College Football

Boston College beats UConn 39-16 in wind and rain at Fenway Park

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Boston College beats UConn 39-16 in wind and rain at Fenway Park

BOSTON -- Boston College won a football game in a baseball park, and now the Eagles are going bowling.

AJ Dillon rushed for 200 yards and two touchdowns, breaking free on a 48-yard run and a 53-yard score on Saturday night as BC beat UConn 39-16 at Fenway Park to qualify for a bowl game for the fourth time in five years.

"It's an experience I'm not going to forget," said Dillon, a Connecticut native and New York Yankees fan who watched BC play Notre Dame at Fenway in 2015 and imagined himself breaking tackles in the ballpark. "[I was] saying, `Wow. It must be amazing to be on that field.' I got the opportunity to soak it all in."

Playing most of the game in a heavy rain, with groundskeepers patching the wet and worn-out turf most every timeout, the Eagles (6-5) opened a 36-point lead before UConn (3-8) scored two late touchdowns against the BC substitutes.

One week after BC quarterback Anthony Brown sustained a season-ending knee injury, Darius Wade completed 7 of 15 passes for 55 yards and a touchdown. He was helped by Dillon's running, another 107 yards rushing from Jon Hillimanand two long interception returns, including a 65-yard pick-six by Taj-Amir Torres.

"Big plays have hurt us all year long," said UConn coach Randy Edsall, whose team gained 8 net yards on five second-quarter possessions. "We're not built to go three-and-out and use less than a minute and put our defense right back out there.

HOME ON THE ROAD

Although the century-old ballpark is less than four miles from BC's Chestnut Hill campus, UConn was officially the home team. But the opportunity to use the Red Sox clubhouse didn't help the Huskies avoid falling to 0-12-2 all-time against BC.

"It was a cool experience that I'm sadly going to remember," said UConn defensive lineman Luke Carrezola, who grew up a Phillies fan. "You could tell by the Massachusetts kids that it was really cool."

GARBAGE TIME

BC led 39-3 in the fourth before Kevin Mensah ran 70 yards for a touchdown. David Pindell followed by hitting Hergy Mayala for a 43-yard score. The Huskies went for the 2-point conversion, which failed, then opted not to try an onside kick with just over 4 minutes left.

Pindell finished with a career-high 241 yards on 14-for-33 passing, with three interceptions.

SCORING

A 21-point favorite, BC trailed 3-0 after one quarter before Wade rolled to his left toward the Red Sox dugout and evaded tacklers long enough to find Chris Garrison in the end zone, right in front of where home plate would usually be.

Dillon followed with his 53-yard TD, dragging four defenders into the end zone - with another standing by and watching. He added a 20-yard TD run in the third to make it 33-3.

It was Dillon's second career 200-yard game and the first 200-yard rusher against UConn since Ray Rice did it for Rutgers in 2005.

Hilliman scored on 38- and 3-yard runs, and Lukas Denis picked off Pindell at the goal line and ran it back 56 yards to set up Dillon's second score.

THE TAKEAWAY

Boston College: Steve Addazio is the first BC coach to go to four bowl games in his first five seasons. "Your next goal is compete for a conference championship," Addazio said. "And that's something that's going to be coming."

UConn: The Huskies picked up a nice check - $1.25 million - and some players got the thrill of playing in Fenway Park.

OUT FOR THE SEASON

Boston College announced before the game that defensive back Kamrin Moore will miss the rest of the season with a shoulder injury he sustained last week against North Carolina State. Moore, a captain, had started 23 consecutive games before missing Saturday night's game against UConn.

Moore finished with 140 tackles, six for a loss, and two interceptions.

KICKING WOES

Boston College missed three extra points and had a field goal blocked.

UP NEXT

Boston College: Wraps up the regular season against Syracuse on Saturday.

UConn: Finishes its season against Cincinnati next Saturday.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield wins Heisman in landslide

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Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield wins Heisman in landslide

NEW YORK - Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield has won the Heisman Trophy, completing a climb from walk-on to one of the most accomplished players in the history of college football.

The brash, flag-planting Sooners star became the sixth Oklahoma player to the win Heisman in one of the most lopsided votes ever.

Stanford running back Bryce Love was the runner-up, making it five second-place finishes for the Cardinal since 2009. Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson, last year's Heisman winner, was third, the best finish by a returning winner since Tim Tebow of Florida in 2008.

Mayfield received 732 first-place votes and 2,398 points. Love had 75 first-place votes and 1,300 points and Jackson received 47 and 793. Mayfield received 86 percent of the total points available, the third-highest percentage in Heisman history.

Mayfield is the third player to win the Heisman heading to the College Football Playoff. The second-ranked Sooners meet No. 3 Georgia in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1. He is the first senior to win the award since Troy Smith of Ohio State in 2006 and the first Heisman winner to begin his career as a walk-on since athletic scholarships started in the 1950s.

