|Ryan to lead unbeaten Eagles at Notre Dame|
|Written by Admin|
|Sunday, 07 October 2007 13:30|
BOSTON (AP) -When Bowling Green's quarterback struggled against Boston College, his coach had a suggestion.|
Watch Matt Ryan.
Tyler Sheehan took Gregg Brandon's advice and watched the star quarterback for unbeaten BC play an intelligent, efficient game - with a few big plays thrown in - and carry his team to its best start since 1942 with a 55-24 win over the Falcons on Saturday.
``Coach actually pulled me aside and told me to watch him because he doesn't try to make things happen,'' Sheehan said. ``He just takes what they give him and he's a great quarterback and he just knows what to do with the ball, whatever play it is.''
Ryan is one of the biggest reasons the fourth-ranked Eagles have their highest ranking since Heisman Trophy winner Doug Flutie led them to the fourth spot 23 years ago. They ended that season ranked fifth with a 10-2 record.
``I don't take a look at the polls,'' first-year coach Jeff Jagodzinski said Sunday. ``If the kids do or not, I don't know. I really don't think a lot about it. It's really a fan- and media-driven thing.''
BC's 6-0 start is the fifth best in school history and its best since 1942 when it opened at 8-0 and finished at 8-2.
The Eagles begin the second half of their season next Saturday at Notre Dame, which won its first game with a 20-6 victory at UCLA.
During a conference call Sunday, Jagodzinski asked a reporter, who tossed out a question about Ryan, where he was from. Indiana, the reporter responded, home of the Fighting Irish.
``How did Brady Quinn do for you guys?'' Jagodzinski asked. ``Same thing. (Ryan's) a pretty good quarterback.''
Quinn broke 36 school records and ended up a first-round NFL draft choice.
``We've put ourselves in exactly the position that we want to be in. We've won the games we've needed to win,'' said Ryan, a fifth-year senior. ``None of those wins really matter if we can't win the next ones.''
The schedule gets tougher after Notre Dame with a game at No. 12 Virginia Tech, the first of five straight Atlantic Coast Conference games. The remaining four will be at home against Florida State, on the road at Maryland and Clemson and at home against Miami.
Jagodzinski has stressed to his players that the season involves four quarters, each lasting three games. The third quarter is about to start.
``One of the things I mentioned to the seniors is that half of their senior year of their college career, it's done,'' Jagodzinski said. ``They've got six more and they need to do something special with it. We'll find out pretty quick.''
Against Bowling Green, Ryan threw for more than 300 yards for the fourth time this season. He finished 24-for-32 for 312 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions, hardly hurting his aspirations to be a first-round draft choice next year.
Sheehan, starting just his fifth college game, was 27-for-43 for 275 yards with one touchdown and five interceptions.
``You saw a fifth-year (senior), first-round draft pick operating a highly efficient offense,'' Brandon said. ``And then you saw a first-year quarterback kind of trying to do some things outside of himself and against a pretty salty defense.''
Jamie Silva led that defense with two interceptions, returning one 65 yards for a touchdown.
BC picked off six passes Saturday. Ryan has thrown just five interceptions all season.
``We have half of the season done and it's amazing how fast it's flown by,'' Ryan said. ``As coach Jags would say: the third quarter is beginning and we have to prepare and prepare again.''
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