Facing high expectations to start the season, the Eagles hit the ground running against UMass, crushing the Minutemen 55-21 Saturday afternoon. For the first time in over twenty years, BC racked up over 270 yards on the ground and 320 yards through the air. Head Coach Steve Addazio is now 5-1 in season openers on the Heights.
While all eyes were on ACC Preseason Player of the Year AJ Dillon, quarterback Anthony Brown stole the show. In his first start since returning from right anterior cruciate ligament surgery, Brown threw for a career-high four touchdowns with 287 total yards.
After the game, Addazio was quick to praise his sophomore signal caller.
“Anthony Brown came out and played an outstanding game after coming back from an injury, probably one of the best performances that's been played around here in a long time,” said Addazio. “It was a hell of a game, and he did a great job.”
BC received the opening kickoff, immediately driving 80 yards down the field for a touchdown. Pounding the Minutemen defensive line with run after run, the Eagles capped the drive off with a quick outlet pass to Dillon, who dove for the pylon to start his sophomore campaign off with a bang.
The Heisman candidate only played in the first half, ending the game with 128 total yards and a single score. Even so, the BC rushing attack did not stop when Dillon departed. Contributions from fellow running backs Travis Levy and Davon Jones, in addition to veteran wide receiver Jeff Smith, gave the Eagles a final tally of 272 yards on the ground.
However, after the Minutemen’s opening drive stalled, they regained composure and drove down the field to tie the game 7-7 midway through the first quarter. Running back Marquis Young found the end zone from three yards out to keep the Minutemen in striking distance.
Nonetheless, that would be the closest UMass would get to the their in-state rivals. The next 40 minutes saw BC score 48 straight points. Receiving touchdowns from Kobay White, short rushing scores from Davon Jones, and an exhilarating pick-6 from Lukas Denis to end the first half propelled the Eagles to their first victory of the season.
All in all, excitement permeated Alumni Stadium when the final whistle blew.
“Our goal for our kids was to play at the highest level, give all the effort they had, be physical, be fast, be relentless, and play together, and I thought that we certainly saw that,” said Addazio of his team’s opening performance.
BC will now turn the page to Holy Cross, who lost to Colgate in their season opener. The Eagles are 48-31-3 all-time versus the Crusaders. They will meet for the 83rd time next Saturday at 1 p.m. in Chestnut Hill.
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