Overlooked storyline for the game: Tempo
UMass -- while not Auburn or Oregon yet -- does play at a high tempo. For example they ran 77 plays last week against URI. We are still very thin on defense and fast-paced game could create some other issues.
Three Simple Keys
1. Stop Jonathan Hernandez. He's really their whole offense. For a smaller back, he has shown pretty good durability. BC needs to contain him, especially in the passing game. I could see him killing us on late releases out of the backfield.
2. Run after the catch. You can question our playmakers against the teams we've played so far, but you cannot question that we have more explosive talent than the Minutemen. If our guys cannot make plays in space and cannot run away from UMass, we will have problems.
3. Avoid sacks. Blame the line. Blame Rettig. Regardless, we've allowed some drive killing sacks. Can't let that happen this week.
-- UMass's last two FBS games have been decided by less than a touchdown
-- BC hasn't lost to a FCS team in the conference play era
-- BC hasn't lost three-consecutive home games in back to back years since '97-'98
The current line is BC-10.5
Even though they have made regular appearances on our schedule lately, we have only played UMass 23 times. For comparison sake, we've played Villanova 45 times.
The game to make note of is Clemson-Florida State. Both look like they are worlds better than us. It will be interesting to see if Clemson can build off of their big win or if FSU will bounce back from their tough loss. At this point, our only hope is that one of them takes us lightly.
I hope to see...
A healthy Montel Harris break off 200 yards. Montel has never been some sort of highlight real player. What he lacks in Barry Sanders moves though, he makes up for in tough runs. Those, in their own way, are also fun to watch. If he plays well, it could be a silver lining to the season.
BC is in trouble if…
UMass dinks and dunks us down the field. At some point the guys are going to have to step up and stop more drives.
There are a few fans out there hoping we lose this weekend. The thought is that a BC loss would be enough to force a coaching change. I can't do that. I am not optimistic that a change would be made and I never want to see BC lose. I think this weekend we get a reprieve from our pain. BC looks more explosive on offense and wins by more than one score.
Final Score: BC 30, Duke 20