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New rule comes into play just in time for NU

Updated: November 5, 2011 2:17PM

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — The NCAA has a new rule this season that takes 10 seconds off the clock if a team commits a penalty that stops the clock in a half’s final minute.

The rule change couldn’t have come at a better time for Northwestern.

With Boston College trailing by a touchdown and driving from the Wildcats’ 19-yard line with 14 seconds to play in the fourth quarter, the Eagles were called for a false start. NU opted to take the five-yard penalty on Boston College and the time off the clock.

It was the right call as Wildcats defensive end Vince Browne swarmed Eagles quarterback Chase Rettig to end the game. After the hit, it appeared that Rettig suffered a shoulder injury. It was severe enough that he remained on the ground and was treated by trainers during postgame handshakes.

“I’m the biggest fan of the new time run-off rule,” Wildcats coach Pat Fitzgerald said. “I thought it was absolutely awesome. It was sweet. We learned a valuable lesson there because we had a defense called and now we had to communicate again from 14 [seconds] to a whole other dynamic to only four seconds left. And [Browne] did a great job getting his eyes around.”

The good, the bad

Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly had 18 tackles to extend his streak of games with double-digit tackles to 23. It’s the longest active tackle streak among Football Bowl Subdivision teams.

But the Wildcats’ backs ran all over the Eagles for 227 yards. It was the first time since Oct. 10, 2009, against Virginia Tech that the Eagles’ defense allowed more than 200 yards rushing.

Great, Scott

Sophomore starting defensive end Tyler Scott earned the respect of Fitzgerald and his NU teammates, recording four tackles and a sack.

“It starts with Tyler’s attitude,” Fitzgerald said. “He’s low maintenance, and he’s the first to show and the last to go.”

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