Tuesday, December 12, 2017

UMass Recruiting 2018--Justin Lewis

Lewis #8 returning an INT for a touchdown/Robert Noles image
Justin Lewis, a 6-0 175 DB from Opelika, AL has Tweeted he's received an offer from UMass.

247Sports page here.

Hudl.com has video.

UMass is the first offer for Lewis.

UMass Football News--December 12th, 2017

Matty Vautour reports UMass will change Special Teams coach and TE's. The contracts of Mark Michaels and Jason Palermo will not be renewed.

Mike Traini of "Fight Massachusetts" has a post on the coaching changes.

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Penn Live.com catches up with Adam Breneman.

The All-American has Breneman as first team All-Group of Five.

Breneman has accepted an offer from the Senior Bowl.

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If you missed it, New Hampshire was bounced from the FCS playoffs by South Dakota State.

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Monday, December 11, 2017

UMass Football News--December 11th, 2017

Mike Traini of "Fight Massachusetts" recaps the FIU game.

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Recruiting visitors this weekend.

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Speaking of recruiting, the following graduate from the November 27th two-deep on offense:

Malik Lee FB

Andrew Libby FB

Matt Tuleja FB

Adam Breneman TE

There are no other fullbacks on the roster. Breneman was a big part of the UMass offense and Whipple's offense in general works best with a pass catching TE.

Other TE's on the roster:

Taylor Edwards RSFR 6-4 255. A former three-star recruit who came off a knee injury in 2016.

Avien Peah RSFR 6-2 260. Played in all 12 games in 2017. No stats

Jon Lucier RSSO 6-6 240. DNP 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017.

Kyle Horn RSSO 6-5 25.  Went 12-3 GP-GS 3-30 25 LONG

Travis Reynolds RSSO 6-5 255. 8-5 GP-GS 2-20 15 LONG.

Of the 24 players listed on the November 27th depth chart on offense, nineteen return. The Minutemen offense was 37th out of 130 FBS offenses in 2017. I would think UMass fans could expect another good year in 2018.

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Saturday, December 09, 2017

UMass Football News--December 9th, 2017

AJC.com previews Georgia's 2018 season. Has a nice image of Andy Isabella.Thanks to the blog reader who sent me the link.

Fixed link above.

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Adam Breneman is 2nd team All-American by Pro Football Focus.

The Athletic.com also has Breneman as a 2nd team All-American.

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The UMass Football Twitter feed has the above image about Michael Bowland. It's a shame his life was cut short.

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James Madison won a thriller in the FCS playoffs.

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Friday, December 08, 2017

UMass Football News--December 8th, 2017



Seven UMass players made the 2017 All-ECAC list.

The list has four seniors:

Da'Sean Downey

Bryton Barr

Adam Breneman

Logan Laurent

All four played an important part in UMass' four victories. Whipple's offense works a lot better with a pass-catching TE. We've been talking about Logan Laurent's six-week stardom. Da'Sean Downey finished eighth in the nation in TFL. Bryton Barr was 38th in the nation in TT.

Three of the players named were underclassmen.

Andy Isabella was 21st in the nation with 65 catches for 1020 yards. He was 43rd in the nation with 5.4 receptions per game. His 65 catches ranked #8 in UMass all-time single season receptions. He was #7 in single season receiving yards, moving Rasheed Rancher (1007 yards) down one notch. His ten receiving TD's tied him with Jason Peebler for 4th in single season TD receptions.

Isaiah Rogers went 12-12 GP-GS 35 UT (4th on the team) 15 AT 50 TT 3.0 TFL 3 INT's 14 BKUP (1st on the team).

Jack Driscoll  went 9-8 GP-GS. The offensive line played better the last six games of the season. The offensive line gave up 32 sacks in the first six games of the season and 14 in the last six.

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Mike Traini of "Fight Massachusetts" looks UMass 2018 recruits who may be involved in the early signing period.

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Off Tackle Empire discusses the bowl game between FIU and Temple and manages not many conclusions.

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Thursday, December 07, 2017

UMass Football Recruiting--Matt Araiza

Tim Garica image
Matt Araiza, a 6-2 186 pound K/P from California has Tweeted he's received an offer from UMass.

Hudl.com has video.

Max-Preps All-American in 2016. MaxPreps also has kicking stats.

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UMass Football News--December 7th, 2017

Thanks to the blog reader who pointed me to this USA Today article on assistant coaches salaries.

UMass is near the bottom of the barrel in assistant coaches salaries. This is another reason a league affiliation would help. Of course, not all leagues are in good shape.

