Graduate senior Patrick Towles hit converted quarterback Jeff Smith with two long touchdown passes in the second quarter and Boston College broke a nine-game losing streak with a 26-7 victory over Massachusetts at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., on Saturday.
Towles, a transfer from Kentucky, hit Smith with scores of 46 and 36 yards to erase a 7-0 deficit and the BC defense took over from there as the Eagles notched their first victory since last Sept. 26.
The tenacious Eagles (1-1) sacked Ross Comis eight times, which led to a UMass rushing net of minus-23 yards — and to a total of just 122 yards of offense.
Mike Knoll, taking over the kicking job because of a quad injury to Colton Lichtenberg, missed the extra point after the first Smith touchdown but nailed field goals of 40 and 37 yards 1:46 apart late in the third quarter.
Jon Hilliman, who ran for 102 yards including a 73-yard touchdown romp, in BC’s painful opening loss to Georgia Tech in Dublin, Ireland last week, capped the scoring with a 15-yard touchdown run and gained 54 yards on 22 carries.
The Minutemen (0-2) took a 7-0 first-quarter lead on a 58-yard touchdown pass from Comis to Adam Breneman.
Towles finished 12 of 22 for 191 yards and an interception and also ran for 66 yards on 12 tries — while Comis was 11 of 28 for 145 yards and an interception.
BC, winning the latest Battle of the Bay State, has won its last nine games against its in-state opponent, which hasn’t won in the series since 1978.