FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Patrick Towles threw back-to-back touchdown passes to Jeff Smith, and Mike Knoll connected on a pair of field goals to help Boston College beat Massachusetts 26-7 on Saturday.
Towles completed 12 of 22 passes for 191 yards for the Eagles (1-1) and also ran 12 times for 66 yards. Smith had five catches for 98 yards, and Jon Hilliman ran 22 times for 54 yards and a 15-yard touchdown.
BC was trailing 7-0 late in the second quarter when Towles, taking over at the UMass 46-yard line, found Smith on the first play. After the Minutemen fumbled at their own 36, Towles again hit Smith on the first play to give the Eagles the lead for good.
Knoll, who missed the first point after attempt, converted this time to make it 13-7. A week after Eagles kicker Colton Lichtenberg missed two short field goals in a 17-14 loss to Georgia Tech, Knoll added third-quarter field goals of 40 and 37 yards.
UMass (0-2) put a scare into No. 25 Florida last week, trailing just 10-7 into the fourth quarter. Returning to their sometime home at Gillette Stadium, the Minutemen took a 7-0 lead on a 58-yard pass from Ross Comis to Adam Breneman late in the first quarter.
Comis went 11 of 28 for 145 yards, with one touchdown and one interception.
A week after traveling to Ireland and losing to the Yellow Jackets thanks to a pair of missed, short field goals, the Eagles made their shortest road trip — down the road to the home of the New England Patriots. The stadium used by the Minutemen for half of their home games this season is actually closer to Boston College’s Chestnut Hill campus than UMass’ in Amherst.
The bright gold of the Eagles fans outnumbered the UMass fans in the sparse crowd. They were greeted by a giant banner of a screaming Tom Brady, which was hung by the Patriots to coincide with the four-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback’s suspension in the scandal that has come to be known as “Deflategate.”
BC: In light of BC’s struggles to win in the conference, finishing off the Minutemen gives them an FBS win before heading into the ACC opener against Virginia Tech next week.
UMASS: After staying close against No. 25 Florida, the Minutemen put another scare into a major college team. But Mark Whipple’s independent team needs to finish off a victory if it is going to attract an invitation from a conference.
BC: Plays at Virginia Tech on Saturday.
UMASS: Hosts Florida International on Saturday.
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