The first game played between the two schools took place in 1899 and was played at a neutral location. Boston College won 18–0. At the time, UMass was known as Massachusetts Agricultural College. The relative proximity between the schools encouraged them to schedule additional matches in the subsequent years.
BC and UMass met again in Amherst, MA in 1901, 1902, and 1912, with UMass winning all three contests before the series was halted. The two schools did not meet again on the football field until 1966, when they began a seventeen-year series in which the teams would play each other in the last week of UMass' football season. UMass was in a lower division than BC during the entirety of the rivalry. As such, Boston College dominated the stretch, winning fifteen of the seventeen games, routinely blowing out the overmatched Minutemen.
After 22 years, the rivalry was renewed as UMass traveled to Chestnut Hill, MA to play Boston College once again. UMass was yet again outmatched, losing 29–7. The universities agreed to play two more times over the next seven years, and Boston College won both games easily.
In April 2011, UMass announced plans to join the Mid-American Conference and move up to the NCAAFootball Bowl Subdivision, the highest level of college football in the country. Boston College had been a member of this division for decades, and there was much speculation that the two schools may cultivate a renewal of the rivalry. This was confirmed when it was reported in September, 2011, that they had agreed to play a three-game biannual series beginning in 2014. Two of the games will be played at BC's Alumni Stadium, while the other was played at Gillette Stadium, the Minutemen's home field on August, 2014.
After a three year break from the series, BC and UMass renewed their rivalry with a season-opener played at Gillette Stadium, home of the local NFL franchise, the New England Patriots. The game was the first match between the teams with both being members of the FBS branch of Division-I football, as UMass was promoted from the FCS branch in 2012. BC won the game by a score of 30–7.
The weeks preceding the game were met by a moderate amount of local media coverage and hype, mostly from the marketing efforts of the UMass side, where they billeted the game as the "Battle for Bay State". One UMass fan even went as far as to don a Minutemen football jersey on the Doug Flutie statue outside Alumni Stadium on BC's campus. Some of the BC fan-base took to the internet to respond, comically citing UMass' lack of success in the series, having only won two matches since 1912, as well as their 2-22 record since joining the FBS division.