When I was a student in the mid-90s BC didn’t play DIAA teams. New bowl eligibility rules and the expanded season opened the door for these opponents to get back on the schedule. I was never in favor, but now accept it as a fact of life. Even the big boys soften things up with DIAA fodder. USC and Notre Dame seem to be the lone marquee holdouts. As much as I’d love to see BC go exclusively DIA, there is no sense in taking on the extra challenge if all the other ACC teams have at least one game against a lower-level team. And to Gene’s credit, if you we’re going to play a Playoff Subdivision Team (what an awkward designation), you might as well play the one in your backyard. Thanks to Appalachia State, our team and fans are not taking this game lightly.
Theme that won’t be discussed on
Three simple keys
1. Blitz pick up. As UMass74 explained, the Minutemen will come after the Ryan. Against Georgia Tech Callender and the offensive line did a good job but were whistled for plenty of holding calls. The effort on Saturday needs to be cleaner.
2. Protect the ball. A fumble and two picks made the Army game much more interesting than it needed to be. Let's avoid that this week.
3. Get to Coen. We have proven we can stop the run. Yet, we still haven’t put much pressure on any of the opposing QBs. If this team wants to win a championship it needs to start rattling some of these passers.
-- The last three DIAA games BC has played have not had betting lines
-- BC has won 14 straight at home
-- BC is 17-5 all time vs UMass
There is no line on the game
What would be a pleasant surprise? After last week’s struggles and other teams losing to DIAA teams, I would be surprised with a one-sided game. I think UMass will make it interesting for a half.
What would be a letdown? Not getting Chris Crane out there for more than one drive. I expected Crane to see more action last week. If he doesn’t play more this week, he might not see significant time all year.
What would be a shocker? A loss. I don’t even want to think about it.
UMass is a good team and could beat some DIA foes. I don’t think it will be us. Their strengths (running on offense, blitzing on defense) play too much into our strengths. I think they will play hard and move the ball a little, but ultimately BC will pull away.
Final score: BC 38, Umass 13