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Maroon Musket Mailbag

A few more questions came trickling in after last week’s mailbag, and we thank you for sending them our way. I definitely plan on getting to all of these during college football’s “down time,” so please don’t hesitate to send more our way (maroonmusket@gmail.com)

After watching Charley Molnar‘s live feed today on UMassAthletics, I’ve been thinking about taking a similar approach. Then again, that would require you to look at my face as I answer these questions, which just can’t be good for anyone involved.

Today’s question comes from reader Andrew Perry.

I’m curious if you have an opinion on what we can expect for UMass Football wins in the next 2 years. I asked Coach Molnar if he had win-total goals and as I expected, he didn’t want to name any numbers. 

It seems to me that we will be a much better team next year, between the solid recruiting class and the group of continuing players being more experienced –  and having had another year in the weight room. We lost Perry McIntyre and a few other players but not too much overall. So I’m predicting 3 wins in 2013. And in 2014, there will be 3 years of 1A recruits on the team, including 2/3 that aren’t 1st year players; so I am hoping for 5 wins in 2014. Do you think that my predictions are on target ?

After UMass got run over by Central Michigan, I sat around in the photographers’ trailer outside Gillette and tried to envision what the future held for the Minutemen.

Week after week, UMass was pushed around and absolutely decimated at the point of attack. Teams like Buffalo and Western Michigan – hardly FBS world-beaters – bullied the Maroon and White into submission. Meanwhile, the quarterback situation felt unsettled, the running back position was patchwork, there was still an ongoing kicker duel, and, aside from Gronkflower, there was little to be excited for at receiver.

I couldn’t create a scenario in which the Minutemen improved. The heart of the offensive line (Stephane Milhim) was moving on, and so to was the soul of the defense (Darren Thellen). Oh yea, and the leading rusher (Mike Cox), receiver (Deion Walker) and tackler (Perry McIntyre) were also on their way out.

How could this team – strewn with youth and now devoid of statistical leaders – win more than one game?

The answer, I suppose, is fairly simple:

Depth.

Next season there will likely be more than 40 new names on the UMass football roster. The assortment of 25 scholarship athletes, walk-ons and preferred walk-ons will lend immediate assistance to a program that was frequently short-staffed last year. There will be new bodies on the offensive line, speedy receivers to challenge for playing time and a posse of linebackers that appear ready and willing to make an impact early.

As we saw last year, first-year players will take their lumps, but they can also step in and turn some heads (See: Kassan Messiah, Joey Colton, Jovan Santos-Knox, etc.).

With this phalanx on fresh faces coupled with last year’s impressive crop of first-year players, the Minutemen should be athletically closer to their competition. Of course, UMass fans won’t exactly get a chance to really gauge this out of the gates. Wisconsin, while  a team in transition, is still very much a Big 10 power, with Big 10 athletes at a very formidable Big 10 facility. The Minutemen may come out of that game mentally tougher, but they will not leave Madison victors.

Maine should be a win. The Black Bears are a decent FCS team, but their last two classes aren’t near the same level as UMass’. I don’t want to jinx the Minutemen here, but anything less than 1-1 after Week 2 would be an absolute throat-punch to the program.

From there, I can see two or three more wins on the calendar. Namely, I think Miami (OH) and Akron can be beaten. The Redhawks lose Zac Dysert and were a pretty underwhelming team even with him under center. The Zips are rebuilding, and I think the Minutemen are just a little further along in the process.

Out of the rest of the games, I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if UMass upset Central Michigan. Other than that, I think it’s a pretty tough draw. Ohio, NIU and Buffalo all return their marquee players. Bowling Green may have the best mid-major defense in the country. Then there’s Western Michigan, and until I see the Minutemen pierce that crazy beehive defense the Broncos run, I can’t envision them winning.

In 2014, I expect this team to be significantly bigger and better. I also think the Minutemen can and should win their first game against an BCS-conference opponent. Here is the out-of-conference slate as it stands:

8/30/14 – Boston College
9/6/14 – Colorado
9/20/14 – at Penn State
10/4/14 – at Vanderbilt

Boston College and Colorado are both in the beginning stages of rebuilding, and Penn State is on the cusp of feeling the burn from the Sandusky sanctions. Colorado, in particular, is horrendously down right now, and it may take more than a few recruiting cycles for the Buffaloes to become respectable. If UMass’ trajectory is upward, going 1-3 in these games would be respectable and expected.

