It's fitting that Boston College's bizarre month would end with an improbable finish that made a star out of a walk-on kicker.
Steve Aponavicius kicked a career-best 37-yard field goal on the final play and the 23rd-ranked Eagles beat Navy, 25-24, Saturday at Charlotte, N.C., in the Meineke Bowl to extend the nation's current longest bowl winning streak to seven.
"What they had to overcome and all the adversity," interim Coach Frank Spaziani said. "No one asked about Navy. Everyone was talking about the situation."
"The situation" was former coach Tom O'Brien's stunning decision three weeks ago to leave Boston College for Atlantic Coast Conference rival North Carolina State. Green Bay offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski was hired to replace him, but won't join the team until the Packers' season is over.
Boston College (10-3) was out of timeouts and Navy (9-4) had to only run out the last two minutes. But Reggie Campbell fumbled a pitch from quarterback Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada and Jolonn Dunbar recovered at the Navy 40 with 1:43 left.
Matt Ryan completed a 16-yard pass to tight end Ryan Purvis and Aponavicius, who played soccer -- not football -- in high school and replaced the suspended Ryan Ohliger in midseason, calmly kicked the game winner, setting off a wild celebration.
Ryan completed 20 of 29 passes for 242 yards and a touchdown and scored once.
Boston College got to within 24-22 on Ryan's 25-yard touchdown pass to Purvis with 7:36 left. Forced to go for a two-point conversion because of Aponavicius' missed point-after try in the first quarter, Tony Gonzalez dropped Ryan's pass in the back of the end zone.
But Campbell's fumble gave the Eagles -- and Aponavicius -- another chance.
"I'm kind of beating myself up," Campbell said. "I dropped the ball. It was a good pitch. Even if it was high, my only job is to catch the pitch and go with it."
McCoy had been cleared to play only a week earlier after suffering a severely pinched nerve in his neck in each of Texas' last two games -- both losses. He also ran eight yards on fourth down to set up a two-yard touchdown run by Selvin Young early in the fourth quarter that proved to be the game winner.
Vince Young left Texas a year early after leading the Longhorns to the national title last season, and McCoy became the starter.
"He stepped in a position replacing one of the best quarterbacks to ever play," Texas Coach Mack Brown said. "To do that, and fight back and regain his confidence tonight shows just how tough Colt is."
McCoy was 26 for 40 for 308 yards. His 29 touchdown passes tied the NCAA freshman record set by Nevada's David Neill in 1998.
Texas (10-3), the 2005 national champion, won at least 10 games for the sixth consecutive season and avoided its first three-game losing streak since 1999. The Longhorns were heavy favorites in front of an Alamo Bowl record crowd of 65,875.
Drew Tate passed for 274 yards and two touchdowns, both to Andy Brodell, for the Hawkeyes (6-7), who lost six of their last seven games.
Georgia 31, No. 14 Virginia Tech 24 -- Tony Taylor set up two fourth-quarter touchdowns with interceptions and the Bulldogs rallied from an 18-point deficit to upset the Hokies in the Chick-fil-A Bowl at Atlanta.
Georgia finished an up-and-down season with three consecutive victories over ranked teams, a first for the program. The Bulldogs (9-4) salvaged an otherwise disappointing regular season with wins over No. 5 Auburn and No. 16 Georgia Tech.
Taylor's interceptions gave the senior linebacker seven this season and helped Georgia rally after Virginia Tech (10-3) led, 21-3, at halftime.
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The B.C. era
Boston College might not be playing in the biggest bowl games, but the Eagles won their seventh in a row, the nation's longest streak:
*--* Year Bowl Result 2006 Meineke defeated Navy, 25-24 2005 MPC Computers defeated Boise State, 27-21 2004 Continental Tire defeated North Carolina, 37-24 2003 San Francisco defeated Colorado State, 35-21 2002 Motor City defeated Toledo, 51-25 2001 Music City defeated Georgia, 20-16 2000 Aloha Classic defeated Arizona State, 31-17