today so without them, all these interceptions wouldn't be possible." But when UNC returned the favor three times before halftime, BC had themselves 13 points and a legitimate shot at redemption in the second half. "I thought when we went into half, I was excited to come back out and get on the ball. I came out, myself, a little flat," Shinskie said. "I don't know what happened. I couldn't get anything behind the ball. I don't know if it was my thumb or I was throwing off my back foot. I've got to look at the film and see. I definitely have to step it up next week." Bad thumb or bad mechanics, Shinskie and his 7-4 Eagles get one more shot at redemption next week in Maryland before a bowl game, likely in San Francisco or Charlotte in late December. "It's for eight wins, man," Shinskie said when asked of motivation with an ACC title game berth gone. "It's another game to play. This is a tough one for the seniors. I know I was hyped up before the game. I didn't want to let them down but it was last one at home for the seniors. But the next one is their last regular season game. We just have to focus on that one and it's another chance to get No. 8."