From there, it all depends on the MAC schedule. The Minutemen will probably face Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Ball State and Toledo, but that leaves four spots. If the scheduling gods are particularly friendly and give the Minutemen another round of Akron, Buffalo, Central Michigan and Miami (OH), I can see 2014 being a year where a bowl game is not out of the realm of possibilities.

That is, ya know, unless UMass is in the New Big East, Big 10, ACC or playing “semi-pro” football at that point.

Follow Bob on twitter@BobMcGovernJr

57 Comments

  1. sleepy sheep says:

    Maroon musket-congrats 46 comments must be a site high. You are becoming the go-to for UMass football!

    1. SJGMoney says:

      If only we could get all these great comments to read down instead of up!!! :)

      1. Umike says:

        Any word on the last two scholarships we have left for grad student transfers? Ricardo Miller hopefully will be a presence in the passing game, a DT would be huge, maybe even use both on DT. Thoughts?

  2. Larry says:

    Bob,

    Here is one somewhat off te subject question for all who are interested in voicing an opinion.

    Actually a two part question

    1. Do you like the uniforms we have now and what alternatives would you see as worthwhile for UMass to use?

    I like the idea of the white themed uni – especially against the Northeastern lkook a like squad NIU. Hated seeing black helmets against black helmets – made it too confusing but after a while I learned to see it that the faster moving black helmets were the NIU ones.

    2. Are award stickers something UMass should use? I was thinking muskets would look pretty sweet on th helmets.

    Larry sec 109

    1. Larry says:

      for what it is worth I really like the Western Kentucky uniform and I think the pattern could be used by UMass very nicely.

      Big numbers in the front and back and on the shoulders w/ the traditional stripes along with bold lettering.

      That is about the only thing I like about Western KY as Bobby Petrino is the spawn of satan as far as coaches go.

      Larry sec 109

      1. Umike says:

        I want a maroon helmet to go with the all white and all black. But with that helmet throw a different logo on there, Sam, the outline of Massachusetts, a musket… anything to switch it up. I’m a fan of numbers on the sides of the helmets too.

        Do what Texas Tech just did,

        http://cdn1.sbnation.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/8642921/ttu_helmets.0_standard_352.0.jpg

        ^^kids eat this sort of thing up..

        Also, I always loved the helmet stickers. Stars or muskets or just really anything would be a cool add on to the already (in my opinion) solid uniform.

        1. Andy says:

          I felt the unis were rushed and not as well thought out as could’ve been. Just wasn’t a fan of the look. Also thought the minuteman on the bicep part of the sleeve looked a little ridiculous. If they insist on black I don’t know why they can’t work with more black/maroon combos. The all black was unimaginative and the black helmets always looked beat up. (like a black car shows all the dirt and scratches more than a white car)

          1. SJGMoney says:

            I totally disagree, thought the black looked great and the Minuteman under armoire looked boss. More importantly the kids ate it up.

          2. ms says:

            Agreed, Andy. I’d like to see some white and even silver with the black and maroon combinations. Helmets should be white or maroon.

  3. ms says:

    UMass football has yet to, and is far from, establishing an identity, particularly on the offensive side. What do we want to establish? An offense of finesse? Smash-mouth? The pieces are not yet in place, and I think we won’t truly know until the end of next season as to how UMass should or will be characterized. I believe that Molnar will give everyone a chance to prove himself, and it is only through unmitigated, open competition that great discovery is made, so in this sense, we may see an eclectic combination of players on the field at any given time. On the one hand, there are some upperclassman who have not yet seen the field and, under game conditions, prove themselves under tenuous circumstances; on the other hand, there may be some true freshman whom we have yet to see play, who has flown under the proverbial radar in terms of national recruiting, and who can forge a dynamic presence on the field from 31 August on. I think, too, that chemistry will play an important part of the balance on both sides of the ball, and establishing a symbiosis of athleticism, instinct, inertia, attitude, swagger, and leadership will be critical in determining the team’s identity for the foreseeable future. This is an important year, fellas.

    Oh, and I think that we need a dual-threat QB, one who can release (by land, by air) faster than, if you’ll forgive my attempt at ribald humor, a boy on prom night. I want an athlete at quarterback, no offense at MW or anyone else, but this ain’t the pros, and we ain’t fooling anyone. I just didn’t see it last year. Hopefully, the bolstering of the line will help Wegzyn out.

