By Zachary Baru
In what was billed as "The Battle for the Bay State", the University of Massachusetts football team was topped by Boston College 31-7 Saturday before 30,479 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough. The large crowd was good enough to become the highest attended home game for UMass since joining the Football Bowl Subdivision in 2012.
The highest home attendance for UMass last season came against Miami, in front of 21,707 fans. The Minutemen finished 2013 with an average attendance of 15,830, the largest average in the history of the program.
While the result on the field was not what the Minutemen hoped for, having the opportunity to play Boston College at Gillette Stadium gave the program added exposure in the Boston market. UMass plays two more games in Foxborough this season, facing Colorado on Saturday at 3, and against Eastern Michigan on October 18.
The Boston market has always been important for UMass, which has played at least one game at Gillette Stadium since 2010. The Minutemen faced New Hampshire in the "Colonial Clash" at Gillette Stadium in both 2010 and 2011 during the end of the Football Championship Subdivision era.
With 2014 attendance off to a good start, lets hope UMass can keep up the momentum with strong attendance this weekend, and continuing with the team's return to Amherst on September 27.
Zach Baru can be followed @zbaru and reached at email@example.com.