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Speaking of the Sun Belt, seven Coastal Carolina players made the All-Sun Belt. If you read the article, a number of Chants players had their best game against UMass...

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In yesterday's Matty Vautour article he mentioned Coach Whipple is looking for some transfer or JUCO help with punting.

During the second half of the season Logan Laurant took over and had a great six weeks. In two of our biggest victories to date he was the key factor in the game. He kicked the game-tying field goal and then the winner in overtime. His three field goals were the difference in the BYU game. In addition, he was booming his kickoffs into the end of the  Cougars' endzone all game.

Not counting Laurant, we have four more kickers on the roster:

Mike Caggiano-- JR DNP in 2017. I don't know what happened to him.

Evan Padilla--FR He drew some oblique praise from Whipple, but DNP in 2017.

Theo Young--RSJR. DNP in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017.

Michael Schreiner---FR Had a solid start in kickoffs and extra points (10 for 10 in the first three games). Then missed one field goal against Coastal Carolina and three against Temple. Then missed his next extra point against Tennessee.

We've had five-and-half years of terrible kicking and six weeks of outstanding kicking and punting. It's no coincidence those six weeks were the best of our FBS era. A decent punter and kicker should be a priority recruiting goal.

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Wednesday, December 06, 2017

UMass Football News--December 6th, 2017


For the season, Marquis Young went 12-10 GP-GS 182-982 5.4 AVE 9 TD 81.8 AVE/game

Bilal Ally went 12-1 GP-GS 89-369 AVE 4.1 3 TD's 30.8 AVE/game

Nick Orekola went 11-1 GP-GS 15-135 7.5 AVE 1 TD 11.2 AVE/game

Other RB's listed on the roster:

Jordan Fredericks 5-10 225 (eligible next year)

Tyshaun Ingram 6-1 225 (appeared in five games playing special teams)

For 2017 UMass rushing went

12 GP 418-1624 3.9 AVE 19 TD's 95 LONG 135.3 AVE/game

Opponents went:

12 GP 480-2375 4.9 AVE 27 TD's 197.9 AVE/game.

UMass finished 99th out of 130 teams in rushing offense.

The Minutemen finished 100th out of 130 teams in rushing defense.

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UMass finished #111 out of 130 teams in Keepers College Football rankings.

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This Hero Sports article forgets UMass played in the Tangerine Bowl. Also they have the Minutemen playing two FCS teams in 2018.

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SB Nation ranks the FIU-Temple bowl game last in "watchability".

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Tuesday, December 05, 2017

UMass Football News--December 5th, 2017

Matty Vautour has an article about UMass football having an interesting off season.

He mentions the possibility that UMass defensive coordinator Ed Pinkham could get an offer from another staff. While UMass could not match a Power Five offer, the Minutemen currently do not have a "assistant head coach". UMass could offer him a raise or extension and the assistant head coach title. I would hope UMass could keep him. The two best wins of 2017, and they were the two best wins of the program in the FBS era, were Appalachian State and BYU. Both games were defensive gems.

Matty mentions the Minutemen will have six QB's on the roster if no one leaves. Andrew Ford has already said he's staying. Ross Comis, Randall West and JUCO Mike Curtis are currently on the roster. UMass adds Jake Pallotta and Josiah Johnson.

Matty says Whipple stated he's received some feelers about grad transfers and is looking at some JUCO's on defense and punter.

He mentions possible breakout players for 2018. Jordan Fredericks joins the running backs.

Chinedu Ogbonna and Jake Byczko will be available for the defensive line. Ogbonna played in eleven games in 2017 and Byczko in twelve. Byczko had 23 TT and three TFL. Ogbonna had 10 TT.

At linebacker, Mike Ruane and Cole McCubrey will complete for playing time. McCubrey had 14 TT and appeared in eleven games. Ruane appeared in ten and had one tackle.

Claudin Cherulis, Xavier Steele and Tyrus Lebeau will be available at Safety. Steele appeared in seven games and five TT. Cherulus and Lebeau redshirted.

Chris Hunt and Brian Roberts will join the cornerbacks.

Brian Abosi joins the offensive line.

Zak Simon, Silky Brown and Melvin Hill will join the receiving corps.

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The UMass Daily Collegian has a post about Whipple's extension.

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Monday, December 04, 2017

UMass Football News--Deember 4th, 2017

The Boston Herald has a post on Whipple's contract extension.

