BOSTON (AP) — Boston College’s defense did what was expected. Now, the Eagles will find out how good it really is against powerful Clemson.
Patrick Towles threw for two touchdowns, Davon Jones and Jon Hilliman each ran for one and the Eagles coasted past Buffalo, 35-3 on Saturday afternoon.
It was the second straight win for the Eagles (3-2) after they beat FCS-school Wagner last week.
The Eagles, who entered with the nation’s sixth ranked defense, dominated on the defensive side.
“I think it was a pretty clean performance,” Eagles defensive end Harold Landry said. “It was expected. We were supposed to do that. We don’t expect nothing less.”
On Friday, the Eagles host No. 5 Clemson when they return to Atlantic Coast Conference play.
Towles, a graduate transfer from Kentucky, completed 14 of 25 passes for 234 yards with no interceptions. He also ran eight times for 18 yards, but fumbled it away twice.
Hilliman had 54 yards rushing and Jones 53 for the Eagles.
“Totally dominating performance,” BC coach Steve Addazio said. “It’s great to get a win and go out and do what we needed to do.”
Buffalo (1-3) was held to just 67 total yards. Quarterback Tyree Jackson completed 9 of 21 for only 42 yards, and the Bulls had just 26 yards on the ground.
“Never had any semblance of any type of sustained drive or movement, so that’s disappointing,” Buffalo coach Lance Leipold said.
With a steady mist blowing most of the game on a cool day, the Eagles came out throwing the ball more than usual and opened a 21-3 lead at halftime.
“They definitely have some players on that team — on their defense,” Jackson said. “They have some really big athletes. Their front seven is probably one of the best in the country.”
BC redshirt freshman receiver Chris Garrison made an outstanding catch to set up the first TD, but was taken off the field on a stretcher after the play in the first quarter with a fractured left tibia.
Garrison made a leaping grab on 44-yard pass from Towles at the Bulls’ 11-yard line, but he came down awkwardly on his leg. Trainers called for a stretcher and an air cast was put on before he was taken off.
Five plays later, Jones had a 1-yard scoring run to push the Eagles ahead 7-0.
Midway into the second quarter, Towles topped an 11-play, 54-yard drive with a 7-yard TD toss to Charlie Callinan.
After a 28-yard field goal by Buffalo’s Adam Mitcheson, Towles connected on an 11-yard TD pass to receiver Michael Walker along the back line of the end zone – just over the outstretched hands of linebacker Jarrett Franklin – to make it 21-3 with 21 seconds left in the half.
Buffalo: The Bulls had just 25 total yards – two first downs – in the opening half in falling to 1-26 against Power Five schools. They are 2-7 all-time against BC.
Boston College: The Eagles did what was expected against the weaker Bulls, taking over after a slow start. Now, they return to Atlantic Coast Conference play on Friday night, hosting No. 5 Clemson in a bid to end their string of 10 straight league losses. They were 0-8 in conference play last year.
SIT BACK AND WATCH
BC’s players said they’d enjoy watching Clemson host No. 3 Louisville on Saturday night, two teams they play at home later this season.
The Eagles also host Louisville on Nov. 5.
“It’s safe to say our whole team will be watching,” Towles said. “We know (the Tigers) roll in here on Friday.”
BC had 400 total yards, rushing for 142 despite more of an emphasis on throwing.
“We had two awesome days of practice, probably the best since I’ve been here,” Towles said. “I think it really showed today.”
Buffalo: Hosts Kent State in its Mid-American Conference opener next Saturday.
Boston College: Plays Clemson in a nationally-televised game on Friday.
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