UConn at Boston College football preview capsule
Location: Alumni Field, Chestnut Hill, Mass.
Kickoff: noon (ACC Network)
Records: UConn 1-6, Boston College 4-3
Last game: UConn lost to South Florida, 24-21; Boston College won at Georgia Tech, 38-23
Series: UConn won for the first time in the series last season, posting a 13-3 win in East Hartford to end a 14-game winless streak (0-12-2) vs. BC
Players to watch: UConn, r-jr. QB Ta’Quan Roberson (104 for 175, 1,145 yards, 8 TDs, 3 ints), so. RB Victor Rosa (75 carries, 399 yards, 2 TDs), grad WR Brett Buckman (29 catches, 313 yards, 1 TD), r-jr. WR Cam Ross (28 catches, 317 yards, 1 TD), so. TE Justin Joly (26 catches, a team-best 319 yards, ? TD), r-jr. DT Jelani Stafford (27 tackles, eight for loss, 1 fumble recovery), r-so. DE Pryce Yates (23 tackles, 7.5 for loss, 2.5 sacks); sr. LB Jackson Mitchell (team-best 70 tackles, 1 int.. 1 fumble recovery for a TD), grad LB Noah Plack (33 tackles, 4.5 for loss); jr. DB Durante Jones (40 tackles, 1 fumble recovery, 1 sack), r-jr. George Caratan (45.2 yards per kick, ranking 25th in the nation)
Boston College, so. QB Thomas Castellanos (628 rushing yards, 1,398 passing yards, 104-for-181, 6 ints, accounted for 19 touchdowns overall), jr. RB Kyle Robichaux (76 carries, 383 yards, 4 TDs), grad DB Elijah Jones (21 tackles, 10 pass breakups, three ints), grad LB Vinny DePalma (team-best 53 tackles, 1 fumble recovery), r-so. punt returner/WR Lewis Bond (16.7 yards per return, team-best 29 catches, 428 yards, 5 TDs), grad WR Ryan O’Keefe (23 catches, 235 yards, 1 TD), sr. LB Kam Arnold (37 tackles, 1 fumble recovery)
Noteworthy: Boston College is riding a season-high three game winning streak and relies on a potent rushing attack that’s averaging 211.3 yards per game, 13th best in the country.
Quotable: UConn coach Jim Mora: “Great challenge this week, going to Boston College on the road. They’re playing very, very well. Different football team than we saw last year. Coach (Jeff) Hafley has done an excellent job of stocking his football team with talent. It’s a Power Five team in the ACC.”
• UConn begins a difficult stretch of three straight road games, two against ranked opponents in Tennessee (5-2) and James Madison (7-0). Four of its last five are away, where the Huskies are 1-1 so far.
“We’ve got a tough road coming up against really good football teams, starting with Boston College this week,” Mora said.
• Close losses have haunted the Huskies. Three defeats have come by seven, one and three points. UConn needs to eliminate late-game mistakes and defensive breakdowns to turn around the troubling trend.
• Containing dual-threat quarterback Thomas Castellanos will be key. He’s a game-changer, averaging 289.4 yards of total offense (26th nationally) and responsible for 16.3 points per game (26th nationally). He’s the top rushing quarterback in the country.
“They’ve got a quarterback who’s an outstanding runner and they utilize that,” Mora said. “... He’s a different speed and different quickness than we’ve seen.”
• Motivation is on Boston College’s side. The Eagles suffered a painful 13-3 loss in last season’s meeting in East Hartford. It was only their fourth loss to a New England opponent since 1978. A win also would move the Eagles a step closer to being bowl eligible.
Extra points: Sophomore running back Cam Edwards is coming off a career best game, finishing with 149 rushing yards on 22 carries. Starter Victor Rosa (ankle) missed practice time this week. ... UConn is 7-24 all-time versus Atlantic Coast Conference teams, 0-2 this season with losing to Duke (41-7) and North Carolina State (24-14). … Boston College averages 29.1 points, gives up 30.4. … Mitchell is 16th in the nation in tackles per game with 10.0. He’s fifth all-time at UConn in career tackles with 395. … The Huskies have been outscored in the first quarter, 49-17. .. Up next: UConn visits nationally-ranked Tennessee on Saturday, Nov. 4.
– Gavin Keefe
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