    1. SJGMoney says:

      Well we know what the spread offense is and we know that Coach is committed to it. And while it is not to be thought of as a pass only offense, in fact teams like Oregon etc run the ball a hell of lot more than throw it, it is certainly NOT smashmouth football. Unfortunately for us last year there was not one semblance of mouths getting tickled let alone smashed as anyone who watched us continuously lose yardage on 3rd or 4th and 1 can attest.

  4. NJUMASS08 says:

    1-11 would not shock me at all, 2-10 I would be happily surprised, 3-9 I would be beyond happy.

    0-12, I would lock myself in my house, turn off everything electronic and read every book I have all over again.

    1. SJGMoney says:

      0-12 would mean losing to Maine and Akron AT HOME. Were that to happen I’d throw the towel in and buy Revs tickets. Actually, no I still wouldn’t.

      1. ms says:

        I call three or four wins.

    2. Larry says:

      0-12

      Zero and Frickin’ Twelve

      ????????

      No

      That is not happening.

      This team is young and has talent.

      0-12 is just not happening

      and neither is 1-11.

      Jersey Guy you may have graduated in 08 but i think you need your head examined.

      0-12 NOT Happenin’

      Larry sec 109

      1. Umike says:

        This team is trending up, not down. A lot of young talent on this team. A lot of young talent that teams would love to have.

  5. NJUMASS08 says:

    Love the “Semi-Pro” line, hahaha. Oh, that crazy Fac Senate and their crazy thoughts.

    1. Bob McGovern says:

      Haha – glad someone caught that.

  6. Larry says:

    OK here we are.

    Good to better than good recruiting class coming in. Staff has been around for a year. Everyone should have a good understanding of what is expected of them.

    But for those sitting in the seats who endured a tough first year in D1 all was not so easy to deal with.

    The Indy and NIU games were really tough to be a part of. To see the end of the season with “here we are lining up and running down your throat” send off was no fun either.

    So in the spirit of semi-worthless forecasting here are some guesses on how the 2013 season will break out.

    For what it is worth and this being offered purely for entertainment purposes and dissenting views are encouraged but just try and keep it real.

    @ Wisky L but respectable. Wisky will have a new coach and a new program. Prediction is for Wisconsin 31 UMass 20 with the favorite kicker in all of sec 109 making two FG’s and two extra’s.

    Maine at home THIS HAD BETTER BE A WIN AND IT CANNOT BE TOO CLOSE. Do not like to “yell” but I think anyone reading this gets the idea. This game is likely to have good attendance and we had better put up a good game and come out with a win. To me this is a red letter game for UMass.
    Prediction UMass 37 Maine 17.

    @ K-State we lose but it will not be too bad (considering we are playing K-State) K St 29 UMass 16 with the favorite kicker in sec 109 making 1 extra and 3 FG’s.

    Vandy at home. The first of two “uh oh” games. Vandy is getting better and better each year and is athletically becoming more and more like Standford. We lose and for those in the stands bring chap stick cuz we do not have the speed to run with SEC teams and the windburn coming off the field could be tough to be around.
    Vandy 42 UMass 20 with the favorite kicker is sec 109 kicking 2 fg’s and 2 extra’s

    @ BG We lose but like last year it will be an ugly game. BG is just an ugly team to play against. From their ugly uni’s to their ugly style of play. This is not a fun game to see.
    BG 24 UMass 13 with the favorite kicker in sec 109 making one XP and 2 FG’s.

    Miami at home WE WIN and in this one the running game and a heavy dose of Gronkflower comes out. UMass 30 (and the favorite kicker of sec 109 makes 3 FG’s and 3 extra’s) Miami 20.

    @ Buffalo toss up though we think Buffalo will be better than last year when we left extremely disappointed after handling them throughout the first half. Going with (for now) Buffalo 24 UMass 23 (with the favorite kicker in sec 109 missing a game winner as time expires from 57 yds out for his first miss of the season – hey it is March allowed to be a lil’ crazy).

    Western Michigan at home – UMASS Wins. This teams defense is not that good and again the offense puts it too the Bronco’s. Don’t like the Denver Bronco’s and do not like these Bronco’s either. UMass 26 (with the favorite kicker of sec 109 making 4 -yes 4- FG’s and 2 extras) Western Michigan 23.