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Adam Breneman finished 11-11 GP-GS 64-764 4 TD's 11.9 AVE 41 LONG 69.5 yards/game. Zero drops for the season.

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The UMass Daily Collegian reports the Minutemen fell to FIU 63-45.

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Buffalo, UTSA and Western Michigan all finished 6-6 and did not get a bowl invite.

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Sunday, December 03, 2017

UMass Football News--December 3rd, 2017

I had a bad feeling about this game. I can't really complain because the FIU offense really played a great game. UMass had coverage on Panther receivers all game, but they made the catches. The UMass offense scored 45 points and that should be enough to win. The Minutemen could not stop the FIU running game. FIU runners would squirt between gaps and make eight yards every time. FIU QB Alex McGough was flushed out of the pocket by UMass defenders, but he repeatedly hit his receivers on the move. He just had a hot game.

Anyway, it was a good year for us. We have a lot to build on. Next year's schedule is reasonable and we should expect more progress. 

In 2018, go UMass!

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The Miami Herald says it was a convincing win for FIU.

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Saturday, December 02, 2017

Game Day Florida International


The 2017 season ends today. It's been a remarkable year for UMass fans. The football program hit a FBS low (the loss to Coastal Carolina) and three new highs (four wins, victories over a league-leading team and BYU away). It would be nice to keep rolling with a win over FIU. It would really send the program into the off season on a high note.  It's always more fun writing the blog the week after a win than a loss. It would give me a warm glow for the next 266 days until August 25 2018.

I'll be watching and cheering for the Minutemen. Go UMass!

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Matty Vautour reports UMass wants to finish with a win.

The Boston Herald says UMass LB Steve Casali wants to finish his career with a win.

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The Miami Herald reports FIU is holding its own among Florida college teams.

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FBS Schedules has a post on FCS Southern Illinois adding UMass, Arkansas State and Northwestern to its future schedules.

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SB Nation has the complete 2017 bowl calendar.

Land of Ten picks FIU to play Temple in the Boca Raton Bowl.

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Friday, December 01, 2017

UMass Football News--December 1st, 2017

A quick look at the Florida International Panthers:

FIIU is having a breakout year. The Panthers went 4-8 in 2016 and a win over UMass will reverse that score and set a program record eight wins. FIU returned six starters on offense and nine on defense. The Panther are coming off perhaps their best win of the season a 41-17 destruction of WKU. The Panthers lost to common opponent Old Dominion 37-30. They are 96th in scoring offense with 24.3 points per game. The Panthers are 69th in scoring defense.

FIU QB Alex McGough is #50 in passing efficiency, but has been hot lately. He completed passes to ten different receivers in the win over WKU. FIU's other impressive win was a 41-30 win over Marshall in Huntington. The Panthers rushed for 224 yards against the C-USA's best rushing defense.

Both UMass and FIU have improved over the teams that met the last two times. I think UMass has improved more and has a good chance for its second road victory of 2017. Coming off a bye week the Minutemen should be healthy, and should score points against the Panthers. The UMass defense is coming off maybe its best performance ever against BYU. I think they can again get some turnovers.

Go UMass.

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FIU Sports has five questions for UMass beat writer Matty Vautour.

Speaking of Matty, he has a post on UMass' Camp Hill Trio.

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Mike Traini of "Fight Massachusetts" previews the Minutemen-Panthers game.

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KU Sports has a story on former UMass QB James Sosinski's journey to Kansas.

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A Bleacher Report writer predicts FIU 31 UMass 24.

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Get More Sports believes UMass will cover the spread.

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The Boston Herald goes out on a limb and predicts a close game.

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FIU won't play in the Bahamas Bowl, but there are six other bowls in play.

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Former UMass assistant coach Jerry Azzinaro will be named defensive coordinator at UCLA.

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Thursday, November 30, 2017

UMass Football News--November 20th, 2017

Matty Vautour reports UMass coaches will add recruiting duties to the FIU trip.

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Athlon Sports covers the UMass-FIU game and predicts UMass will beat the spread.

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Wicked Local Swampscott features former UMass and Patriot player Ed Toner. Ed played for the Minutemen in 1965 and 1966. He was one of five Toner brothers (John, Mark, Paul and William) to play for UMass.

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The UMass Daily Collegian says UMass prepares to close out its season against FIU.

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Sports Chat Place picks FIU to cover the spread.

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Former UMass QB James Sosinski, currently a TE with Kansas, may join the Jayhawks hoops practice squad.

Sosinski's Kansas bio.

