For the fourth consecutive year, Boston College has qualified for a bowl game. In each of those seasons, the Eagles have had a running back top 1,000 yards.
And that's not a coincidence.
"I didn't have any goals going into the season. My goal was to help our team win every game," Derrick Knight said Saturday after running for 171 yards and two touchdowns to surpass 1,000 yards for the season and lead BC to a 41-20 victory over Syracuse. "To get 1,000 yards, I think, has helped my team be in every game."
Brandon Brokaw added a pair of 1-yard touchdown plunges as BC (6-4, 1-4 Big East) qualified for a bowl for the fourth consecutive year and snapped a five-game conference losing streak.
BC had 227 yards rushing -- gaining 188 yards on 20 carries in the second half -- to become the sixth team this season to amass more than 500 yards of offense against Syracuse (4-7, 2-4).
"It was just disappointing, the run game," Syracuse coach Paul Pasqualoni said. "We needed to stop them on the run. It's frustrating because there's been games where we have played well."
Brokaw's second TD gave BC a 34-20 lead with 10:02 left in the game after Sean Ryan's 27-yard reception that brought the ball to within an inch of the goal line.
By that time, the cold rain had turned to snow and many of the fans were happy to have the excuse to leave early.
Ryan (St. Joe's) caught six passes for 105 yards and a touchdown, hurdling a defender on one reception to gain extra yards. Brian St. Pierre completed 22 of 34 passes for 284 yards and one TD for BC.
Walter Reyes had 95 yards on 14 carries for Syracuse to give him 1,025 yards for the season, scoring on an 8-yard run midway through the third quarter to tie the game, 20-20. It was his 16th TD of the year, extending his school record.
Syracuse was coming off a 50-42, triple-overtime win over then-No. 8 Virginia Tech, a third consecutive win to keep its bowl hopes alive after a 1-6 start. Now the Orangemen know they will not go to a bowl; even with a win, they would have had to beat No. 1 Miami on Nov. 30 to retain any postseason hopes.
BC has won 19 of its last 23 at home, losing twice to Miami and Virginia Tech. If the Eagles are invited to a bowl, it would be a school-record fourth in a row; BC has games remaining against Rutgers and Temple.
Boston College has had a 1,000-yard rusher in each of the last five years, with Knight following Mike Cloud (1998), Cedric Washington ('99) and William Green ('00-01).
Reyes became the seventh player in Syracuse history to surpass 1,000 yards.
Army gets first win
NEW ORLEANS -- Reggie Nevels threw for a touchdown and ran for another to help Army win its first game of the season, 14-10 over Tulane.
Army (1-9, 1-6 Conference USA) has beaten Tulane (6-5, 3-4) three times in the last three years.
The 10 points are the fewest the Black Knights have allowed since they beat Air Force, 23-7, in 1996.
Tulane kicker Seth Marler had a field goal blocked and pushed two more wide in a game the Green Wave needed to win to guarantee a winning season and strengthen its chances to go to a bowl for the first time since 1998.
Tulane had one last chance to win with less than 1:30 to go and the ball on the Army 23, but J.P. Losman's pass was tipped and intercepted by Maurio Smith.
Losman finished with 172 yards passing but was sacked five times, harassed all game and intercepted twice.
Nevels, who missed the second quarter after being hammered by Anthony Cannon during a scramble, had only 94 yards passing, but one was a 35-yard scoring strike to Blaine Cooper in the first quarter. Carlton Jones ran for 124 yards.
Around the nation
Marquel Blackwell threw for 220 yards and one touchdown as South Florida (8-2) extended the nation's second-longest Division I-A home winning streak to 19 games with a 29-7 victory over Bowling Green (8-2).
Kentucky's Derek Abney set an NCAA record with his sixth kick return for a touchdown this season, a 95-yard runback of a kickoff in a 41-21 win over Vanderbilt. Abney has returned two kickoffs and -- tying an NCAA record -- four punts for scores.
Ray LaMonica rushed for a career-high 179 yards and three touchdowns as Colgate (8-3, 5-1 Patriot League) beat Georgetown (4-6, 1-5), 44-22.
Mick Razzano combined with John Kellner on a pair of critical fourth-quarter passes, including a 7-yard touchdown with 25.1 seconds left that sent Cornell (4-5, 3-3 Ivy League) past Columbia (1-8, 0-6), 17-14.