    NIU at home. Remember when earlier we said this schedule has two “uh oh” games. Well here is game number two. Thankfully this will be at home so we will not have to hear the super ultra-homer NIU announcer’s. At the same time this team could have beaten us last year by worse – maybe a lot worse and they took their foot off the pedal for much of the game. UMass will not be surprised by what NIU will bring and it still will not be enough. NIU 34 UMass 10 (with the favorite kicker from sec 109 making 1 extra and a FG and either the special teams or Defense generating a TD).

    Akron at home. Real simple UMass Wins. We have better players than they do and I just really dislike the weeble Bowden as a coach. No other reasons needed or justified. UMass players go from teen’s to young adults in this game and Terry the Weeble Man looks to be done at Akron after this season. UMass 35 (with the favorite kicker from sec 109 with 5 Extras) Akron 20.

    @ Central Michigan. This is a good team – better than advertised- and we have a ways to go until we match up with them. Heavy Heavy Heavy dose of Zurlon the Load running back who will get something like 38 carries. Why – because he can and he is good at following the hulk FB’s they use. CMU 30 UMass 12 (take a guess what the favorite kicker of sec 109 will do – do you notice a theme here?)

    @ Ohio. Well this is going to be interesting.
    For reasons I cannot really explain we match up pretty well with the Bobcats. If the forecasts are correct a lot of the core players who have played recently for OHIO will have left. Nonetheless this is a good team and a win here might get them a bowl. . . . . anyways going way, way way out on a limb and predicting a stunning upset of OHIO with Gronkflower having 10 catches to lead the offense and the favorite kicker of all sec 109 making the game winner to lead UMass onto Sportscenter – UMass 24 Ohio 23.

    Hey it is March talk is cheap in March. At the same time if this was how the season worked out – would pretty happy.

    Larry sec 109

      1. Larry says:

        Thanks Bob. Looking forward to meeting up with you.

        Got to keep the sermons interesting.

        Larry sec 109

        1. Bob McGovern says:

          I have to ask – who is the favorite kicker in 109?

          1. Larry says:

            Bob,

            You asked – and your Kool Aid is in the mail. Be ready to drink.

            Blake Lucas steps out to be the UMass kicking machine after an ok first year.

            Drink up and go with Blake – he can kick it.

            Larry sec 109

          2. Bob McGovern says:

            I like it. Maroon Musket has Colter Johnson as an early favorite for 2013 POY.

            He has to get that punting average up. Dare I say: “Colter 45″

          3. Larry says:

            and we would offer the NH newcomer wil ltake over for Colter in 2014. Word we here is he is a good kicker but a better punter.

            Colter .45 – - Like It

            Larry sec 109

          4. Mike says:

            As someone else who sits in section 109 and kicker who can consistently make field goals and extra points is our favorite kicker.

            Mike sec 109

    1. SJGMoney says:

      Larry, you are the best. My first question is who is the Sec 109 kicker because I believe we have 82 of them on the roster?

      Here’s how I see things from the wine (last year it was whine) and cheese section upstairs in Sec 209:

      1. We will get smoked by Wisconsin: 52-10. If Bielema was still there my prediction would be 72-10

      2. If we don’t beat Maine then you will see some class A road rage from Foxboro to Danvers. First home win 27-10

      3. Much closer than most people think as I believe we will give this totally new KState team with their new QB and 25 JUCOs a ballgame. 26-20 loss with our last drive stalling inside the 10 yard line as time expires

      4. A third quarter lead by the Minutemen have their fans cheering M-A-C but Vandy’s speed makes some big plays in the 4th quarter and even the home fans leave happy after an entertaining 42-31 loss. (Remember we basically played even with them for a half last year until they scored 2 TDs in the last minute of the half to go up 21-0)

      MAC Schedule:
      Loss at Bowling Green
      Win vs Miami (OH)
      Win at Buffalo (this time we hold on)
      Loss vs W. Michigan (too physical still)
      Loss vs North. Illinois (Jordan Lynch too good for us. And I disagree about last year’s game as I don’t believe they called off the dogs for one second.)
      Easy win vs Akron (that team is B.A.D bad. Last years game should have been a 30 point blowout)
      Loss at C. Michigan (they wore us down last year, can they do it again?)
      Loss at Ohio (one of the better coached teams at home, going to be tough)

      So I give us 4 wins. I actually think the last two games could be toss-ups so if I’m wrong about beating Buffalo or Miami I may also be wrong about one of those games.

