College Football

Rivers: 'We can't ease into games'

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Rivers: 'We can't ease into games'

NEW ORLEANS With the games coming fast and furiously for the Boston Celtics, they would love to develop a rhythm, a pattern of sorts to their play.

The Celtics have done just that.

But they're not the least bit happy about it, especially when that pattern consists of slow starts that have been major factors in both of their losses.

They're hoping to end that trend - and their two game losing streak to start the season - tonight against the New Orleans Hornets. To do so will likely involve having a better beginning than they have had in their first two games.

In the loss at New York on Sunday, the Celtics got down by as many as 17 points before their rally came up short. They followed that up with another early deficit to the Miami Heat on Tuesday, and once again they made it a game in the second half but could not get over the hump.

Rivers believes more than anything else, his team's attitude at the start of games must change.

"We can't ease into games," he said. "We just can't. It's like we get down, we get upset and then we fight back. That's how, you get down. It's two games, so it'll get better."

With so many new faces, there is a sense that the Celtics are trying to figure out what type of team they are.

Fortunately for the Celtics, tonight's game against the Hornets will be their first test against a team that, in many ways, is searching for an identity as well.

The Hornets (1-0) won their season opener, 85-84, over Phoenix. But it was a game that, based on their play, rarely results in a victory.

Consider all this:

The Hornets shot 2-for-16 (12.5 percent) on 3s.

They were 13-for-21 from the free throw line (61.9 percent) They shot 2-for-16 on 3s

They had more turnovers (13) than assists (10).

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only once in the last eight seasons has a team performed that poorly and emerged victorious (Golden State vs. Utah in November, 2010).

So while the Celtics are certainly disappointed in their start to the season, there remains a strong sense of optimism that the issues they can get on track tonight and head into the home opener on Friday against Detroit, with a bit of momentum and even more important, that first win of the season.

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 - AJ Dillon rushed for 200 yards and two touchdowns, breaking free on a 48-yard run and a 53-yard score on Saturday night to lead Boston College to a 39-16 victory over UConn on the wet and worn-out turf at Fenway Park.

Playing most of the game in a heavy rain, with groundskeepers patching the field most every timeout, the Eagles (6-5) qualified for a bowl game for the fourth time in five seasons. UConn (3-8) showed little offense until two late touchdowns cut into a 36-point deficit.

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 Hilliman and two long interception returns, including a 65-yard pick-six by Taj-Amir Torres.

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

BC led 39-3 in the fourth before Kevin Mensah ran 70 yards for a touchdown. Pindell followed by hitting Hergy Mayala for 43 yards with 4:15 left to make it 39-16.

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

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.

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 dragged four defenders into the end zone - with another standing by and watching - on his 53-yard score in the second quarter, then added a 20-yard TD run in the third to make it 33-3. It was his second career 200-yard game and the first 200-yard rusher against UConn since Ray Rice did it for Rutgers in 2005.

THE TAKEAWAY

Boston College: The Eagles are bowl-eligible for the fourth time in coach Steve Addazio's five seasons in Chestnut Hill. He's the first BC coach to go to five bowl games in his first five seasons.

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.

UMass wins a game on the road, hands BYU its 9th loss, 16-10

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UMass wins a game on the road, hands BYU its 9th loss, 16-10

PROVO, Utah - Andrew Ford fired a 40-yard touchdown pass to Andy Isabella and Logan Laurent kicked three field goals to stake UMass to a 16-0 lead at BYU and the Minutemen held on to post a 16-10 victory Saturday - earning a fourth win for the first time as an FBS school.

UMass (4-7) started playing FBS football in 2012 and never won more than three games nor won a road game against a team outside of the Mid-American Conference.

The victory ended both streaks.

The loss gives BYU nine losses for the third time in school history, matching 1949 and 1955. The Cougars have one game remaining next week in Honolulu against Hawaii with the prospect of their first 10-loss season looming.

Rhett Almond got BYU on the board with a 40-yard field goal with 1:35 left in the third quarter and Joe Critchlow hit Matt Bushman with a 6-yard TD pass in the final minute.

Critchlow was 21 of 45 passing for 257 yards, but the Cougars managed just 42 net rushing yards.