The UConn Huskies football team heads to Boston, Massachusetts Saturday to take on New England archrivals Boston College in a Gridiron Series matchup under the lights at Fenway Park.
UConn head coach Randy Edsall said that he and his team are looking forward to playing the Eagles at Fenway Park, and that it would be a good experience, especially for the team’s younger players.
“We’re gonna be playing an opponent (BC) that’s a very physical football team that likes to run the ball, use a lot of play action,” Edsall said. “(They’re) very aggressive on defense…Zach Allen, Kevin Bletzer are guys that really show up and stand out on film.”
The Huskies (3-7, 2-5 the American) enter Saturday’s matchup with the Eagles having lost their last three games, outscored 138-56 over that span. UConn’s last game against Boston College was about as bad as a game could get, losing 30-0 on the road as part of the spiraling end to last season.
Huskies’ quarterback David Pindell impressed against UCF last week in his first start since the season-opener against Holy Cross, finishing with 201 yards and two touchdowns through the air on 18-31 passing. The junior quarterback was just as impressive on the ground, using his athleticism to rush for 96 yards and a touchdown on the day, as well.
“(Pindell) did some really good things (against UCF),” Edsall said. “I saw a guy that was more confident in what he was doing out there, and playing with confidence, playing fast… I was very pleased with he was able to bring to the table.”
The Eagles (5-5, 3-4 the American) enter Saturday’s matchup having won three of their last four games, including a dominating 35-3 win over flailing Florida State and a tight 45-42 win over Louisville on the road.
Boston College will be without their starting quarterback, redshirt freshman Anthony Brown who will be out for the season after undergoing knee surgery. Starting in his place will be graduate student Darius Wade. The change means the Eagles will likely turn to their running backs more often.
The Eagles’ freshman running back AJ Dillon of New London, Connecticut will be hard to stop. Dillon has amassed 1,039 yards on 221 carries, good for 4.7 yards per carry, and eight touchdowns. The young running back has the ability to explode though, which he proved in the Louisville game in which he went off for 272 yards and four touchdowns.
“(Dillon) is just strong and powerful. (He’s) a guy that’s physical. (He) had 36 carries last week, (he’s) durable,” Edsall said. “You gotta tackle him. You can’t tackle him high. You tackle him high, you’re gonna get carried for a ride.”
The Huskies have had issues with finishing tackles all season, but this week in particular could be a challenge since Boston College is known as one of the most physical teams in the country. Failing to meet their level of physicality could end badly for UConn.
“We’re gonna have to tackle well this weekend. We’re gonna be tested this week,” Edsall said. “And BC, (it’s known) they’ve got a big offensive line and everything else, that whole team. This will be the most physical test we’ll get all year. We’re gonna have to step it up on both sides of the line, bigtime.”
The Huskies’ chance to prove they can matchup with their New England rivals will take place in primetime Saturday, 7 p.m. at Fenway Park.
Chris Hanna is the associate sports editor for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. He tweets @realchrishanna.