Eagles take down Maine 24-3 in season opener

BOSTON (AP) — Tyler Rouse rushed for 81 yards scored a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns, allowing Boston College to pull away from Maine 24-3 in the season opener for both teams on Saturday.

It was BC’s third straight opening-day victory.

A sophomore making his first varsity start, Darius Wade added 155 yards passing and a touchdown, his first touchdown pass as an Eagle

[callout2]”It was frustrating at times and jubilant at times,” said Boston College coach Steve Addazio. “At times we played really well, but at times we played really sloppy. We made a lot of elementary mistakes.”[/callout2]

The Eagles defense dominated Maine, holding the Black Bears to just 91 yards of total offense, including seven yards rushing. In the first half, Maine gained one yard on the ground.

Maine led 3-0 after the first quarter on a 39-yard field goal by Sean Decloux with 11:05 left. After the Black Bears gained 54 yards on the opening drive, the Eagles held them to minus-19 on their next four possessions in the first half.

“We’re older and more experienced on defense,” Addazio said. “It had to carry us early on.”

Boston College took the lead with 26 seconds left in the first half on an 11-yard pass from Wade to Swigert. Wade rolled out to the left and Swigert made the diving catch. The touchdown came on the Eagles’ third trip inside the Maine 20.

A senior, Swigert was playing his first game since suffering a season-ending knee injury in November of 2012 against Notre Dame. After the injury, he underwent 11 knee surgeries. He finished the game with two catches for 16 yards. It was the ninth touchdown catch of his career.

“I was really happy for Bobby after making that catch,” Addazio said. “You can’t feel better enough (if that’s the right grammar) for him.”

“When you’re away from the game, you truly miss it,” Swigert said.

Alex Howell added a 31-yard field goal on a drive in which BC moved the ball to the Black Bears’ 4, but Maine’s Trevor Bates sacked Wade at the 12 after he slipped.

“We had a wristband issue,” Addazio said. “The play that got called was not the play that was supposed to be called.”

After a scoreless third quarter, Rouse expanded the Eagles lead with a 21-yard touchdown run with 13:51 left in the fourth. The drive started at the BC 10 with 2:42 remaining in the third. Wade connected with Rouse for a 14-yard gain, moving the ball to the BC 30. On back-to-back plays, Thad Smith and Wade gained 18 and 17 yards to the Maine 21 before Rouse scored.

Rouse added his second touchdown on a 45-yard gain with 11:42 left. The Eagles drive was set up by freshman defensive back William Harris, who intercepted Maine quarterback Dan Collins on a Gabriel McClary tipped ball.

Collins completed just 12 of his 29 passes for 84 yards. The Black Bears offense did not cross the 50-yard line after its first possession.

The Boston College defense sacked Collins five time’s total. Matt Milano finished with two and Medhi Abdesmad added 1.5. Abdesmad was making his first appearance since a season-ending knee injury in 2014. His 1.5 sacks were his first since the 2013 season against Florida State and finished the game with four tackles, 2.5 for a loss.

This was BC’s fifth straight win over Maine.

The Eagles host Howard University on September 12. Maine next visits Tulane on September 19.