Boston College quarterback Doug Flutie passed for 520 yards today, a school record.
And still he was sad. It was that kind of a game.
"It was all irrelevant," said Flutie, the sullen sophomore scrambler.
Penn State made sure of that. The eighth-ranked Nittany Lions defeated Boston College, 52-17, today before a crowd of 33,205 in Alumni Stadium.
The crowd total was a stadium record. Yet on this soft Indian summer day, that was no big deal. School records came easy today.
By halftime, the Nittany Lions led, 31-10. Then it was time to play out the clock and watch Flutie, who completed 26 of 44 with one touchdown pass and two interceptions, do his latest Fran Tarkenton impression.
The numbers of significance were these: Penn State tailback Curt Warner ran for 183 yards and three touchdowns. Quarterback Todd Blackledge completed 14 of 27 for 243 yards and three touchdowns. A double dose of dynamite.
All of which boosted Penn State to 7-1 and left Coach Joe Paterno saying, "When Warner is right and when Todd is right, we're a great offensive football team."
Boston College Coach Jack Bicknell realized this game was not like his team's 38-16 victory at Texas A & M or the 17-17 tie at Clemson or even the 20-17 loss at West Virginia. "Our defense had been playing well . . . " began the coach, his team now 5-2-1. He didn't have to say anything more.
These were the key records:
* Warner increased his career rushing mark to 3,031 yards and moved past Lydell Mitchell (2,934 yards) into first place on the all-time Penn State list. This was Warner's 14th 100-yard game and Penn State has won all 14 of those games.
* Blackledge's three touchdown passes give him 39 in his three-year career and moved him past Chuck Fusina (37) into first place on the all-time Penn State list. Blackledge has thrown 20 touchdown passes this season. He also has six 200-yard passing games this season, another school record.
* Boston College amassed 656 yards in total offense (Penn State had 618), the most ever allowed by a Penn State team.
* And, just to keep in the record swing, Boston College tight end Scott Nizolek caught 11 passes for a school-record 229 yards.
A wild game.
And what of Flutie? "He's almost a one-man team," said Paterno.
When Flutie drove the Eagles to an 18-yard touchdown pass to Nizolek four minutes into the game, Boston College led, 7-0. The crowd, which swelled over to the rooftops of a nearby intramural building and a parking garage beyond the home team's side, was loud then.
Why not? After all, the locals had called this the biggest Boston College football game in 40 years. Even Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill sat in on this one.
But soon after the first Flutie touchdown, the steamroller began: Warner ran two yards for a touchdown and Blackledge threw a 59-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Jackson, the first of two touchdown catches by the fabulous flanker. So, after the first quarter, it was 14-7.
The steamroller continued in the second quarter: Blackledge threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Greg Garrity and Warner ran one yard for another touchdown. In between, Boston College's Kevin Snow (41 yards) and Penn State's Nick Gancitano (36 yards) traded field goals. At the half, it was Penn State, 31-10. Flutie had completed 12 of 23 for 237 yards, but the deficit was big and about to get bigger.
"I think we're one of the most powerful offenses in the country," Warner said. "We can move the ball on anyone."
The steamroller slowed in the third quarter when Blackledge threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Jackson for the quarter's only score. Entering the final period it was 38-10.
Warner and Blackledge did not play the final 10 minutes and Flutie did not play the final seven minutes.
Boston College fullback Bob Biestek ran one yard for a touchdown to make it 38-17 early in the final quarter. Then Warner (one yard) and Tony Mumford (two yards) added the final blows of the Penn State bludgeon.
In the end, it was Boston College's four lost fumbles in the second half that killed off any chance for a comeback. Penn State was tough today.
After last week's 24-0 victory at West Virginia, Paterno was proud of his defense. Today, the pride puffed out a bit more. Paterno said, "After their first drive, they only got 10 points. So I don't really care if they get 800 yards. I thought holding them to 17 points was a pretty good game."