Lorne Goree, Andre Monroe, Rolandan Finch

Boston College running back Rolandan Finch, left, dashes between Maryland linebacker Lorne Goree, center, and defensive lineman Andrew Monroe, rushing for 18 yards to score the first touchdown of the game. Finch ran for 243 yards and two touchdowns overall. (Baltimore Sun photo by Karl Merton Ferron / October 29, 2011)

It's hard to know which would have been the more long-shot prediction at the beginning of the football season: that it would snow in October or that Maryland would be dismantled at home by a 1-6 Boston College team looking for its first conference victory.

Both happened at Byrd Stadium on Saturday -- intermittent snow flurries two days before Halloween and a 28-17 beatdown of a Maryland team that has lost four games in a row and six of seven in coach Randy Edsall's first season and might have hit its low point.

Maryland (2-6, 1-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) would need to win all four of its remaining games -- against Virginia, Notre Dame, Wake Forest and North Carolina State -- to become bowl-eligible for the second straight year.

"We don't have any margin of error anymore," Edsall said.

The game was witnessed by an announced crowd of 29,945 that appeared to be about one-third that size. It's uncertain which was more unpleasant for the fans: the chilling snow and rain or the uneven play of a team that believed it could win the Atlantic Division after opening the season with a home win over Miami before a capacity crowd.

That Sept. 5 win -- played when the weather was warm and humid and the Terps were unveiling a new coach and new uniforms -- feels like a long time ago.

With Saturday's loss, Maryland slipped into a tie for last place with Boston College (2-6, 1-4).

It was a fumble-filled slopfest of a game marked by a slippery field, wide receiver drops and missed field goals. There were a combined six turnovers (Boston College committed four, Maryland two). Boston College fumbled four times, losing three.

The kickers made one of five field-goal tries. Maryland's woes were encapsulated when Nick Ferrara thudded a 27-yard attempt off the left upright to end a 10-play, third quarter drive with the Terps trailing 21-3.

It's "very disheartening," said quarterback Danny O'Brien, who replaced starter C.J. Brown in the second quarter. "We had very high expectations for this year. We can't get caught looking back on what could have been."

Boston College, which hadn't scored more than 19 points in a conference game this season, rushed for 372 yards. Sophomore running back Rolandan Finch, who entered averaging 44.3 yards, had 39 carries for 243 yards -- the best rushing game in the conference this season -- and two touchdowns. The Eagles relied on him because their best all-time rusher, Montel Harris, is out for the season with an injury.

"Ultimately, I am the guy responsible," Edsall said. "I'm not going to get frustrated because I don't want those young men to be frustrated."

Neither team could pass effectively, owing partly to the sloppy conditions. Brown started at quarterback for Maryland for the third game in a row but was replaced by O'Brien with the Terps trailing 21-3 in the second quarter. Brown was 2-for-6 for 14 yards and one interception and had 17 rushing yards.

O'Brien (14-for-35 for 165 yards, one touchdown, one interception) could not move the ball on his first series and was intercepted on the next possession.

Edsall said Maryland had planned to play both quarterbacks.

"I knew I was going to play in the second quarter," O'Brien said.

Maryland's quarterbacks were victimized by a handful of drops by receivers. Wide receiver Marcus Leak had a few drops, and running backs Justus Pickett and Davin Meggett each dropped one pass.

"I thought that we had too many drops," Edsall said.

With 6:39 left, Maryland pulled to 21-10 on a 55-yard scoring pass from O'Brien to Adrian Coxson (City), the receiver's first career Maryland score.