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Syracuse Finds Diamond in Rough in Ferri

From Associated Press

Syracuse wasn’t able to follow Boston College to the Atlantic Coast Conference or stop the Eagles from leaving the Big East. The one thing Syracuse could do was deprive Boston College of a spot in the bowl championship series and a farewell Big East title.

“We heard it all week,” said defensive back turned running back Diamond Ferri, who scored two touchdowns on offense and one on defense to help Syracuse defeat No. 17 Boston College, 43-17, Saturday.

“If they want to leave the conference, we wanted to send them out with a loss.”

Boston College needed a victory for its first outright championship in a league that has been depleted by the defections of Miami and Virginia Tech to the ACC. The Eagles will join them next year, but Syracuse, which tried to leave before being bypassed, made sure that the Eagles left with a defeat.

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Damien Rhodes ran for a 69-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage and 107 yards in all before leaving because of a leg injury. With standout tailback Walter Reyes already injured, the Orange, 6-5 and 4-2 in the Big East, turned to Ferri, a starting safety and former high school running back.

“That’s probably one of the biggest performances I’ve ever seen in my entire life, in any sport, to be able to come in and play big-time college football like that,” Rhodes said of his understudy.

Syracuse, which needed to win to become bowl eligible, moved into a four-way tie with Boston College (8-3, 4-2), Pittsburgh and West Virginia for first place in the conference. Syracuse has a chance at a BCS game if Pittsburgh loses to South Florida on Saturday; if Pittsburgh wins it would likely earn a Fiesta Bowl matchup with Utah.

“It gives us a share of the Big East championship. We’ve had a lot of special things that have happened here, but it’s pretty special,” Syracuse Coach Paul Pasqualoni said.


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