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247Sports has a post on the new December 20th to 22nd early signing period.

USA Today says the early signing period is creating a lot of uncertainty.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

UMass Football Recruiting 2018--Bryon Robinson

Robinson #5/Twitter image
Bryan Robinson, a 5-11 190 pound CB from McKinney, TX has Tweeted he's received an offer from UMass.

247Sports page here.

Hudl.com has video.

UMass is the first FBS offer for Robinson.

UMass Football News--November 29th, 2017

Matty Vautour reports Andrew Ford will play his senior year at UMass. That's good news for Minutemen fans!

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Adam Breneman, Logan Laurent and Da'Sean Downey were named to the All-New England Team

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Keepers College football ratings has UMass a 8.59 point favorite over FIU.

He has the Minutemen as #103 in college football.

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FIU has their game notes for UMass up.

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Off Shore gaming says take UMass to beat the point spread.

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SB Nation predicts bowl games for Mississippi State, Ohio, FIU, Appalachian State and Temple.

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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

UMass Football Recruiting 2018--Lakiem Williams

Twitter image
Lakiem Williams, a 6-2 240 pound LB/RB from Butte College in CA has Tweeted he's received an offer from UMass.

247Sports page here.

Hudl.com has video.

Williams has seven FBS offers including UMass and Syracuse from the Northeast.

UMass Football News--November 28th, 2017

UMass has its game notes for FIU up.

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College TV schedules (note. The times listed on the site are Central Time) says the game will be on C-USA TV.

It's $6.95 for a one-day subscription.

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Andy Isabella needs 75 yards receiving to break 1000 yards for the season. He needs 1 yard to pass Jason Peebler 48-976 (2004). On the single season record list, 101 yards Saturday would put him 5th.

8. Jason Peebler (50-1003) 2003
7. Rasheed Rancher (49-1007) 2007
6. Victor Cruz (71-1064) 2008

Herald image
Andrew Ford has gone 193-303 2575 18 TD's 62.5 % 257.5 AVE/Game.

Ford needs one completion to pass Tim Day (194-341-17) 2004 for 10th place in single season pass completions.

9. 206 Liam Coen 2008
8. 217 Liam Coen 2006
7. 219 Kyle Havens 2010

He's already 10th in single season passing yards. Next up:

9. 2692 Kyle Havens 2010
8. 2749 Liam Coen 2008

Ford is tied for 10th in single season TD's. Next up is:

8. 20 Noel Reebenacker 1952
8. 20 Kyle Havens 2010

Ford #6 in passing completion %. Next in line is:

4. 63.5 Todd Bankhead 1995
4. 63.5 Kyle Havens 2010

Ford is #4 in passing EFF.

3. 156.3 Liam Coen 2007.

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Being a football coach is not easy or fair. Ty Detmer was stuck with a fifth-string true freshman quarterback and gets fired.

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A couple of Knoxville businesses weight in on Tennessee's coaching controversy. Mentions UMass.

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Monday, November 27, 2017

UMass Recruiting 2018--Vonte Davis

Blinn College image

Vonte Davis, a 6-1 180 pound CB from Blinn College has Tweeted he's received an offer from UMass.

247Sports page here.

Hudl.com has video.

Blinn College bio here.

Davis was first-team all-conference in 2017.

Besides UMass, Davis has offers from Utah State and New Mexico.

UMass Football News--November 27th, 2017

FIU opens as a 1.5 point favorite over UMass. Interesting line. Usually, the home team has a 3-point edge for just not having to travel. So Vegas thinks the teams are pretty evenly matched.

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UMass-FIU will kickoff at noon.

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Patriot LB Karl Van Noy lost a bet about the UMass-BYU game and had to pose with a Minutemen uniform on.

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Sports Chat Place thinks FIU will cover the spread against UMass.

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FIU is one win away from a school record.

You remember the fake punt that ended in disaster for WKU? Well, FIU excuted a fake punt in the same game that resulted in a TD.

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BYU football looks forward to the 2018 season.

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The Hartford Courant looks at the UConn Huskies 2018 season, which includes UMass and Rhode Island at home.

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Mississippi State's HC Dan Mullen leaves to coach at Florida.

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Tennessee backed off hiring Greg Schiano after campus protests.

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Sunday, November 26, 2017

UMass Football News--November 26th, 2017

Sorry no post yesterday, family emergency.

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I was surfing on Comcast Sports Friday evening had it turned out they had the FIU-Western Kentucky game.

