Feb. 23, 2006
MOUNT PLEASANT - Central Michigan University will open the 2006 football season at home against Boston College on Thursday, Aug. 31. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. and the game will be televised nationally on ESPN2.
"We want to have an opportunity to compete against the very best in the country, and Boston College fits that mold not only relative to football but academics as well," said head coach Brian Kelly, who is entering his third year at CMU. "It's the type of institution that we want to compete with and we're certainly excited to be opening the season with them."
The contest will mark the first time an Atlantic Coast Conference school has visited Kelly/Shorts Stadium. In 2005, Indiana became the first Big Ten opponent to make the trip to Mount Pleasant.
"We're excited to be hosting a quality opponent like Boston College and looking forward to building a relationship with the ACC," said director of athletics Dave Heeke. "It's going to be an exciting night in Kelly/Shorts Stadium for our fans and our community. We had a great experience last year against Indiana and we want to continue to build on the atmosphere that we had for that game."
Boston College was 9-3 overall in 2005, including a 27-21 win over Boise State in the MPC Computers Bowl. Playing their first season in the ACC, the Eagles finished 5-3 and tied for first with Florida State in the Atlantic Division. Boston College was ranked 18th in the final Associated Press Top 25 poll.
CMU is 0-2 all-time against current ACC members. The Chippewas visited Boston College in 2002 and Virginia in 1996; Boston College was still a member of the Big East when the schools last met on the gridiron.
The Aug. 31 contest will be CMU's first on ESPN2. Including the 2006 opener, the Chippewas have appeared on the ESPN family of networks five times in Kelly's tenure. Last year's opener against Indiana was televised on ESPNU, the Sept. 17 game at Penn State was available on ESPN Plus and the Oct. 8 contest was carried on ESPN Classic. In 2003, CMU's visit to Michigan State aired on ESPN Plus.
The 2006 opener will be the seventh night game in Kelly/Shorts Stadium history. The Chippewas are 4-2 in the previous six evening contests; each of the previous six night games at Kelly/Shorts has been a home opener.
CMU finished 6-5 overall and 5-3 in the Mid-American Conference in 2005, its first winning season since 1998.
Brian Kelly's Chippewas will open the 2006 season at home against Boston College on Aug. 31.