Sept. 3 MVP: MassVarsity's Pre-and-Post


There might not be anything worse in the world of sports analysis than overreacting to one game.


The popular and, frankly, worn out term for this now is recency bias. You see a team win or lose in convincing fashion, and suddenly the team has either turned a corner or taken a major nosedive.


We need to be careful of that, all of us, so let's be as cautious as possible when it comes to Boston College's 55-21 rout of UMass this weekend.


Here are just a few thoughts that jumped out after witnessing Saturday's game:


— BC quarterback Anthony Brown was magnificent, but it was at times comical just how wide open his receivers were. Why? Well, UMass completely sold out to stop AJ Dillon, and every play fake pulled the entire defense in. It was a losing numbers game.


The question will be how Brown performs when the Eagles face a team that can contain Dillon with seven men in the box, not eight or nine.


— You could readily see what UMass was in for even before the first snap. When the BC offensive line jogged out onto the field, dwarfing the UMass front seven, you could not picture the Minutemen holding firm for four quarters. Speed kills, but so does size, and the Eagles were just giants compared to UMass.


— Dillon did not have a breathtaking performance, and he still had 98 yards in one half. A few times, he was one man short of breaking a long run. It says something about this BC team that Dillon didn't really go off and the Eagles still had this over by the break.


— Brown deserved the spotlight for this game, but this defense is going to be very good. Outside of the long pass to Andy Isabella that set up UMass' only meaningful score, the Eagles allowed very little. They're stout in the front seven, and Lukas Denis again showed why he is an All-American with his pick-six.


— It may not feel like it, but this loss should not diminish UMass' optimism about the rest of the season. BC is simply a level above the Minutemen. We said at the beginning of the season that the only team superior to the Eagles on the UMass schedule is Georgia, and Saturday only reinforced that belief.


Final MIAA scrimmage notes


Just a few bits and pieces picked up from the final week of scrimmages:


— Like we said last week, one thing we know for sure is that Brockton's senior-dominated lines should serve it well in the future. An assistant coach of one of the teams that scrimmaged the Boxers texted us and said Brockton's lines are "no joke." Take that for what it's worth.


— We took in the Everett-Lynn Classical scrimmage Friday night. The Crimson Tide, as expected, look fine in all the right spots and ready for a major test in the opener against Xaverian. This was our first time to get a peek at Classical, and although Everett got the better of it when the first teams were in, the Rams showed off a nice screen game on offense that will be difficult to defend.


— Pope John XXIII stepped up a few weight classes in division by scrimmaging Beverly, but the reports we received said that the Tigers held their own. We knew Pope John would be a force to be reckoned with in Division 8, and we obviously still feel that way.


R-e-l-a-x


In some of the headliner games in the FCS and Division 2, local squads Holy Cross, Assumption, and Bentley all took losses of varying degrees.


Our reaction? Don't worry. Holy Cross lost to Colgate in its opener last year, too. Assumption only lost to Kutztown by four points, and West Chester was simply a better team than Bentley.


No need to panic for anyone there.


Q-rating


Framingham State will be one of the best local Division 3 teams, and a big reason why will be Worcester native and Holy Name alum Quron Wright.


Back when he was with the Naps, it was obvious that the running back was a difference-maker. It was also obvious that the 5-foot-6, 160-pounder would not get the same types of college looks as other top backs because of his size.


But, if his career at Framingham State is indication, his stature has not been an issue in college.


He rushed for 1,160 yards in 2017, and kicked off this season with a terrific effort in the Rams' 34-13 win over Endicott. Wright rushed for 78 yards on 13 carries, and returned the second-half kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown.


So Wright can be as small as he wants, especially when the Rams have 6-1, 305-pound fullback/defensive tackle Rufus Rushins, who rushed for two short-yardage touchdowns.


The kicker


Look, the fact that Michigan looked clueless on offense for most of its 24-17 loss to Notre Dame isn't the worst of it.


After the defeat, Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh is now 1-6 against rivals Michigan State, Ohio State, and Notre Dame.


And that's not the worst of it, either.


Here's why.


Harbaugh was Michigan's dream hire. Hopes for that program went through the roof when he came aboard, and for good reason. He raised Stanford out of the doldrums to be a national contender, and damn near won a Super Bowl with the San Francisco 49ers.


Michigan really could not have asked for a better coach to fall in their lap.


Well, if the Wolverines lose again to Michigan State and Ohio State, where do they go from there?


Harbaugh wasn't hired to be good-not-great. He was hired to dominate the Big Ten and beyond. He hasn't done that, despite some nice wins here and there.


The biggest disappointment for Michigan fans is if Harbaugh can't take Michigan to a truly elite level again, who will?

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