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Boston College (0-0) vs. Massachusetts (0-0)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Saturday, August 30, 3 p.m. (ET).

FACTS & STATS: Site: Gillette Stadium (68.756) -- Foxboro, Massachusetts. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: BC 0-0, UMass 0-0. Away Record: BC 0-0, UMass 0-0. Neutral Record: BC 0-0, UMass 0-0. Conference Record: BC 0-0, UMass 0-0. Series Record: Boston College leads, 19-5.

GAME NOTES: The battle for New England takes place on Saturday afternoon, as the Massachusetts Minutemen take on the Boston College Eagles at Gillette Stadium.

The first game for both teams this season, the Eagles have dominated the series from the outset, winning 19 of the 24 all-time meetings, including the last seven dating back to 1979. Most recently, Boston College handled UMass, 45-17, in Chestnut Hill back in 2011.

Both teams come into the season with tempered expectations. UMass is entering its next-to-last season in the Mid-American Conference after posting just two wins in as many years, while Boston College tries to avoid being a middle-of- the-pack finisher in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The Minutemen had just one win last season, defeating Miami-Ohio on Oct. 12, 17-10, before losing their final six games. For the season, UMass averaged just 11.7 points per game, on only 281.6 yards per contest, while opponents scored at a clip of 33 points and gained over 433 yards per game.

Wide receiver Tajae Sharpe is the top returning player on the offensive side for UMass after leading the team last year with 61 catches for 680 yards and four touchdowns. The junior from Piscataway, New Jersey, enters the 2014 campaign with 81 career receptions for 886 yards. He is one of the lone bright spots for the offensively-challenged squad.

Defensively, the Minutemen are shifting to a 3-4 set. Linebacker Stanley Andre had a career season in 2013, leading the Minutemen in tackles 12 times. Cornerback Randall Jette should also help, after the two-year starter posted 45 tackles in 2013 with 11 pass break-ups, two forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and one interception.

Boston College begins its post-Andre Williams era with a running back-by- committee approach for at least the first game of the season. Williams, a Heisman finalist last season, ran for 2,177 yards and 18 touchdowns.

The Eagles averaged 367 yards per game last season, scoring an average in excess of 27 points per game.

The bad news is the Eagles will have to replace Williams' production, but the good news is that the offensive line that paved the way returns in tact. Those returnees include senior center Andy Gallik, who was chosen as a pre-season All-Conference player.

Myles Willis, a sophomore, should at least start in the backfield for the Eagles offense. Last year, he ran for 346 yards and two scores on 60 carries.

Boston College also has a new quarterback in Tyler Murphy. The University of Florida transfer completed just over 60 percent of his passes for 1,216 yards with six touchdowns and five interceptions in six games with the Gators. He replaces Chase Rettig, who completed 61.6 percent of his passes for 1,995 yards with 17 TDs and eight interceptions.

Based off of Murphy's experience and background with head coach Steve Addazio, who was Murphy's offensive coordinator at Florida, the Eagles offense appears to be in good hands.

BC's all-time leading receiver Alex Amidon is also gone, and he was by far the top target in an anemic passing attack. Senior Bobby Swigert, who missed the 2013 season due to injury, is back. Playing backup to Rettig for much of his career, Josh Bordner (6-foot-4, 230 pounds) will move to wideout with the hopes of providing a big target for Murphy.

Defensively for Boston College, a strong secondary should benefit a young, unknown defensive front. The strength of the BC defense comes in the secondary, as all four starters return in cornerbacks Manuel Asprilla (68 tackles, two INTs) and Bryce Jones (62 tackles, two INTs) and safeties Sean Sylvia (68 tackles, one INT) and Dominique Williams (65 tackles, one INT)

Up front, linebackers Steele Divitto (third-team All-ACC) and Kevin Pierre- Louis (first-team All-ACC) both eclipsed the century mark in tackles, but are no longer roaming the middle for BC. Steven Daniels could be the heir apparent. The 6-foot, 257-pounder really elevated his game as a sophomore last year, finishing third on the team in tackles with 88 stops. A great deal is expected of senior Josh Keyes (6-foot-2, 220 pounds), who has bided his time as a valuable reserve.

The Eagles don't look to be tested in this first game. UMass is a struggling program in the MAC and despite the Eagles' new QB and RB combo, they are experienced enough to put a hurting on the Minutemen. While a season-opening letdown is not out of the question, as UMass has had this game circled on the schedule since the last meeting in 2011, it's hard to believe BC letting this one slip away. The ACC schedule is tough enough to allow games like this to get away from them.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Boston College 44, Massachusetts 13

08/29 15:14:39 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
ROC 1
DUR 2
 
1:05pm Today
ROC
DUR
 
2:30pm Friday
STONYBROOK
NCSTATE
 
7:05pm Friday
SYR
DUR
 
6:35pm Saturday
SYR
DUR
 
5:05pm Sunday
SYR
DUR
 
Final
HOU 4
BAL 1
Final
KAN 1
NYY 5
Final
MIA 1
PIT 5
Final
WAS 2
CHC 3
Final
CWS 9
TOR 10
Final
COL 1
CIN 2
Final
PHI 4
NYM 5
Final
SEA 7
TAM 6
Final
TEX 4
CLE 3
Final
BOS 1
MIN 2
Final
SFG 6
MIL 3
Final
ARI 4
STL 6
Final
DET 1
OAK 0
Final
SDP 4
ANA 0
Final
ATL 0
LOS 8
12:10pm Today
TEX
CLE
 
