COLLEGE PARK, Maryland -- Boston College's defense came to the rescue against Maryland.
The defense scored two touchdowns and Andre Callender rushed for 121 yards on 17 carries, offsetting four turnovers and a blocked punt, as the 23rd-ranked Eagles recorded a 31-16 Atlantic Coast Conference victory over the Terrapins.
Behind a stout defense, Boston College (8-3, 5-3 ACC Atlantic) was fortunate to overcome several mistakes and spoil Maryland's Senior Day.
The Eagles fumbled twice inside the Maryland 20, including once at the 1. They also failed to score late in the first half from the 8, had a punt blocked deep in their own territory and fumbled a punt at their own 20.
But the Eagle defense came up big all day.
After BC went 79 yards on eight plays in its opening drive, capped by a five-yard run by Callender for a 7-0 lead, Maryland (5-5, 3-4 Atlantic) was on the verge of tying the game after the blocked punt.
But linebacker Jolonn Dunbar picked up a fumble by Maryland quarterback Sam Hollenbach and ran 94 yards - the longest defensive return in school history - for a 14-0 edge just 10 minutes in.
After Matt Ryan was intercepted in the second quarter near midfield, safety Jamie Silva thwarted another drive by picking off Hollenbach at the 1.
The defense limited the Terps to 26 yards and one first down in the third quarter and, after BC went ahead, 24-16, linebacker Ray Henderson picked off his ninth career pass and raced 35 yards untouched for a 31-16 advantage.
After the Eagle offense squandered numerous opportunities, they scored on consecutive possessions in the fourth quarter to take control. They went 59 yards on nine plays and took a 21-10 lead on a two-yard run by L.V. Whitworth. A 45-yard completion from Matt Ryan to Will Blackmon set up a 27-yard field goal by Ryan Ohliger for a 24-16 edge.
Ryan completed 16-of-25 passes for 230 yards and an interception, L.V. Whitworth added 88 yards on 19 carries and 65 more on three receptions.
Hollenbach, who passed for a career-high 374 yards and three touchdowns last week in a 33-30 victory over North Carolina, went 25-for-45 for 230 yards.
Lance Ball gained 133 yards on 28 rushes, including a 65-yard run in the fourth quarter that set a touchdown that brought the Terps within 21-16. Ball scored in the second quarter from six yards out after Maryland took over at the BC 20 after a fumbled punt.
With the loss, Maryland will have to beat North Carolina State on the road next week to become bowl eligible.