The Panthers dominated Western Kentucky 41-17. It was actually worse than that because FIU had pick-six negated by a very questionable roughing the passer call. Western Kentucky, you remember has a high-octane offense. FIU had five sacks and held WKU to 46 yards rushing. They had pressure on WKU's QB all game.

The C-USA announcers were raving about FIU QB Alex McGough who went 17-26 227 1 TD. McGough has been close to 70% completion rate over his last four games. He repeatedly ran out of WKU pressure. McGough did all this without his top-two receivers. He completed at least one pass to ten different FIU receivers.

The game featured this amazin' fake punt by Western Kentucky.


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BYU dominated Hawaii 30-20. Note the Cougars rushed for 285 yards against Hawaii. BYU's rushing total for their last three games was UNLV 263, UMass 46, Hawaii 285.

Coastal Carolina had a BYE

Old Dominion's bowl hopes were crushed by Middle Tennessee State 41-10.

Temple, on the other hand, became bowl eligible with a 43-22 win over Tulsa.

Vanderbilt beat Tennessee. This was the first time since the SEC began in 1933 that the Vols went 0-8 in league play.

Ohio was upset by Buffalo 31-24.

South Florida lost to unbeaten UCF 49-42.

Georgia Southern won their second in a row defeating Louisiana Lafayette 34-24.

In the first round of the FCS playoffs, two of the three CAA teams advanced. New Hampshire beat Central Connecticut and Stony Brook beat Lehigh. Elon lost to Furman.

Friday, November 24, 2017

UMass Football News--November 24th, 2017

One benefit of being an Independent is not being stuck with a MAC afternoon Black Friday game. Many people still have to work and many of the rest have orders from their spouse to do shopping or tag Christmas trees or the like.

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Da'Sean Downey has gone 10-10 GP-GS 34 UT 22 AT 56 TT 19.0-74 TFL 6.0-30 SACKS 3 BRUP 3 QBH.

The Ted Hendricks foundation is here. The final 2017 watch list is here (they even call us UMass, not Massachusetts).

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Mississippi State QB Nick Fitzgerald suffered a severe ankle injury in last night's loss to Mississippi.

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FIU and Western Kentucky play tonight at 7:00 pm.

The Panthers will be without their first and second leading receivers.

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Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving Day--2017


I'm thankful for my family and friends, my country---and my football team.

"Perhaps today will be the day when we experience happiness or wisdom. Don't try to grab that moment and hold on to it with all your might. It's not under your control how long it lasts. Enjoy it, recognize it, remember it. Having it for the moment is the same as having it forever."

                                                      Entry for 11/21 "The Daily Stoic" by Holiday and Hanselman

We'll always have Appalachian State, BYU and four-out-of-five win streak. I wish a happy Thanksgiving to all the blog readers.

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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

UMass Football News--November 22nd, 2017

The Salt Lake Tribune wonders if BYU OC Ty Detmer is on the hot seat after the Cougars only scored 10 points on UMass.

The Deseret News says BYU needs a quarterback.

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FIU HC Butch Davis has rediscovered the joy of coaching. I'll bet the UMass coaching staff feels the same thing.

FIU Sports has a first look at the Panthers game against WKU.

The C-USA site also previews the FIU-WKU game. Over the last three games, FIU QB Alex McGough has a 70% completion rate...

McGough has gone 194-303-2269 7 INT's 13 TD's 226.9 yards/game 135.5 EFF

Injured WR Thomas Owens leads C-USA in receptions/game. His status for the UMass game is unknown.

FIU is 10th in conference scoring and 8th in scoring defense.

Vegas has WKU over FIU by 2.5.

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The Valley News looks at coaching vacancies in 2017, which includes two teams UMass played Tennessee and Georgia Southern.

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SB Nation has a post on the first round of the FCS playoffs. James Madison is rated #1. Stony Brook and New Hampshire play in the first round.

New Hampshire has made the FCS playoffs for 14 consecutive years.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

UMass Football News--November 21st, 2017



Coach Walker is UMass' recruiting coordinator and linebackers coach.

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Adam Breneman has accepted his invite to the Senior Bowl.

Breneman did not make the three finalists for the Mackey Award. Breneman is currently 2nd in receiving yards by TE and 2nd in receptions per game by a TE.

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The Deseret News says even in a down year, we can be grateful for football.

The Herald reports BYU is not treating the trip to Hawaii as a vacation.

247Sports ranks the Cougars #56 in 2018 recruiting with 12 three-star recruits and one four-star.

