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."
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.
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.
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.
Boston College missed three extra points and had a field goal blocked.
Boston College: Wraps up the regular season against Syracuse on Saturday.
UConn: Finishes its season against Cincinnati next Saturday.