Why To Bet On The UMass Minutemen In Their Home Opener Part One: Quarterback

Despite a number of improvements for the Minutemen, they are still not favored to win their home opener against the Boston College Eagles.  Throughout Las Vegas they are consistently rated as 14 1/2 to 15 point underdogs to the Eagles by a number of places. With this being said, the Minutemen are a good bet to place.

Despite making it to a bowl game last year, this Boston College team is much weaker than the one from 2013. Losing starting quarterback Chase Rettig and star running back Andre Williams who were both signed into the NFL which hit their offense and hit it hard. Alex Amidon joined the Marines and he graduated. Some other big name players the Eagles lost in the draft include linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis, kicker/punter Nate Freese, and defensive tackle Kaleb Ramsey.

Right now, they have just three quarterbacks on the roster, two of which are true freshmen making it almost a guarantee that Tyler Murphy will be their starting quarterback. He started some games last year for the Florida Gators while Jeff Driskel was hurt. He completed 112 passes on 185 attempts good for a 60.5 completion percentage throwing 1216 yards in all. On the ground he ran for 61 yards on 61 attempts although that number should improve. Although he is a legitimate option as a starting quarterback, he is definitely not an upgrade over Chase Rettig by any means.

The Minutemen on the other hand are getting an upgrade at quarterback in Blake Frohnapfel, a Marshall transfer who has shined in limited competition. The dual threat quarterback should be named the starting quarterback soon — that is if he can learn learn the offense in time. He is adjusting nicely despite being new to the team and should be starting week one without a problem. He is definitely an upgrade at quarterback for one huge reason — the 2013 starter is still on the roster.

Even though the Eagles have a better starting quarterback than the Minutemen, that is not all the game is about. The Eagles lack depth at quarterback unlike the Minutemen so if Murphy goes down, there is not much they can do. Frohnapfel should be good to go for the opener and will be effective for the Minutemen. For what it is worth, quarterbacks will not be the deciding factor for this game.