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Football Set to Open Season with In-State Rivalry

Sophomore RB Myles Willis

Sophomore RB Myles Willis
Aug. 29, 2014

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Chestnut Hill, Mass. - The Boston College football team will open the 2014 season on Saturday with a 3 p.m. matchup against Massachusetts, the only other Division I Football Bowl Subdivision team in the state, at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3 and can be heard on WEEI 93.7 FM and the Boston College IMG Sports Network Affiliates.

Boston College begins its 117th season of football against UMass, which elevated its program to FBS in 2012. The Eagles are 67-47-2 on opening day and have won eight of the last 10 games to start a season.

The matchup marks the 25th meeting between the Bay State teams. The Eagles lead the all-time series, 19-5, and have won the last seven contests. BC and UMass last met in 2011, before the Minutemen had transitioned to FBS. The Eagles earned a 45-17 victory in Alumni Stadium.

Head coach Steve Addazio begins his second season at the helm after leading the Eagles to a 7-6 record in 2013 and a trip back to a bowl game for the first time in three years. UMass head coach Mark Whipple returns to Amherst for the 2014 season. In his first stint from 1998-2003, he led the Minutemen to the NCAA I-AA National Championship in his first season and making two other postseason appearances.

The first week of the season will help the Eagles determine who will fill the roles left by departing seniors. BC must replace all of the key positions from the 2013 roster, losing the leader rusher in Doak Walker Award winner and Heisman Trophy finalist Andre Williams, the leading receiver in record-setter Alex Amidon, the top two tacklers in Steele Divitto and Kevin Pierre-Louis, the four-year starting quarterback Chase Rettig and a consistent leg in record-setter Nate Freese.

Sophomores Tyler Rouse and Myles Willis are expected to carry much of the load in the backfield with the help of freshmen Jon Hilliman, Marcus Outlow and Richard Wilson. Graduate quarterback-turned-receiver Josh Bordner, redshirt freshman Charlie Callinan and junior Dan Crimmins lead a core of 10 receivers who will be looking to graduate transfer Tyler Murphy for the ball. He will be protected by an offensive line made up of five fifth-year players.

Senior Alex Howell is expected to handle the kicking and punting duties for the first game while the defense is bolstered by a host of upperclassmen, including seniors Mehdi Abdesmad, who returns from injury, Josh Keyes, Sean Duggan, Manuel Asprilla and graduate Dominique Williams.

Boston College carries 15 players on the roster who call Massachusetts their home state while the UMass roster boasts 30. There are 13 players on the combined rosters who graduated from the same high schools.

After returning to The Heights, the Eagles will play the next four games - the entire month of September - in the friendly confines of Alumni Stadium. Two of the matchups will be featured under the lights as BC opens Atlantic Coast Conference play against Pittsburgh on Friday, Sept. 5 at 7 p.m. and then hosts No. 16 Southern California on Saturday, Sept. 13 at 8 p.m. Both games will be nationally televised on the ESPN family of networks.

For tickets to the Eagles' home games, visit Ticket Central.

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