12:35pm Today
COL
CIN
 
12:35pm Today
MIA
PIT
 
12:37pm Today
CWS
TOR
 
1:05pm Today
KAN
NYY
 
1:10pm Today
BOS
MIN
 
1:10pm Today
PHI
NYM
 
1:10pm Today
SEA
TAM
 
1:40pm Today
SFG
MIL
 
3:35pm Today
DET
OAK
 
4:35pm Today
HOU
BAL
 
8:05pm Tonight
WAS
CHC
 
8:15pm Tonight
ARI
STL
 
10:05pm Tonight
SDP
ANA
 
10:10pm Tonight
ATL
LOS
 
1:05pm Thursday
CWS
BAL
 
4:35pm Thursday
CWS
BAL
 
8:05pm Thursday
BOS
TEX
 
10:05pm Thursday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Thursday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Thursday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Thursday
PIT
SDP
 
10:15pm Thursday
ATL
SFG
 
4:05pm Friday
KAN
CHC
 
7:05pm Friday
COL
PHI
 
7:05pm Friday
TAM
BAL
 
7:10pm Friday
MIA
NYM
 
7:10pm Friday
WAS
CIN
 
8:05pm Friday
BOS
TEX
 
8:10pm Friday
ARI
MIL
 
8:10pm Friday
CWS
HOU
 
8:10pm Friday
TOR
MIN
 
8:15pm Friday
LOS
STL
 
10:05pm Friday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Friday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Friday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Friday
PIT
SDP
 
10:15pm Friday
ATL
SFG
 
2:10pm Saturday
TOR
MIN
 
3:05pm Saturday
COL
PHI
 
4:05pm Saturday
TAM
BAL
 
4:10pm Saturday
ARI
MIL
 
4:10pm Saturday
CWS
HOU
 
4:10pm Saturday
MIA
NYM
 
4:10pm Saturday
WAS
CIN
 
7:15pm Saturday
BOS
TEX
 
7:15pm Saturday
KAN
CHC
 
7:15pm Saturday
LOS
STL
 
10:05pm Saturday
ATL
SFG
 
10:05pm Saturday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Saturday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Saturday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Saturday
PIT
SDP
 
1:10pm Sunday
MIA
NYM
 
1:10pm Sunday
WAS
CIN
 
1:35pm Sunday
COL
PHI
 
1:35pm Sunday
TAM
BAL
 
2:10pm Sunday
ARI
MIL
 
2:10pm Sunday
CWS
HOU
 
2:10pm Sunday
TOR
MIN
 
2:15pm Sunday
LOS
STL
 
2:20pm Sunday
KAN
CHC
 
3:05pm Sunday
BOS
TEX
 
4:05pm Sunday
ATL
SFG
 
4:05pm Sunday
NYY
OAK
 
4:10pm Sunday
CLE
SEA
 
8:05pm Sunday
DET
ANA
 
9:10pm Sunday
PIT
SDP
 
Final
ATL 88
CLE 118
9:00pm Tonight
HOU
GSW
 
9:00pm Friday
GSW
HOU
 
9:00pm Sunday
HOU
GSW
 
Final
NYR 7
TAM 3
8:00pm Tonight
ANA
CHI
 
8:00pm Friday
TAM
NYR
 
8:00pm Saturday
CHI
ANA
 
12:00pm Friday
AUBURN
CHARLESTON
 
1:00pm Friday
CALIFORNIA
CCAROLINA
 
1:00pm Friday
COLUMBIA
ECAROLINA
 
1:00pm Friday
ORALROBRTS
ARKANSAS
 
1:00pm Friday
OREGON
IOWA
 
1:00pm Friday
SFLORIDA
FAU
 
1:00pm Friday
WRIGHTST
NOTREDAME
 
2:00pm Friday
MICHIGAN
BRADLEY
 
2:30pm Friday
STONYBROOK
NCSTATE
 
2:30pm Friday
TEXAS
OREGONST
 
3:00pm Friday
INDIANA
RADFORD
 
3:30pm Friday
ULLAFAYETE
RICE
 
4:00pm Friday
LEHIGH
LSU
 
6:00pm Friday
CANISIUS
SWMISSOURI
 
6:00pm Friday
CLEMSON
ARIZONAST
 
6:00pm Friday
MERCER
FLORIDAST
 
6:00pm Friday
MOREHEADST
LOUISVILLE
 
6:00pm Friday
VIRGINIA
USC
 
7:00pm Friday
FIU
MIAFLA
 
7:00pm Friday
FLAAM
FLORIDA
 
7:00pm Friday
MARYLAND
MISS
 
7:00pm Friday
SACREDHART
TCU
 
7:00pm Friday
STJOHNS
OKLAHOMAST
 
7:00pm Friday
TSOUTHERN
TEXASAM
 
7:00pm Friday
VCU
DALLASBAPT
 
8:00pm Friday
HSTNBAPT
HOUSTON
 
8:00pm Friday
LIPSCOMB
VANDERBILT
 
8:00pm Friday
OHIO
ILLINOIS
 
8:00pm Friday
TULANE
NWILMINGTN
 
10:00pm Friday
PEPPERDINE
FULLERTON
 
10:00pm Friday
SANDIEGOST
CSANTABAR
 
11:00pm Friday
CSBAKER
UCLA
 
Final
ROC 1
DUR 2
 
1:05pm Today
ROC
DUR
 
7:05pm Friday
SYR
DUR
 
6:35pm Saturday
SYR
DUR
 
5:05pm Sunday
SYR
DUR