Boston College's defense had UMass quarterback Ross Comis under wraps all day at Gillette Stadium. (Winslow Townson/USA Today Sports)

Patrick Towles, Jeff Smith combine for 2 TDs, BC beats UMass for first win

Mike Petraglia
September 10, 2016 - 11:52 am

Patrick Towles threw a pair of touchdown passes to Jeff Smith in the second quarter and the defense allowed just 122 yards on the day in a 26-7 Boston College win over UMass at Gillette Stadium Saturday afternoon. It was the ninth straight win for BC over UMass, dating back to a 27-0 UMass win in 1978 at Amherst. Boston College now leads the series, 21-5, a rivalry dating back to the fist meeting 1899. Towles, the transfer from Kentucky, completed 12 of 22 passes for 191 yards for the Eagles (1-1), which bounced back from last week's heartbreaking 17-14 loss in Ireland to Georgia Tech. Towles also ran 12 times for 70 yards while Smith had five catches for 98 yards. Jon Hilliman ran 22 times for 63 yards and a 15-yard touchdown. UMass (0-2), which trailed No. 25 Florida 10-7 in the fourth quarter last week, battled hard again against a major conference program. In making a return visit to their split-home of Gillette Stadium, the Minutemen took a 7-0 lead into the second quarter on a 58-yard pass from Ross Comis to Adam Breneman in the first quarter. Comis finished 11 of 28 for 145 yards, with one touchdown and one interception. The Eagles made a change in the kicking game, as coach Steve Addazio benched Colton Lichtenberg for Mike Knoll. Early on, it made no difference as Knoll missed his first PAT. But he converted on the second Towles-to-Smith connection to make it 13-7. Knoll added third-quarter field goals of 40 and 37 yards to boost the Eagles lead to 19-7. Hilliman capped off the scoring with a 15-yard run up the middle with just over four minutes left to seal Boston College's first win since beating Northern Illinois, 17-14, on Sept. 26, 2015. Boston College returns to ACC action next week when they play at Virginia Tech while UMass returns to their other home, taking on Florida International at McGuirk Stadium in Amherst.