BC notes: Clancy returns, Deuce gets loose

NEWTON, Mass. -- A week after sustaining a concussion against No. 3 Notre Dame, Nick Clancy started at his customary middle linebacker spot on senior day.

The Eagles are glad he did, as he made 10 tackles in the first half and finished with a game-high 20 tackles.

Clancy's biggest contribution wasn't a tackle, however. On fourth-and-3 from the BC 40 with just more than a minute to go in the first half, the Hokies decided to roll the dice. Logan Thomas stood alone in the backfield, with five wide receivers spread along the line.

The big quarterback saw Demitri Knowles running free across the middle and delivered the ball on the mark. But Clancy also saw Knowles and threw his shoulder into the wideout just as the ball arrived, jarring it free and causing the incompletion.

"It was one of those times where you have that intuition inside of you that you know what play is coming," Clancy said. "That's what happened there, just kind of felt it given the situation."

After the Eagles came out on the short end of the 30-23 overtime decision, falling to 2-9 (1-6 ACC), the linebacker admitted this one meant more than usual.

"We prepare the same for every game, but there was something about this week," Clancy said. "I wanted this one so bad -- to end on a good note and walk away from BC with my last home game a victory. So this one hurts."

Asked to assess the play of his seniors, specifically Clancy, coach Frank Spaziani said he was happy with the effort, if not the end result.

"Nick made a couple plays," Spaziani said. "I think the seniors came to play and played hard. Now how efficient they played? That remains to be seen."

Deuce let loose

For much of the season, circumstances -- in-game and injury-related -- have dictated that the Eagles become a passing team. But with Bud Foster's defense unleashing blitz after blitz Saturday afternoon, it was the running game that got things going for BC.

After a Hokies punt bounced out of bounds at the BC 14-yard line late in the first quarter, the Eagles' offense faced a long field. To that point, Chase Rettig hadn't completed a pass, going 0-for-5 and being sacked twice.

Enter Rolandan "Deuce" Finch. The burly back, buried on the bench most of the season for slippery hand syndrome, burst through a big hole and rumbled up the right sideline for a 38-yard gain.

That jump-started the offense and Rettig, who opened the second quarter with a 23-yard completion over the middle to Chris Pantale. The Eagles drove down to the 2, and Doug Martin dialed up play-action.

With three players lined up in the backfield behind Rettig, the Hokies were expecting a power run. But Alex Amidon was the first player in the formation, and he slipped out the right side ahead of Jake Sinkovec. Finch and was wide open for Rettig's easy TD toss.

It all started because of Finch.

"Deuce ran the football really well today," Rettig said. "Our offensive line played well today in the running game. Deuce is a guy that sees more. You can tell when he's about to cut it back. He has that in his game."

The junior finished with 26 carries for 133 yards, just his second career 100-yard game, and added five catches out of the backfield for 53 yards. He led the Eagles in rushing and receiving.

"Deuce was doing what Deuce is supposed to do," Spaziani said. "He did a good job. We're very happy for him and us."

Unfortunately for the Eagles, Finch suffered an injury in the fourth and sat out the final offensive series of regulation and the overtime possession. With Finch out, true freshman David Dudeck got the call. The freshman scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 12-yard run in the fourth quarter, but he couldn't get anything on the first play of overtime and was stopped short of the first-down marker on the final play, a screen pass on fourth-and-11.

For Finch, who came to the postgame interview with ice wrapped around his right forearm, it was a relief just to play.

"I'm just happy to be out there with my teammates," he said. "Last week, I was really excited for the game and I thought I played pretty well when I was in there. This week, the O-line did a great job opening up holes and I just had to hit the holes."


Senior defensive co-captain Jim Noel wore No. 31, rather than his usual No. 23, on Saturday as the recipient of the Jay McGillis scholarship. It's a BC senior day tradition that the recipient of the award wears No. 31. ... Nate Freese was money for the Eagles on Saturday, hitting all three of his field goals. He connected from 35, 36 and 42 yards. Freese is perfect this season on kicks of fewer than 40 yards, going 15-for-15, and 2-for-3 on kicks of 40-49 yards. ... Spaziani drops to 0-4 against Virginia Tech as BC's head coach. ... The overtime game was BC's first since a 27-24 win over Wake Forest on Sept. 26, 2009.

Jack McCluskey is an editor for ESPN.com and a frequent contributor to ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter @jack_mccluskey.