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Missouri Athletics photo by Hunter Dyke / The Missouri Tigers will play their first-ever game at Boston College this weekend, with Tigers coach Eli Drinkwitz admitting this week he would prefer a more regional matchup.

Missouri's noon football game at Boston College this Saturday is hardly drawing the hype of nonconference showdowns earlier this month such as Georgia-Clemson and Auburn-Penn State.

Yet the buildup has been rather unique.

It all started harmlessly enough, when Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz finished the opening statement in his Tuesday news conference by stating: "It's the first time, I think, that Mizzou has ever played Boston College. I'm excited about this schedule and the ability to open up some recruiting ground for us up in the Northeast."

Drinkwitz then paused and said, "That's a joke, guys."

It didn't take media members long to ask Drinkwitz to expound on that sentiment or for Drinkwitz to oblige.

"This is by no means any knock on Boston College," he said. "I think it's a great game and will be a tremendous test. I think they're a really good football team. They're 3-0 and were maybe 6-5 last year in a COVID year. Coach (Jeff) Hafley has done a tremendous job, and I think they're poised to have a big year.

"If I had my pick of it, I would love to play a regional matchup that was more of a rivalry game that would be a little more exciting for recruits to watch from a TV perspective. I don't know the last time Missouri signed a kid from the great state of Massachusetts."

Well, that was it.

Drinkwitz's comments quickly made their way to Hafley, who replied: "If he really didn't want to come to Boston, he should have called me up and asked me, and I would have gotten on a plane and flown to Missouri to play. I don't care where we play. I don't."

When it was Drinkwitz's turn on Wednesday's SEC teleconference, he addressed the subject before being asked about it.

"I know there was a lot made of a comment I made yesterday," he said. "That was no way meant to be an insult about this game. We're excited about this game. I was just making the comment that we would prefer to play regional games, but I didn't have any say in this game from a scheduling standpoint.

"I'm excited to play BC. I'm excited about the trip. My family is already up there taking a tour in Boston, so it will be a great time."

The Missouri-Boston College series was announced in October 2016, with the Eagles set to travel to Mizzou in 2024.

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The Action Network reported this week that Arkansas second-year coach Sam Pittman is college football's best at covering the point spread, with his Razorbacks having done so 76.9% of the time.

Ranking at the bottom is Akron third-year coach Tom Arth, who guided the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga during the 2017-18 seasons. Arth's Zips have covered just 19.5% of the time.

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AP photo by Butch Dill / Akron football coach Tom Arth, who was at UTC for the 2017-18 seasons, reacts to a play during the Zips' Sept. 4 game at Auburn.

Pasquali's Pix

Georgia at Vanderbilt: The Bulldogs currently hold the NCAA record with 344 consecutive PATs made. Methinks that goes beyond 350 on Saturday. Bulldogs 52, Commodores 6.

LSU at Mississippi State: Ed Orgeron's 2019 national championship sure looks more impressive than his 4-4 career mark against Mississippi State. Bulldogs 27, Tigers 24.

Arkansas vs. Texas A&M: The Aggies are the only program nationally yielding fewer than 100 passing yards (77.3) per game. Aggies 24, Razorbacks 17.

Georgia State at Auburn: It's already homecoming on the Plains, and the Tigers are seeking their 30th consecutive homecoming win. Tigers 33, Panthers 13.

Tennessee at Florida: When Florida beat Oklahoma in the BCS title game of the 2008 season, Dan Mullen was quarterbacks coach (and offensive coordinator) of the Gators, while Josh Heupel was quarterbacks coach of the Sooners. Gators 41, Volunteers 16.

Kentucky at South Carolina: The Gamecocks so far have proven to be much better than Eastern Illinois, nowhere close to Georgia and a field goal better than East Carolina. Wildcats 31, Gamecocks 24.

Southern Miss at Alabama: As Alabama has racked up this 99-game winning streak against unranked foes since the final game of Nick Saban's first season, every other team nationally has lost at least 10 games to unranked foes with the exception of Ohio State, which has lost nine. Crimson Tide 49, Golden Eagles 10.

North Carolina at Georgia Tech: Former Tennessee running back Ty Chandler rushed for 198 yards last week in North Carolina's rout of Virginia. Tar Heels 27, Yellow Jackets 20.

Other picks:

Charlotte 26, MTSU 19

Virginia 35, Wake Forest 28

Penn State 52, Villanova 15

Notre Dame 23, Wisconsin 20

Missouri 31, Boston College 26

Miami 48, Central Connecticut 7

Iowa 49, Colorado State 14

Clemson 40, N.C. State 21

Memphis 34, UTSA 23

Florida State 27, Louisville 22

Ohio State 62, Akron 11

BYU 45, South Florida 6

Oregon 58, Arizona 17

Virginia Tech 24, Richmond 9

Texas 29, Texas Tech 24

Coastal Carolina 41, Massachusetts 12

Oklahoma 33, West Virginia 30

Last week:

Winners — 21

Officiating statements — 4

Pasquali is 59-16 overall (78.7%) this season.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524. Follow him on Twitter @DavidSPaschall.

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