Someone with an allegiance to the University of Massachusetts fired the first salvo in Saturday’s “Battle for the Bay State” football game against Boston College, outfitting the bronze statue of Doug Flutie at BC’s Alumni Stadium with a No. 3 UMass jersey Tuesday.
A placard bearing the UMass logo also was placed at the base of the statue, which depicts the 1984 Heisman Trophy winner rearing back to let fly with his 48-yard Hail Mary heave to Gerard Phelan that beat the Miami Hurricanes, 47-45.
BC associate athletic director for communications Chris Cameron said he was unaware of the prank until he saw photos of it on Twitter.
And there was no evidence left by the time BC’s marching band conducted a practice on the plaza outside Gate D, where the statue stands.
“I was surprised,” laughed Abbey Bailey, a junior from Marblehead and one of the band managers. “It might be uncool to BC people.”
David Healey, the BC band director, said he, too, was unaware of the prank until he was shown a Twitter photo.
“It’s all in good fun,” Healey said. “We have great friends out at UMass. I think they’re just joking with us. We welcome them here.”
What remains to be seen is whether BC will wait to retaliate on the field Saturday or will do so Wednesday at UMass’s noontime pep rally at the Boston Harbor Hotel.
Asked if the prank got her riled up for the season-opening game, Bailey replied, “Oh, totally.”
The game is at Gillette Stadium at 3 p.m.