Saturday, 3:30 kickoff for the Battle for the Bay State. BC continues to ease into the season after handling Colgate last weekend. UMass ups the ante, but themselves were throttled by Pittsburgh 51-7. While not officially the Red Bandana Game, great work by everyone to honor Welles and wear the red bandana uniforms on the 20th anniversary of 9/11.
As we discovered last week, BC kicker Aaron Boumerhi is out with a hip injury with an unclear timetable to return. Danny Longman, who typically handles kickoffs, will once again lead the way with freshman Connor Lytton likely getting in some work. Wide receiver Jaelen Gill will remain out for this week and hopefully be back against Temple, while Marcus Valdez’s status is still up in the air.
Associate Head Coach Aazaar Abdul-Rahim will return to his last stop, where he served as UMass’s defensive coordinator. Meanwhile, former BC DC Jim Reid will be on the opposing staff.
What To Watch For
Shittah Sillah really stepped up last week. UMass does not have a good offensive line, and he should once again live in the backfield. Quarterback Tyler Lytle can make some plays, but needs time. The BC defensive line can continue to build their confidence by shutting UMass down as they did Colgate. We didn’t hear much from the BC corners — which is good because they shut it down — but they should see more action this time around in a more traditional passing offense. The Minutemen have some solid options on the outside.
On the flip side, let’s see our ground game again. The offensive line of course excelled in pass protection, and should once again, but let’s see some bigger holes. The Eagles didn’t run the ball effectively last week, and that could have just been on the backs. Travis Levy led the team in carries (9), but Jurkovec led in yards (61) due to one 41 yard strut. Let’s continue to see the line more accustomed to their re-re-shifted roles, and generate some explosive runs.
With Boumerhi out, Longman missed a PAT and had a kickoff out of bounds. We cannot see either of those tomorrow or the freshman Lytton should take over.
Overall, Hafley and co. are going to show as much or as little as they want to. It’s another great opportunity to clean up what needs to be cleaned up, and get guys their reps. I’m not one to complain about how much the players play. Hafley commented how even his brother was upset with how long Jurkovec stayed in the game. There’s no preseason so I understand the need to actually play football, and given the level of competition I don’t have much concern as long as we play smart (@Phil).
O/U 59: the under is slightly favored here
BC 47 - UMass 10
Not another shutout, but still smooth sailing for the Eagles with maybe a late score by the Minutemen.
Massachusetts is maroon AND GOLD. BC still kept it simple and took care of business, posting big numbers and the proper allotment of highlight reel plays. The rust continues to wear off, and boy are there some hungry freshmen on this team. The Eagles were able to show more of a two-dimensional offense, mustering up more of a rushing attack. The row of progressively harder matchups continue — Philly awaits.