Over the next few weeks, EagleAction is creating quick-hit study guides for fans to get to know each of BC's opponents for the 2014 season. Today, we start with the UMass Minutemen.
GETTING TO KNOW UMASS
TIME 3:00, Aug 30, 2014; Foxborough, MA.
NUTS AND BOLTS
Coach: Mark Whipple, 1st season
2012 record: 1-11(1-7 MAC)
2013 record: 1-11 (1-7 MAC)
Record vs. Power-5 schools since 2012 (non-con): 0-7
Average margin of defeat vs. Power-5 schools: 37
A LOOK AT THE OFFENSE
Returning starters (based on final 2013 depth chart): 5
The Big Names: Junior Tajae Sharpe leads a good wideout duo with Alex Kenney. Sharpe's 680 yards receiving last year were more than double the amount of the next highest player on the team and he accounted for more than a third of the receiving yards on the team. Kenney is a Penn State transfer that was a former four-star recruit.
The Minutemen will most likely be trying to work in a new quarterback, Blake Frohnapfel, who is a transfer from Marshall. Frohnapfel was recruited by Wake Forest and West Virginia, so he wasn't a no name quarterback coming out of high school.
Reason for BC to worry: Aside from the wide receiver duo there isn't much to worry about. If anything there could be concern about going against Whipple's offense. Over the coach's career he has had a good track record of improving the offense wherever he goes. He's going to have all summer to figure out a way to attack Don Brown's defense.
Reason for BC to rest easy: The UMass offense was brutal last year averaging only 11.7 points per game, which was 3rd worse in the FBS. The Minutemen scored only 14 combined points against BCS opponents Wisconsin, Kansas State and Vanderbilt.
A LOOK AT THE DEFENSE
Returning starters (based on final 2013 depth chart): 6
The Big Names:The heart of the Umass defense is linebacker Stanley Andre, who led the team in tackles last year with 111, and tackles for a loss with 5.5.
Junior cornerback Randall Jette is another player to watch. Jetter started 23 games in his first two years and has been a solid cornerback.
Reason for BC to worry: UMass has six returning starters but all four players from the secondary return. The Minutemen allowed only 217 yards per game through the air last year, which was 41st nationally. This unit has proved that it can do a solid job. It will be a tough first test for BC's inexperienced wide receiver group.
Reason for BC to rest easy: Reasons for BC to rest easy: UMass was thrashed for 215 yards per game on the ground last year and return only two starters from its front seven. BC's running game and offensive line is its strength, so the Eagles should be able to run on the Minutemen all day.