"It's been a tough journey," Mayfield said during his acceptance speech. He choked back tears thanking his parents and Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley.

Mayfield finished fourth in the Heisman voting two years ago and third last year. He entered this season as one of the favorites and jumped toward the front of the pack when he led the Sooners to an early victory at Ohio State that he celebrated by planting the OU flag in the Horseshoe turf.

He later apologized for that, but that has been Mayfield's career. Spectacular play fueled by grudges, slights and trying to prove doubters wrong. Moxie is the word that gets attached to Mayfield often, but at times poor judgment has gotten him in trouble on and off the field.

Those were really the only marks on Mayfield's Heisman resume because his play has been consistently stellar. He has thrown for 4,340 yards and 41 touchdowns this season for the Big 12 champion Sooners (12-1). For his career, Mayfield is eighth in FBS history in yards passing (14,320) and sixth in touchdown passes (129). He is likely to leave college with the two best single-season passer ratings in major college football.

Pretty good for a scrawny kid who grew up in Austin, Texas, rooting for Oklahoma, but did not receive a scholarship offer out of high school from either the hometown Longhorns or his beloved Sooners.

At Lake Travis High School, Mayfield won a state championship at a school that regularly pumps out Division I quarterbacks. Mayfield was undersized at 6-1 and received just one offer from a Power Five program - Washington State.

Instead, he walked-on at Texas Tech and started eight games as a freshman. With a glut of quarterbacks in Lubbock, Mayfield left and had only one school in mind.

Oklahoma had Trevor Knight, coming off a Sugar Bowl victory against Alabama and with three more seasons left of eligibility, but that did not dissuade Mayfield.

Mayfield thanked former Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, who also was at the Best Buy Theater in midtown Manhattan, for welcoming a "chubby, unathletic kid into the program with open arms."

His departure from Texas Tech was contentious. At first, he lost a year of eligibility, despite not being on scholarship. Texas Tech could have given permission to waive the lost year, but did not.

Mayfield eventually got that year of eligibility back when the Big 12 tweaked its rules, but he never did let it go. For his last game against Texas Tech this season, he wore the "Traitor" T-shirt that some Red Raiders fans wore when he first returned to Lubbock with Oklahoma.

Later in the year, it was Kansas - or all teams - that tried to get the volatile Mayfield off his game. Jayhawks captains refused to shake his hand during the pregame coin flip. They trash-talked Mayfield and even took a late hit at him. He responded by screaming profanities and making a lewd gesture that television cameras caught. That led to a public apology from Mayfield, his third this year.

The first came after he was arrested in Fayetteville, Arkansas, in February for public intoxication, disorderly conduct and fleeing. He pleaded guilty to three misdemeanors and paid a $300 fine. The second came after that flag planting in Columbus, Ohio, after the Sooners beat the Buckeyes. Mayfield said before that early season showdown that the Buckeyes had irked him by celebrating on the Sooners' field in 2016.

Mayfield joins Jason White and Sam Bradford as Oklahoma quarterbacks who won the award since 2003. Only Notre Dame, Ohio State and USC have won more Heisman trophies with seven each.

Mayfield is an old-school winner. For decades, seniors dominated the Heisman, but over the last 10 years four juniors, four sophomores and two redshirt freshmen have won the Heisman. By comparison Mayfield has been around forever, that first season at Texas Tech coming in 2013. He has played 47 college games. Only USC's Carson Palmer with 50 had played more when he won his Heisman in 2002.

There is at least one more game to play for Mayfield, and maybe two. He and the Sooners will go into the playoff as a slight underdog against Georgia, which seems only appropriate for a player who has built his career on exceeding expectations.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

BC earns berth in Pinstripe Bowl vs. Iowa

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BC earns berth in Pinstripe Bowl vs. Iowa

Boston College (7-5, ACC) vs. Iowa (7-5, Big Ten), Dec. 27, 5:15 p.m. EST (ESPN).

LOCATION: New York

TOP PLAYERS

Boston College: RB AJ Dillon rushed for 1,432 yards, the second-highest total by any freshman in ACC history, and was named the conference rookie of the year. He twice topped the 200-yard rushing mark in a game this season, only the second freshman in ACC history to do so.

Iowa: RB Akrum Wadley rushed for 1,021 yards and nine TDs and caught 26 passes for 329 yards and three TDs.

NOTABLE

Boston College: The Eagles closed the season with five wins in their final six games.

Iowa: The Hawkeyes’ signature victory this season was 55-24 over Ohio State, which beat Wisconsin for the Big Ten title. Iowa also lost to Penn State on a last-second touchdown.

LAST TIME

This is the first meeting between the schools.

BOWL HISTORY

Boston College: It’s the 26th bowl appearance in school history for BC and the 16th bowl in the last 19 years for the Eagles. It will be BC’s second appearance in the Pinstripe Bowl. They lost 31-30 in overtime to Penn State in 2014.

Iowa: The Hawkeyes have played in a bowl game in all but two seasons since 2001.