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BCI Summer School 2018: UMass Week Kickoff

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A week of UMass related content here at BCI as we march towards fall.

NCAA Football: Massachusetts at Tennessee Knoxville News Sentinel-USA TODAY Sports

College football is right around the corner, and we at BC Interruption want to get you the readers set for the season. Back in the day, when the great Brian Favat was still the editor, we had a summer opponent series that jumped in to each opponent with a variety of content. Well, after a few years off, we are bringing this series back this year with our BCI Summer School series. Each week, we will break down a BC opponent, with a series of posts that give you everything you need to know going into the fall.

Monday: Kickoff, a preview of the opponent, talking about the team, their 2017 season and what they may be like in 2018.

Tuesday: Interview the Enemy: we reach out to an opposing reporter/blogger to talk about the team.

Wednesday: Last 5. How has BC fared in the recent past?

Thursday: The BCI Haters Ball: College football is all about rivalry and hating, we will give you the reasons you need to hate that team or their fans.

Friday: Final Thoughts: BC will win if? BC will lose if? What are the odds they win?

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Okay, with that out of the way, let’s start the summer off with UMass Minutemen, the team that the Boston College Eagles opens the 2018 season with. Mark Whipple’s team has been a punchline of many jokes around here, as the Eagles have taken them to the woodshed over their but this year’s team is very different than in year’s past. In 2017, they kept it close against some solid SEC teams like the Tennessee Volunteers (ok, they were bad), and the Mississippi State Bulldogs, along with the BYU Cougars. They started the season 0-6, but finished the final half of the season 4-2, finishing the 2017 season 4-8. Fans are feeling optimistic about the future, and for good reason. They are playing an absolutely garbage schedule this year including Duquesne, Georgia Southern, FIU, Charlotte, Liberty, Coastal Carolina and Ohio so making a bowl shouldn’t be out of the question into this year.

Going into 2018, and there are reasons BC fans should be nervous. They have a very talented quarterback, which seems to be a trademark of a Mark Whipple team, in Andrew Ford who ended up in Amherst after transferring from the Virginia Tech Hokies. Ford is efficient and doesn’t make many mistakes, finishing last year with 22 touchdowns and 4 interceptions while throwing for just over 2900 yards. They also have some talent they need to replace as Adam Breneman, arguably one of the best tight ends in the country has retired, but they have some great weapons at wide receiver.

They averaged 31 points a game last year, and can move the ball, but they are far from perfect. In 2017, UMass was 127th in the country in sacks allowed, giving up a mind blowing 46 sacks in 12 games. Their defense is also suspect, finishing 93rd in scoring defense, allowing 31.8 points per game, and they lost a handful of starters off the line. But their secondary is mostly in tact, only having to replace strong safety (Jesse Monteiro) and a No. 3 cornerback (Jackson Porter). And even though the defense struggled at time, they had their moments, as they were able to shut down Mississippi State QB Nick Fitzgerald.

This week we will be talking to Michael Traini, from FightMassachusetts.com, which I promise you is not a Bay Area Pugalism Club, but a great site that focuses on UMass sports. We will also look at the school, the fans, and give you everything you need to know about this matchup. Make sure to check back to BCI every day for your Minuteman info.