Boston College opens season with resounding win over UMass

AJ Dillon, the Atlantic Coast Conference's preseason player of the year, carried 20 times for 98 yards in two quarters.

Boston College wide receiver Kobay White (9) pulls in a reception over UMass cornerback Lee Moses during a first quarter drive for a touchdown.
Boston College wide receiver Kobay White (9) pulls in a reception over UMass cornerback Lee Moses during a first-quarter drive for a touchdown. –Barry Chin / Globe Staff

BOSTON (AP) — Anthony Brown threw for 279 yards and four touchdowns while playing just the opening half in his return from a season-ending knee injury, and Boston College opened its 120th season with a 55-21 victory over in-state rival Massachusetts on Saturday.

Brown, a redshirt sophomore, completed 15 of 21 passes and led the Eagles on TD drives in seven of their nine first-half possession before sitting out the second half. He missed the final two regular-season games and the bowl game last year after a non-contact, right knee injury that required surgery.

AJ Dillon, the Atlantic Coast Conference’s preseason player of the year, carried 20 times for 98 yards in two quarters. He also had a 15-yard TD catch in the opening half before he was removed.

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Marquis Young had a 3-yard TD run for UMass (1-1). Andrew Ford completed 9 of 18 passes for 78 yards with two interceptions, and backup Ross Comis went 9 of 13 for 145 yards with a TD.

Kobay White caught two TD passes; one of 34 yards and the other 27, and reserve running back Davon Jones ran for two short scores for BC.

Lukas Denis intercepted a pass on the final play of the first half, zig-zagged across the field and returned it 59 yards for a score that gave BC a 48-7 halftime edge.

The Eagles took the lead on the game’s first possession, marching 80 yards. Dillon, last season’s ACC rookie of the year, caught his first collegiate pass, going in for the score when he hit the right pylon.

After UMass tied it, BC scored on its next three possessions.

THE TAKEAWAY

UMass: Hoping for a program-building statement, the Minutemen were dominated after their quick score. The offense only moved into BC territory twice in the first half.

Boston College: The Eagles were heavy favorites, but it was an impressive showing against an FBS team, though a lower-level program. The true test won’t come until ACC play, starting with a nationally-televised game at Wake Forest on Sept. 13.

UP NEXT

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UMass: At Georgia Southern next Saturday night.

Boston College: Hosts another in-state school, facing Holy Cross next Saturday. It’s the first meeting between the Jesuit schools since 1986.