His legs churning, Chase Rettig was inches from the goal line.
With two minutes and 17 seconds on the clock, the Boston College quarterback made a determined rush on his fourth-and-1 keeper, the Eagles trying to cut into an 11-point deficit against fleet-footed Miami at Alumni Stadium.
His bid, though valiant, and later reviewed by the officials, was stopped short.
“I should have taken more time, realizing that it was fourth down,” acknowledged Rettig. “I really think that we scored on the play before [a 5-yard laser to Spiffy Evans at the goal line].”
One final opportunity, in a sun-baked opener in which the Rettig-led offense piled up 542 yards, failed to convert in the red zone.
The sturdy 6-foot-3-inch, 215-pound junior and the BC offense unveiled more than a few new promising wrinkles under the direction of new coordinator Doug Martin, but the Eagles ultimately left too many points on the field in a 41-32 Atlantic Coast Conference loss.
“This was definitely one we should have had,” said Rettig, who threw up career bests in completions (32), attempts (51), and yards (441) while connecting for a pair of touchdowns — 15 yards to linebacker turned promising fullback Jake Sinkovec for a 14-0 first-quarter cushion, and 17 yards down the left sideline to tailback Tahj Kimble in the fourth quarter, cutting the margin to 41-30.
But poor execution, ultimately, proved to be the Eagles’ undoing:
■ In the waning seconds of the first quarter, Rettig’s second-and-3 dart across the middle was taken back 41 yards for a pick-six by Hurricanes linebacker Denzel Perryman for a 14-14 game. “I never saw him,” said Rettig.
■ On the first series of the second quarter, Rettig fumbled a third-and-4 snap at the Miami 6. The Eagles were forced to settle for the first of three field goals from Nate Freese.
■ On the first series of the third quarter, Andre Williams was stymied on third and 1 from the Miami 13. The junior later fumbled at the BC 8, leading to a Hurricanes field goal, and a 34-25 lead.
“We played for  yards of offense,” said Rettig. “I thought we out-tempoed them. We were calling plays before they were even set. I thought the offense played good.
“The only thing I can go back to is the third and 1s. We didn’t convert a couple of third and 1s and just not scoring touchdowns when we were in the red zone. We had a couple of good looks, a couple of good plays — we’ve just got to finish them.”
Coach Frank Spaziani said his Eagles “played sloppy . . . we made some mistakes.”
Rettig lauded the work of his offensive line, led by mammoth senior tackles Emmett Cleary and John Wetzel. He also saluted the play of junior wide receiver Alex Amidon (10 catches, 149 yards), who delivered a breakout performance.
There was plenty of promise.
“I can’t remember the last time we scored 32 points,” said Amidon. That was last September, a 45-17 win over UMass.
But poor execution paved the way for too many points for Miami. And the Eagles will need to be better next week against Maine.
Craig Larson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.