The Boston College Eagles will welcome the Maine Black Bears in Week 2 as they look to even their record at 1-1 for the season.
After losing their ACC season opener to Miami last week, Boston College is looking to avoid a disastrous start. Their task will be much easier against an FCS opponent this time around.
Maine hasn't played this season, but it is ranked No. 18 in the FCS rankings according to NCAA.com. Its 1,000-yard rusher Pushaun Brown is gone from last season, as is 2011's starting quarterback Warren Smith.
Neither player will be easy to replace, but the Black Bears must make it work if they want to keep Saturday's score respectable.
Let's preview this matchup from top to bottom:
When: Saturday, September 8 at 1 p.m. ET
Where: Alumni Stadium, Chestnut Hill, Mass.
Live Stream: ESPN3
Betting Line: TBA
What's At Stake?
No one wants to lose the first two games of the season, but that's exactly what Boston College is facing in Week 2. It's not likely, but a loss to Maine would be devastating to the Eagles.
Maine just wants to start on the right foot. It lost key contributors on offense, but is still one of the better squads in the Colonial Athletic Association.
We saw Pittsburgh lose to Youngstown State in Week 1. Losing to an FCS squad is considered unspeakable for major programs, but it's not beyond possibility at this point.
It's one thing to start the season 0-2, but losing to Maine in the process would severely damage Boston College's season moving forward.
Injury Report (via USA Today)
WR Colin Larmond - leg - questionable
DB C.J. Jones - foot - questionable
OG Harris Williams - foot - questionable
TE Mike Naples - back - questionable
RB Rolandan Finch - foot - questionable
WR Bobby Swigert - knee - out
DB Al Louis-Jean Jr. - foot - out
TE Chris Pantale - ankle - out
No injuries to report
What They're Saying
Boston Globe reporter Julian Benbow provided this quote from Eagles coach Frank Spaziani following his team's loss to Miami in Week 1:
“I think everyone on the team, I think they’re going to feel what I feel,” he said. “We need to do some of the fundamental, basic things and get it done and we can be a pretty good football team. Talking about it and doing it are two different things, but there’s a lot of optimism on our side.”
The game against Maine will be the perfect time to play fundamental football. Getting back to the basics would be advisable now before Boston College's schedule becomes more difficult later.
Foster's Daily Democrat reporter Mike Zhe reports this tidbit concerning the addition of Albany and Stony Brook to the CAA:
"It was getting lonely up here, was the best way to say it," said Maine coach Jack Cosgrove on Monday, during a CAA coaches teleconference. "In talking to Sean, we figured we couldn't play each other 12 times a year. We had to see some kind of movement in the Northeast."
Adding the two teams cuts down on Maine's traveling distance, and it makes sure that the CAA schedule is fully stocked.
Maine Player to Watch: Marcus Wasilewski, QB
Wasilewski will do his best to replace Smith behind center. He has only attempted two career passes, paling in comparison to Smith's 3,000-plus yard performance from last season.
If the Black Bears want to pull the upset, they will need a massive performance from their inexperienced signal-caller. He will have to mature in a hurry, or his team will have nowhere to turn offensively.
It's a lot to ask, especially away from home.
Boston College Player to Watch: Nick Clancy, LB
With Luke Kuechly now making his home with the Carolina Panthers, Clancy must step up for the Eagles.
You can't just replace a player who racked up over 500 tackles in his four-year career, but Clancy must fill the gap with sound tackling and leadership.
He had eight tackles against Miami in Week 1. This game will give him another chance to improve before the Eagles get too deep into ACC play.
Matchup to Watch: Wasilewski vs. Eagles Secondary
Stephen Morris threw for 207 yards and a touchdown to beat the Eagles in Week 1, and Wasilewski will try to repeat that performance.
There's only one difference: He won't have Duke Johnson behind him.
Wasilewski will have to play a tremendous game in his first career start if the Black Bears want to have a prayer. Boston College's defense got roughed up in its first contest, and will be looking to restore its pride.
Boston College 35, Maine 6