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ESPN predicts Temple, Appalachian State, Ohio, Mississippi State and FIU will be a bowl.

Old Dominion is currently 5-6 and needs a win over Middle Tennessee to become bowl eligible. If UMass had beaten Hawaii (3-8) or Coastal Carolina (2-9) we'd be playing for a bowl invite ourselves.

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Monday, November 20, 2017

UMass Football 2019 recruiting ---LLoyd Summerall

Twitter image
Lloyd Summerall, a 6-6 210 pound DE from Auburndale, FL has Tweeted he's received an offer from UMass.

Hudl.com has video.

247Sports page here.

MaxPreps has stats.

Just received an offer from Pitt.

Summerall holds eight offers including a number of Power Five teams. UMass and Pitt are the only offers from the Northeast.

UMass Football News--November 20th, 2017

Mike Traini of "Fight Massachusetts" recaps the BYU game.

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The BYU website has a pretty awesome image gallery from Saturday's game.

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SB Nation has a FBS ranking after the November 18th games that has UMass as #81. A win at FIU could push UMass into the top 50%.

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Keepers College Football rankings has UMass as #101.

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BYU looks to rebound against Hawaii after a loss to "lowly" UMass.

KSL.com says the Cougars were outclassed by UMass.

The Deseret News says BYU-Hawaii will be a de facto bowl game for the two teams involved. The same reasoning could hold for UMass-FIU. It'll be in warm weather and the game will be in December. Except for the FCS playoffs, UMass has not played in December in a long while.

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FIU tries to shake off a pair of losses in one week in order to get ready for Western Kentucky. The Panthers lost star WR Thomas Owens to a knee injury. He could miss the UMass game.

The Sports Chat Place picks WKU to cover the spread against FIU.

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Sunday, November 19, 2017

UMass Football News--November 19th, 2017



UMass defeated BYU in Provo in a defensive gem by the Minutemen defense. Before the game the BYU press was saying the Cougar offensive line was the best unit in the team. BYU had run for over 260 yards the game before against UNLV. The UMass defense held BYU to 42 yards after subtracting sack yardage. The Minutemen defense had seven sacks and eight tackles for loss. The UMass corners played great all game. Everyone flew to the ball. The defensive linemen had three batted balls.

The offense did just enough to win. I think we went into a shell a little too early, but the defense held and we beat a Power Five team for the first time.

Congrats to the team and all the blog readers who stayed positive.

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UMass write-up here.

BYU write-up here.

Matty Vautour says it was a milestone win.

The Deseret News says BYU hit historic lows.

The News reports the BYU loss mirrored the whole 2017 season.

Dick Harmon reports BYU knew the UMass blitz was coming but still couldn't handle it.

The Herald says it was a UMass deconstruction.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports it was a embarrassing loss for the Cougars.

SB Nation says BYU hit rock bottom.

It was a bad day for Cougar fans as the BYU hoops team was blown out on their home court by UT Arlington.

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FIU was crushed by FAU 52-24 to guarantee the December 2nd game with UMass will happen.

Hawaii lost to Utah State 38-0.

Coastal Carolina beat Idaho for their first ever Sun Belt conference win.

Old Dominion edged Rice 24-21 to keep their bowl hopes alive.

UCF rolled over Temple 45-19.

Tennessee lost to LSU and fell to 4-7.

Ohio lost to Akron on Tuesday. The Bobcats are still 8-3 for the year.

Georgia Southern beat Southern Alabama 52-0. What!?

Appalachian State had a bye.

Mississippi State moved to 8-3 with a win over Arkansas.

Maine gave up a Hail Mary TD pass with six seconds left to lose to Stony Brook.

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Saturday, November 18, 2017

Game Day--BYU

UPDATE 6:30 PM

How sweet it is!

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UMass has a chance for a historic win today. The relative strengths of the two programs are far closer than we expected before the season. UMass has scored points all year. The defense is playing better. Since Logan Laurant's Renaissance, the kicking game has improved mightily. When the kicking game got better, so did UMass.

Last year we killed ourselves with turnovers. The Minutemen's defense has been getting some of their own over the last four games. We need to stop the BYU running game and make a third-string QB try to beat us passing.

Nevertheless, beating what is essentially a Power Five team on their home field is a tall order. The altitude in Provo is another challenge. Last year the Minutemen were cramping up all over.

I'll be watching and hoping for a big Minutemen win.

Go UMass!

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Matty Vautour says UMass is hunting a potential huge win.

The Boston Herald reports UMass is looking for a road win over fellow Independent BYU.

