BOSTON — Based on the results of a week ago, there’s no reason to pay attention to Maine’s football game Saturday at Boston College.

The Black Bears sputtered on offense and frittered away a late lead to lose 13-10 at Bryant, the first time that had happened in four meetings.

The Eagles, meanwhile, throttled the No. 9 team in the nation, outrushing USC 452-20 to pull off a 37-31 upset, handling the Trojans for the first time in five meetings.

Avert your eyes, Maine fans?

“They have bigger guys, faster guys, more guys. But as I tell our team, if we maximize what we have and they come down a little bit, it starts to level the field,” said Maine Coach Jack Cosgrove. “That’s the hope and that’s the plan.”

The Black Bears lost 34-3 at Boston College in 2012. They haven’t beaten a “Power Five” conference school since 2004. But they’ve played close at times, notably in a 35-29 loss at Pitt in 2011.

The players appeared loose this week.

“I always like those games so that I can prove myself, show who I really am. It’s a lot of motivation,” said Maine middle linebacker Christophe Mulumba Tshimanga, a sophomore who leads the team with 27 tackles.

“The key is don’t be scared. Go into the game with the mentality that we’re going to win the game. Even though they’re bigger and faster, we’re still good football players.”

Boston College (2-1) got a career-high 191 rushing yards from senior quarterback Tyler Murphy last week, including a 66-yard touchdown that essentially clinched its first victory over a top-10 team in a decade.

But Coach Steve Addazio said he had his team practicing in full pads Tuesday and Wednesday this week, just as it had before meeting USC.

The message: “It will be a tough, physical game and we’ve got to play with the same energy level,” he said. “I felt right last week in doing it. I felt right this week. I think early on to me, it’s all about you’re in a footrace to maximize your team and figure out your real identity and it’s hard to do when you’re not practicing at a high level with collisions and pads. Sometimes you get lulled to sleep.”

Addazio, who has known Cosgrove for years, praised the tradition surrounding Maine football. He said his players, most of them hailing from the Northeast just like the Black Bears’ squad, won’t take their visitors lightly.

Maine (1-1) would benefit from being overlooked but isn’t counting on it.

Mulumba Tshimanga said he wants to get the Eagles at their best, to measure himself against that challenge. But he knows his defense needs to start generating turnovers. The Black Bears have only one.

“You’ve got to give the ball back to the offense,” he said. “They need to put up points and I feel we need to help them.”

Maine surrendered 96 yards rushing on 73 carries to Norfolk State and Bryant for an otherworldly 1.3 yards per attempt. There’s little comparison between those two opponents and the talent of BC, but still it provides hope for the Black Bears.

“The physical size differential is huge. They’ve got some very big offensive linemen,” Cosgrove said. “That part of it means we have to tear off blocks, we’ve got to play our gaps, our guys have got to be sound. We’ve got to play fast, we’ve got to think fast. We’ve got to do every fundamental thing that you teach a football player to do to the best of our ability. And then hope that that’s enough.”

Maine will get reinforcements on defense. Senior cornerback Axel Ofori Jr. will make his 2014 debut after ankle surgery, although his role will be limited. Pass-rushing defensive tackle Patrick Ricard should return from a knee injury. Cosgrove plans to rotate bodies into the lineup on both sides of the ball in an attempt to keep his players from wearing down.

There certainly wasn’t a lack of confidence evident in the Black Bear locker room this week.

Cornerback Sherrod Baltimore, a junior, vowed to be ready to do his part.

“Big plays change games and I feel like I can do that,” he said, anticipating his reunion with Ofori. “We’re going to make it tough on them. We’re going to get after it.”