CAA football preview: kickoff weekend

CAA football preview: kickoff weekend
August 29, 2013, 7:45 am
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Rhode Island at Fordham, Thurs. 7:00 p.m.
Jacksonville at Delaware, Thurs. 7:30 p.m.
Towson at Connecticut, Thurs. 7:30 p.m.
William & Mary at West Virginia, Sat. 12:00 p.m.
Villanova at Boston College, Sat. 12:00 p.m.
Albany at Duquesne, Sat. 12:10 p.m.
Maine at Norfolk State, Sat. 6:00 p.m.
VMI at Richmond, Sat. 6:00 p.m.
Central Connecticut State at James Madison, Sat. 6:00 p.m.
Matchup of the week: Villanova at Boston College, Sat. 12:00 p.m.
The first few weeks of the college football season bring a lot of opportunity for the CAA as FBS teams try to pad their non-conference schedules with FCS opponents. This season is no different with three FBS vs. FCS matchups in the first week. Normally, of course, FCS teams are badly outmatched, but that is not the case with Boston College and Villanova.
Boston College is coming off an embarrassing 2-10 season which led to the firing of head coach Frank Spaziani. Villanova, meanwhile, made the playoffs in 2012 and earned a piece of the CAA conference championship. They are led by head coach Andey Talley who has coached the Wildcats since 1985. This is a big game for new Boston College head coach Steve Addazio as he tries to set a new tone for his program.
Can a Boston College team in transition and with a new head coach beat a Villanova team that has established itself as one of the premiere FCS programs? It definitely makes for a great opening weekend matchup!
Player to watch: Terrance West, RB, Junior, Towson
West led the CAA in rushing yards (1046) and rushing touchdowns (14) last season despite performing well below his totals from the year before (1294 rushing yards and 29 rushing touchdowns). He is unquestionably one of the best running backs in the FCS. Towson will face a Connecticut team that ranked 7th among FBS teams in rushing yards allowed per game last season. If Towson hopes to beat the Huskies, they will rely heavily on West.
Dominating the CAA is one thing, but being able to run all over one of the best rushing defenses in the FBS is quite another. West can show that he is either one of the best running backs in the nation or that he is merely a big fish in a small pond.
Upset alert: William & Mary at West Virginia, Sat. 12:00 p.m.
On paper, this one looks like a complete mismatch. The Tribe won only two games last season and now head to one of the toughest stadiums in the nation to play in. The Tribe, however, have a history of playing FCS opponents tough including a narrow 7-6 loss to Maryland last season and a 26-14 upset over Virginia in 2009.
Winning in Morgantown definitely looks like a long-shot, but the Mountaineers could find themselves in a close matchup if they plan on sleepwalking through Week 1.