The Deseret News has how to watch, stream or attend the game. The game will also be available on ESPN3.

Athlon Sports predicts BYU 27 UMass 21.

The Salt Lake Tribune says surging UMass looks capable of handing BYU its first November home loss since 2005.

Cougar Blue has five true facts about the Minutemen.

The Deseret News predicts BYU 31 UMass 28.

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Friday, November 17, 2017

UMass Football News--November 17th, 2017

A quick look at BYU:

Last year the Cougars went 9-4 with victories over Arizona and Michigan State. They beat Wyoming 24-21 in the Poinsettia Bowl. This year, BYU is having a once-in-a-generation bad year for them. The Cougars are 3-8 with wins over FCS Portland State, San Jose State and UNLV. BYU is down to their third-string QB Joe Critchlow. However, their struggles started with starter Tanner Mangum. The Cougars are #120 in the nation in total offense. They are #61 in scoring defense allowing only 25.9 points a game.

BYU will want to run the ball with all-name team Squally Canada (5-11 217). He's gone 92-546 5.9 AVE 4 TD's. Canada ran for 213 yards and a 8.5 yards/carry against UNLV. Stopping Canada will be a priority for the UMass defense. BYU probably won't win a passing contest with UMass' offense.

A chance like this won't come very often. BYU has Power Five fan base and program. They should be in the Big 12 or PAC Ten. A win over the Cougars (even during this year) would be a major milestone for the Minutemen.

Go UMass!

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Matty Vautour says BYU presents another chance for revenge. I was there last year in Provo. The Minutemen played the Cougars even for the first half, then fell apart in the second ---really fell apart. Ford threw a INT for pick-six. We had a punt blocked to give BYU a short field. We fumbled two kick returns to give BYU more field position and we had a running-into-the-punter penalty that allowed another BYU scoring drive to continue. UMass gave away 28 points in second half.

Mike Traini of "Fight Massachusetts" previews the BYU game.

Cougar Blue ranks UMass #9 in BYU opponent power rankings.

The Deseret News reports the Minutemen's complex offense will poise problems for BYU's defense.

Saturday's game will be Senior Day for the Cougars.

BYU wants to send the seniors off with a win.

BYU QB "Big Critch" is taking his new celebrity status in stride.

SB Nation picks UMass 26 BYU 25.

Bleacher Report predicts UMass 38 BYU 35.

Athlon Sports predicts UMass 24 BYU 21.

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Thursday, November 16, 2017

UMass Football News--November 16th, 2017


Andy Isabella has gone 10-10 GP-GS 51-841 16.5 AVE 8 TD's 69 LONG 84.1 yards/game so far in 2017. Isabella's 8 TD's tie him with Jeremy Horne (2008) and Adrian Zullo (1998) for #10 in the UMass single season pass-reception touchdowns history. He needs 10 receptions more to break into the single season top ten in that category and 81 more reception yards make the top ten in single season receiving yards.

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UMass starting MLB Bryton Barr is contemplating his seventh season of college football.

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The Salt Lake Tribune reports Joe Critchlow has gone from missionary to fifth-stringer to starting QB for BYU.

Former NFL QB Brad Sorensen is cautiously optimistic about Joe Critchlow as the Cougars starting QB.

Former BYU starter Koy Detmer, is trying to be a player-coach for the Cougar's QB's.

Cougar offensive coordinator Ty Detmer's job may be in Joe Critchlow's hands.

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Idaho has three victories in 2017 and is dealing with QB injury problems as they host one-win Coastal Carolina.

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Mississippi State is #16 in the college football playoff rankings.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

UMass Football recruiting 2018--DJ Williams

Hudl.com image
DJ Willimas, 5-9 185 pound DB from Independence Community College has Tweeted he's received an offer from UMass.

247Sports page here.

Hudl.com has video.

This article from May 2017 features Williams.

His bio at Independence has some stats.

Williams has fourteen offers including Buffalo and UMass from the Northeast.

UMass Football News--November 15th, 2017

Adam Breneman has been selected as one of eight Mackey Award Finalists.

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Mike Traini of "Fight Massachusetts" reports the second game in the Maine series has been rescheduled to 2021.

Another master move by AD Ryan Bamford which allows UMass to play Rutgers in 2019. The Scarlet Knights are a Northeast FBS team (and there is not a lot of them), plus they are beatable. Rutgers is 4-6 this year with a loss to Eastern Michigan. This is better than another trip to Penn State or West Virginia who is currently tied for second in the Big Twelve.

