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Stifling UMass Defense Sees Minutemen Past BC

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Stifling UMass Defense Sees Minutemen Past BC

Umass and BC might meet again in the Liberty DIAA final.

In a meeting of unbeaten teams in the Liberty DIAA Conference, UMass beat Boston College 20-13 to improve to 6-0 and drop BC to 5-1.

With the victory the Minutemen should be tops in the Liberty East which should set them up for a semifinal against Columbia, while BC will face off with Binghamton.

The game was played in a constant rain that made rugby difficult. UMass adapted to the conditions it a little better and BC’s handling miscues set the Minutemen for scoring chances. It was slow going in the first half and both sides opted to go for points when they could—BC led 6-3 at halftime.

The second half saw the UMass have even more of an impact and pinning BC in their own half. The Eagles could not get consistent front-foot ball, and the UMass defenders were smart and patient and simply made their tackles until BC made a mistake.

A loose ball at the back of the scrum led to the first UMass try. The second score for the Minutemen came from a well-timed interception. With the BC players on the charge expecting to attack, UMass took it to the house 60 meters the other way.

Neither try was converted, however, so it was only 13-6 at this point. So BC responded well and were able to score a try that, with the conversion, tied the game 13-13.

UMass pressured again and punished one more BC mistake to take the lead and keep it.

In a day of nasty weather, it was the UMass defense, led by co-captain and No. 8 Arthur Deherang, that won the day. This should be no surprise as only Rhode Island logged any real points against UMass this year. That result was 29-21, but in their other five victories the Minutemen gave up point totals of 6, 0, 7, 0, and 13; that’s two tries given up in five games. 

BC will not be happy with their ball handling, and will want to fix that against a high-scoring Binghamton in the Liberty playoffs.