      1. Andy says:

        And don’t think Maine won’t come to play. Scary game.

        1. Larry says:

          Completely totally agree without question agree w/ you Andy.

          Maine played at Mississippi State about 6 years ago or so and beat them. Maine played at Nebraska a while ago (7-8 yrs ago I think) and lost by around 12.

          No one goes to UMaine for the city life and exciting surroundings. You stay in Orono for too long and you can go stir crazy and beat up on most anyone.

          Still we should be better than UMaine and this better be a WIN for UMass.

          If not – I may have to stay at the Gillete hotel for the night since I will probably be playing demolition derby in the parking lot.

          Larry Sec 109

          1. Andy says:

            Remind me not to park near you! LOL

          2. SJGMoney says:

            Maine will definitely come to play and I could see us witha sluggish first half offensively. But then I think we pull away late to win comfortably but not crushingly.

          3. Umike says:

            Only way this is remotely close is if we lose a lot of guys to injuries in Madison. Maine will bring it, but so won’t UMass. Teams like Nebraska, Florida and Michigan will sleep (get stoned) on teams like Maine for a quarter or a half because they have the ability to just step up and win when they want to. We need to play 60 minutes to sniff a win and Charley knows this. He won’t let them mess this game up.

            I would say we need this game more than any other game on the schedule.

      2. umass1991 says:

        Agree with ya… Ohio for me is the toss up. For the Wisc, KState, and Vandy, I won’t be bothered by a 20+ point loss as long as Umass is able to move the ball and not in the UConn game kind of way. Like I said in an earlier post, 2014 will be a much better year

      3. Larry says:

        $$$$money

        I am on board with a lot you say except for this

        Bielema is a dirtbag and he would be going for two when up whenever he could.

        He may try this at Arkansas but not too likely as pretty much everyone he will play there can balst away on hi team too.
        He should’ve stayed at Wisky but he is not that bright.

        Keep the posts coming $$$$

        Larry sec 109

        1. SJGMoney says:

          We don’t’ disagree Larry, that’s why I said if Bielema was still the coach they would hang 70 on us.

    2. Umike says:

      Any thoughts on attendance?

      Maine – Brings in a local crowd plus its the 1st home game, got to hope for a Colonial Clash like number 25-35k
      Larrys projections going into the game (0-1)

      Vandy – SEC school need to hope brings a few with them and wakes up locals to come see UMass play with the big boys 15-20k
      Larrys projections going into the game (1-2)

      Miami – Most Likely Home Coming? Got to hope 14-20k especially if we are not 0fer at that time
      Larrys projections going into the game (1-4)

      Western Mich – Got to think this is a down game especially if we are not playing well. No real attraction to WM to a casual fan. 8-13k
      Larrys projections going into the game (2-5)

      NIU – If they are playing up to their standards of last year they could possibly be ranked (they do have a weak OOC schedule though) which would draw a crowd. 12-15k
      Larrys projections going into the game (2-6)

      Akron – Last home game of the season, everyone who pays attention to this team knows this is a great chance for a win, got to think people come out for this one 13-17k
      Larrys projections going into the game (2-7)

      1. Andy says:

        Couple thoughts on attendance. First, let’s not make it seem like Orono Maine is a stone’s throw from Foxboro. You’re looking at about a 4 1/2 hour drive one-way. To see 25-35K at this game will take a monumental marketing effort on Maine’s part to make it worth 8+ hours of driving, busing whatever. If they whine the way UMass students whined about “spending all day for a football game”, we won’t see those numbers. As for any casual fan knowing who NIU is?….I can tell you this much. I had the chance to chat with Coach Molnar at the Gillette Pro Day, and I asked him about attendance. He said that the marketing minds were hard at work on this and we’ll hopefully see results. (no elaboration on these efforts though). I’d love to see overall MUCH better numbers than last year.

      2. Larry says:

        Umike

        as far as attendance goes here are some home game guesstimates

        UMaine 28,500. Lots of New Englander’s for reasons I do not fathom went to UMaine and this is the first home game. Could see the crowd even being a little over 30,000. Would offer that it would be good to play UNH and UMaine alternating each year at Gillette. would seem to be a win/win for everyone as long as we win on the scoreboard that is.