Future UMass schedules here.

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The UMass Daily Collegian reports UMass sets its sights on BYU.

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The Lawless Republic relates three things to know about the UMass Minutemen.

One of the three things is Andrew Ford.

Another is RB Marquis Young.

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SB Nation ranks all 130 teams and has UMass out of the bottom third of FBS.

The Herald Extra reports the Cougars defensive backfield is working to improve.

The Deseret News says the BYU defense is benefiting from the recent success of the offense.

According to the Deseret News Cougar players watched to UMass-Mississippi State game.

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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

UMass Football News--November 14th, 2017

Snow on the ground here in Milford...

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The UMass top five in career passing yards:


  1. Liam Coan 11,031 2004-08
  2. Todd Bankhead 7018 1998-99
  3. Blake Fronapfel 6264 2014-16
  4. Dave Palazzi 5461 1985-88
  5. Andrew Ford 5010 2016-17


Matty Vautour reports Andrew Ford is glad to be back after a scary injury.

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Matty also reports the UMass AD Ryan Bamford will make a decision Whipple's contract after the season.

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BYU has its game notes for UMass up.

BYU will try to avoid it's first home losing season in 50 years against UMass this Saturday.

The Cougars lost another QB for the season against UNLV.

"Vanquish the Foe" comments.

The Herald recounts BYU's string of QB injuries.

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FIU and FAU prep for the Shula Bowl.

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Monday, November 13, 2017

UMass Football recruiting 2018--Sterling Palmer

Hudl.com image
Sterling Palmer, a 6-7 230 pound TE from Fork Union Military Academy has Tweeted he's received an offer from UMass.

247Sports page here.

Hudl.com has video.

Bleacher Report has Fork Union---last chance high. The Minutemen have recruited a number of players from Fork Union in the past.

Palmer also holds an offer from FIU

UMass Football News--November 13th, 2017

BYU opens as a 3.5 point favorite in Vegas.

Keepers College football rankings has UMass by 3.91.

Keepers also has UMass #109 in power rankings.

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BYU fans are celebrating their first road win in a year.

BYU backup QB Joe Critchlow was steady in his first start.

The Herald Extra reports the Cougars improved at UNLV.

KSL.com says a freshman QB, improved running offense and a good effort on defense gave BYU a night to remember at UNLV.

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Tennessee fired Butch Jones after the Vols were blown out by Missouri. That's the second HC on UMass' 2017 schedule that has been fired.

Six FBS coaches have been fired so far in 2017.

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Elijah Wilkinson is playing for the Broncos. His bio.

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Sunday, November 12, 2017

UMass Football News--November 12th, 2017


 Well, this game felt like the game against Stony Brook back in 2010. You remember UMass went out to Michigan and gave the Wolverines all they could handle. However, the next week we played new FCS team Stony Brook and managed a 26-21 win over a team we were clearly superior to. UMass looked a little washed out after the big effort against Mississippi State. In addition, Ford was clearly not 100%. Comis was not dressed. Ray Thomas-Ishman Sr was not dressed due to an apparent one-game suspension (he was on the sidelines encouraging his teammates, so all is well with that).

It was a win and three wins ties our best record since joining FBS. We have two games left; wining one or both would show a clear improvement.

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UMass write-up here.

Maine write-up here.

MassLive reports UMass pulls out a big win.

Matty Vautour says UMass held on to beat Maine.

He also reports the Minutemen soaked up the Fenway experience.

The Kennebec Journal reports UMass held Maine to 1-13 in third down conversions.

The UMass Daily Collegian says Isabella and Ford dazzled in a win over Maine.

The Boston Herald reports Ford and Isabella lifted UMass to a victory over the Black Bears.

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Fresno State beat Hawaii to eliminate the Warriors from bowl contention.

Coastal Carolina was blown out by Troy to run their losing streak to nine games.

Old Dominion upset Florida International in a game that has UMass implications. That puts the Panthers two games out a first place in C-USA East. If FIU does not make the conference championships, then the UMass-FIU game will be played on 12/02.

Temple kept their bowl hopes alive with a 35-24 win over Cincinnati.

Missouri ran up 649 yards of offense in a rout of Tennessee.

The Athens Post says the Bobcats proved themselves the class of the MAC conference with a win over Toledo.

Appalachian State gained bowl eligibility with a win over Georgia Southern on Thursday.

Mississippi State almost upset Alabama.

BYU's coach thinks Joe Critchlow will start against UMass.

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