Boston College gets past Arizona St. in Aloha Bowl

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 26, 2000

The Associated Press

HONOLULU – If Tom O’Brien decides to leave Boston College, the Eagles made sure he went out in style.

Tuesday, December 26, 2000

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HONOLULU – If Tom O’Brien decides to leave Boston College, the Eagles made sure he went out in style.

Tim Hasselbeck threw two long second-half touchdown passes and Cedric Washington scored on an 11-yard run as Boston College beat Arizona State 31-17 on Monday in the Aloha Bowl.

Rumors were swirling around the Eagles this week that O’Brien would leave the team to take over for the retired George Welsh at Virginia.

But O’Brien didn’t sound like a coach on the run.

”There is a future for this program, a great future,” he said.

When asked if there was a future for him at Boston College, O’Brien succinctly answered, ”Yes, absolutely.”

The Eagles got two quick touchdowns in the third period and added another in the next quarter to put away Arizona State, which was trying to win the final game for fired coach Bruce Snyder.

Hasselbeck threw scoring passes of 58 yards to Dedrick Dewalt and 40 yards to Ryan Read within a two-minute span and Washington, carrying the rushing load for suspended Willie Green, rushed for 109 yards and two touchdowns.

”We didn’t do anything different,” Hasselbeck said of BC’s game plan. ”Cedric’s a great running back and we have a great offensive line.”

For good measure, Mike Sutphin added a career-best 50-yard field goal.

Hasselbeck did not post impressive numbers, going only 9-of-21 with one interception. But he finished with 209 yards.

For the Sun Devils (6-6), it marked the end of Snyder’s term. He was fired late in the season and will be replaced by former Boise State coach Dirk Koetter.

”I just got through speaking to the players,” Snyder said. ”This is really an important team to me, a real special team. It’s not one of those teams that wins every game.

”They’re really loyal and together and I wish them well for their future.”

Arizona State has hampered by a shoulder injury to quarterback Jeff Krohn in the second quarter and two deep first half drives which failed to result in any points. One ended on an interception in the end zone and the other a fumble at the 1.

All told, ASU committed five turnovers.

”We knew it was going to be a tough, physical game,” Snyder said. ”The score had to be close for us to win. We needed to stay healthy and we didn’t do that. We needed to capitalize on a couple of opportunities and we didn’t that.”

Tom Pace, who rushed for 130 yards on 25 carries, got ASU’s first TD on a 14-yard run and, with the game decided, Matt Cooper connected from 31 yards out with Ryan Dennard with 51 seconds left.

The Sun Devils had better game numbers – 81 plays to 56 and 35:33 to 24:27 in time of possession – but they were also allowed five sacks – three by defensive tackle Tom Martin – three other tackles for losses.

”We tried to make this a four-quarter game because we knew we couldn’t match up with their speed,” O’Brien said. ”We knew their speed would have to come back to us in the fourth quarter.

”It came back a little sooner than that. We knew we would get stronger as the game went on and we were able to do that.”

That’s when Hasselbeck hit for his two scores and Washington ran in his second TD.

For Arizona State, the coaching situation made for a difficult week.

”It was a real distraction having to be loyal to this coaching staff knowing another coaching staff was coming in,” ASU center Scott Peters said. ”It wasn’t a distraction for me, but I think it was for some of the guys.”