        Vandy 15,000. Mostly a UMass crowd. Vandy is not a big school and does not travel real well.

        Miami – 12,000 almost all a UMass crowd. One thing I learned from last year is MAC teams do not travel well.

        Western Mich – 11,000 see above but with fewer WMU fans coming. when we played Central Michigan last year I am guessing – this is a generous guess- they had 100 on their side. They might hve had more teammembers on the sideline than fans on their side and this game will be no different.

        NIU – All I will care about is the 70 +/- they will have on the sideline. Especially #6. If they even bring 50 to their side of the stands I would be surprised. When I think of NIU I think of Northeastern Univ. x3. Nuff said. 10,000 in attendance – again almost all UMass fans.

        Akron – Bowden will be staggering on his last legs at Akron. They will bring 200 max and the total crowd will be 12,000.

        1. Bob McGovern says:

          Let me just say, of all of this, I am most interested in actually meeting a bonafide Akron fan.

        2. umass1991 says:

          15000 + 2. If the Pats are playing here in Charlotte or Atlanta that day, I am flying up and going to the game with my father

          1. umass1991 says:

            boy, wish this had an edit function. Should have said for the Vandy game, as long as the Pats aren’t playing here or Atlanta, then I will be traveling to Gillette

  7. UMasSauce says:

    Personally I think your predictions are rosy. While I agree that the Minutemen will show some improvement, expecting a one-win team to pull off 3-4 wins this year is asking a lot. In particular, the quarterback situation needs to settle/vastly improve. It seemed like Wegzyn regressed towards the end of the year and I still don’t know enough about Doyle to put my confidence behind him. The talent we lost on the offensive side of the ball will show how much their talents masked the QB deficiencies.

    With respect to the schedule, I wonder if this team will develop an identity after the first five games. I see a team at 1-1 after Maine, as well they should be. The Miami game will be the big test, coming off of three tough games. If they can pull it off, their confidence may carry them to a third win in the conference slate. If they lose, it may go the other way. I also caution against overconfidence against Akron, who will likely be extra motivated to beat us after last years win in their house. I hope for 3 wins, but think 2 is the number I’m picking. Here’s to hoping I’m dead wrong.

    1. Larry says:

      Dear Sauce

      Like most of your post but would offer another view as well.

      QB’s by the nature of the position get way too much credit when the team does well and way too much blame when things do not work out. This goes with the territory.

      At the same time both of our QB’s last year were freshman dealing w/ everything a freshman QB goes through – and that pretty much means a lot of mistakes and learning experiences. Thought that both – at times which were not too consistent – showed flashes of being good college QB’s and other times each had the Deer in Headlights look too.

      If our OL improves and keeps our QB upright and clean and if we develop another receiver to go along w/ Gronkflower (who I think is a legit pro prospect) and our run game rises to beome decent – we will likely think our QB(s) is something.

      That is a lot of IF’s but turnover is constant in college football so we can whine about it or hope the upcoming players develop and can handle the challenges better than was done last year.

      For those in Sec 109 we think that we can pull off a few wins. How many is not so clear and it could be anywhere from 2-5. We need our special teams to create some breaks.

      We need the offense to put up some nice podding time consuming drives. We need our defense to cause some to’s and become a 3 n out style of Defense. Our defense has to without a doubt beome better at stopping or at the least slowing down the other teams running game. That is pretty much on our front 7. Appears we have some good returning players along with some good prospects on defense. Here is to hoping the unit develops as the season goes along.

      Would just hope that the way the defense played (I thought overmatched) against Western Michigan does not appear again any time soon. When they lined up w/ 2 big TE’s and and equally big n nasty FB and Zurlon the Load at TB – it was not pretty.

      Looking forward to seeing how we match up against Wsky. The new coach there did a great job turning around Utah State and it would seem the way Wisjy is built (huge OL and bif downhil running game) is a lot differrent than what he is used to. Hope Wisky has learning pains in game 1.

