Northwestern Coach Gary Barnett called last season's 49-0 defeat against Boston College the worst of his career.
Barnett felt much better Saturday after Northwestern upset No. 22 Boston College, 22-21.
"We were possessed, we willed the win," Barnett said. "We were going to win somehow, someway."
Eric Scott returned a kickoff 86 yards to set up a nine-yard touchdown pass from Len Williams to Lee Gissendaner with 4:28 left, bringing Northwestern to within a point.
Dennis Lundy, who gained 103 yards in 23 carries, took a pitch from Williams and ran the ball in for a two-point conversion to put Northwestern ahead.
"There was no question about going for two," Barnett said. "There was plenty of time left. If we missed, we would have gone for a field goal the next time. If we had kicked, we'd still have to go for a field goal to win."
Northwestern (1-1) opened the season with a 27-12 loss to Notre Dame. Boston College (0-2) lost its opener to Miami, 27-7. "This shows you that Northwestern's game against Notre Dame was no fluke," Coach Tom Coughlin said.
After the Wildcats went ahead, Boston College quarterback Glenn Foley directed the Eagles to the Northwestern 23. But a 40-yard field-goal attempt by David Gordon was wide right.
Foley's 28-yard touchdown pass play to Pete Mitchell midway in the fourth quarter gave the Eagles a 21-14 lead. But Scott's return on the ensuing kickoff inspired the Wildcats.
It took Northwestern six plays to score the winning touchdown.
Williams completed 17 of 21 passes for 125 yards to give him a career total of 5,803 yards and tie Mike Greenfield for the all-time Northwestern record.