Troy Stradford's 43-yard run up the middle with 3:26 left to play ended a 24-point Boston College rally in the second half and gave the 18th-ranked Eagles a 38-31 upset of No. 9 Alabama in Birmingham last night.
Stradford, who scored the game's first touchdown on a three-yard run, finished with 106 yards on 24 carries. Teammate Doug Flutie completed 19 of 38 passes for 264 yards and two fourth-quarter touchdowns and free safety Tony Thurman made three interceptions, one in the end zone with 45 seconds remaining.
Thurman's first interception started the Eagles' comeback early in the third period after Alabama Coach Ray Perkins put freshman Vince Sutton at quarterback in place of sophomore Mike Shula. His second came with three minutes left and the third was a diving grab in the end zone of a pass by halfback Paul Ott Carruth after Alabama reached the 27.
The three interceptions gave him a school record 18 for his career; he has at least one in five straight games.
Alabama's Kerry Goode scored on a a 25-yard run late in the first period, caught an 18-yard touchdown pass from Shula 6 1/2 minutes later and returned the second-half kickoff 99 yards for a score. Goode returned four kickoffs for 197 yards, breaking the Southeastern Conference record of 190 by Georgia's Scott Woerner against Kentucky in 1977.
Goode's kickoff return down the left sideline gave Alabama (0-1) a 31-14 lead 13 seconds into the third period.
Flutie's 12-yard pass to fullback Jim Browne with 5:58 remaining tied the score at 31 for Boston College (2-0).