      Keep posting

      Larry sec 109

    2. Andy says:

      We all hope you’re dead wrong, but I can certainly see where you’re coming from. Of course we’re improving our position through recruiting and experience, but that doesn’t mean our competition is allowing themselves to deteriorate during our buildup. I’m hoping for three wins, but a lot has to go right just to reach three. We were in a couple of games last year but just couldn’t finish. (got worn out) and conditioning has hopefully been addressed. As for qb play, I thought it was “freshmanish”, but it wasn’t helped by being CONSTANTLY under pressure. I thought Wegz had a pretty accurate throwing arm when given just a few seconds to set up. The other thing that kills our record are those pretty much “sure loss” OOC games. I know WHY we have those games, but if you’re looking for an improvement in the overall W-L record they sure don’t help.

  8. umass1991 says:

    It seems we Umass fans always talk about “Next Year” Maybe its a Boston thing. But, I agree with Bob, next year (2014) is the year we should see a vastly different product than 2013. Bring in another top 5 rated MAC recruiting class for 2014 plus the 2013 class (including walkons) having a whole year on campus plus another year of experience for everyone else in this case does equal 3…. as in I see 3 O-O-C wins – BC, Colorado, and Penn State (yes, I said it)

    1. Larry says:

      ’91

      Wow is all I can think of.

      We beat Penn State at Penn State in 2014 and I will kiss you (on the cheeck – maybe – - – - if I am really pushed to do this).

      Like your optimism Brother..

      Keep posting.

      Larry sec 109

      1. umass1991 says:

        handshake and a pat on the back would be just fine, thank you :-)

        1. Larry says:

          Well Thanks then

          I can give a handshale and pat a back a lot easier than I can puckering up to any guy. Not that their is anything wrong with that mind you.

          Larry sec 109

  9. ms says:

    One can talk about the depth of a recruiting class ad nauseum, but the team needs playmakers–guys who can can make a difference–not necessarily stars in their first year or second year, as in Manziel at A & M, but those who can be relied on for consistent, solid, and hopefully, excellent play. There were a few surprises, namely Colton and Messiah, but otherwise, I’m looking for spark, incendiaries who can ignite and galvanize the team through attitude and demonstrated ability to get their job done. Recruiting is all a crapshoot, but it would appear that the coaching staff has far exceeded what one could expect in this, their second year. Kudos to them for their effort. Good luck to the team when they take the field in a few weeks for spring ball. I think there will be a few surprises in the making. Go UMass!

    1. Larry says:

      MS

      Like your post and would offer what you ask for is going to be answered at the Line of Scrimmage for us on both sides.

      We have some solid players lined up to play on both sides of the line and it will be interesting to see who steps up and leads both the O and D line units.

      I know we are in the minority when we say this but it would also be nice to see a hearty, knock em back FB available to help the run game and to provide some pass protection. Not meaning they should be an every down player but another arrow in the offense’s quiver is all.

      In sec 109 we are pretty old school. Black shoes n black shoes for the bunch of them I say.

      Larry sec 109.

    2. Umike says:

      ^^ Blanchflower.

      1. Larry says:

        UMike

        In Sec 109 we love Gronkflower. not exactly sure if having aman crush could evre be considered a good thing but we really like him a lot.

        Would offer that many in 109 think the offense should be run around him. Get the big guy 6-8 touches a game and watch what happens. All will be good.

        He is a nightmare for any LB or DB to deal with and is our leading candidate to be in the pro’s after the 2013 season.

        In Gronk We Trust ! ! !

        Larry sec 109

        1. umass1991 says:

          I agree the offense should run thru him. In fact, if Miller can develop into that Aaron Hernandez role, Branchflower may see more than 6-8 touches a game

        2. Umike says:

          I hear you, if Miller can play, put him on the other side of 87 and watch them eat up LBs. Hopefully Sharpe has improved to be the #1 wideout, AJ could have some good (big) targets.

          1. Larry says:

            For what it is worth we think Foesel and Cyr should get time out there as well.

            Both seem to be good to pretty good blockers and need to see the ball some. As much as we dislike saying this Grinkflower will graduate and someone will have to try and take his place – if anyone can really take his place that is.

            Still remember seeing him hurdle a tackler at Michigan a few years ago. Their sideline was stunned. Of course the previous coaching administration somehow did not see this and used him sparingly. another reason why Coach Charly is here.

            In Gronk We Trust

            Larry sec 109

          2. Joe says:

            a reason to why he might not have been used as much was emil igwenagu being on the team still

          3. ms says:

            I think that Cyr and Foesel should see some touches. Blanchflower is a senior.







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