Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wednesday--October 22nd, 2014

Dan Malone ranks college football teams after last week's games and moves the Minutemen up a little.

Dan also talks about for the first time in FBS, UMass has some big game pressure.

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Matty Vautour reports the UMass seniors wish the Minutemen resurgence happened earlier. Ya gotta wonder where we'd be if Whipple was hired in 2012. Probably no MAC exit and we'd be wondering what bowl UMass would be in.

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The MAC conference has added another bowl tie-in.

Hustle Belt also has a post on the new MAC bowl connection.

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USA Today has a post about Week #8's winners and losers and says break up the Minutemen.

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Phil Steele as how teams compare to their opponents offensive and defensive averages. UMass' four BCS games skew the results for the Minutemen.

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NIU looks down the road to its machup with Toledo.

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The Toledo Blade says a two-week bye (which UMass starts after the Toledo game) is awful.

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Cleveland.com grades the MAC East after eight games.

And they grade the MAC West.

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The Buffalo News says the Buffs are looking at an uphill battle to sign a coach from a power conference.

Ed Orgeron has some advice for the the Buffs.

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Is there a SEC bias on college football polls?

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tuesday--October 21st, 2014

Toledo has its game notes for UMass up.

The Rockets website has three video previews for the UMass game on their game notes page. Blogger won't do a direct link.

The Rockets lead the MAC in scoring offense (34.0), total offense (503.0) and rushing defense (113.9), and rank No. 2 in rushing offense (241.7).

Swanson/ Justin Hayworth AP image
Terry Swanson was their lead RB against Iowa State. He's gone 63-489 7.8 AVE 48 LONG.

They also have Kareem Hunt. All he's done is 59-527 8.9 AVE 7 TD's 45 LONG.

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Toledo's coach Matt Campbell is impressed with the Minutemen's turnaround under Mark Whipple.



Keeper's College football ratings has Toledo by 10.93.


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Matty V. says the Toledo game is the first "Big Game" of the FBS era, in that there is actually something riding on the results.

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Monday--October 20th, 2014

UMass Marching Band
If someone were to ask me who the best team in the MAC is so far in the 2014 season, I would reply the Toledo Rockets.

Toledo is 4-3, but their three losses are to Missouri, Cincinnati and Iowa State. They've beaten Ball State, Western Michigan and Central Michigan. The Rockets also hung 54 points on New Hampshire. UNH is undefeated in FCS and is a good bet to win the CAA North and probably the CAA title and auto-bid.

The Vegas early line is the Rockets over UMass by 17.5

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UMass offense
BLAKE FROHNAPFEL WATCH.

After last week Frohnapfel is 130.9 EFF 185-337-6 54.9 % 2483 18 TD 310.4 AVE/G

Single season pass attempts:

8. 341 Tim Day 2004
9. 337 Blake Frohnapfel 2014 (7 games)
10 334 Liam Coen 2008
10 334 Liam Coen 2006
Knocking Jim Simeone 313 1984 out of the top ten list

Single season pass completions

8.  194 Tim Day 2004
9.   192 Matt Guice 2001
10. 185 Blake Frohnapfel 2014 (7games)
11.  182 Mike Wegzyn 2012

Single season passing yards

7. 2692 Kyle Havens  2010
8. 2483 Blake Frohnapfel 2014 (7 games)
9. 2481 Tim Day 2004
10. 2266 Matt Guice 2001
Knocking Liam Coen 2175 2005 out of the top ten.

Passing yards/game

1. 310.4 Blake Frohnapfel (7 games)
2. 244.7 Kyle Havens 2010
3. 238.4 Todd Bankhead 2007 (13 games)

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Video of Mark Whipple and the UMass players discussing the win over EMU. Ya gotta be happy for the players who have endured a lot over the last three seasons. It's great to see them having fun and getting some rewards for their work.

Tajae Sharpe continues to climb in the UMass record book.

In contrast to prior years when the defense probably wanted to avert their eyes, Jovan Santos-Knox says the Minutemen offense is fun to watch.

Coach Whipple is pleased with the improvement in the defense and with the UMass running game.

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Matty V. says the UMass defense is coming together.

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BTW, Eastern Michigan's field came in runner-up for the best field in the nation.

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Max Moore of Hustle Belt looks at UMass' win over EMU.

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Philly.com looks at Victor Cruz's injury.

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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sunday--October 19th, 2014





I wish to reiterate how great it is not to have to grit my teeth to read after-game articles in order to set up Sunday's links :)

Tajae Sharpe now owns two of the top five single game reception totals:

1. 13 Tajae Sharpe 2014
    13 Tajae Sharpe 2014
    13 Victor Curz 2008
    13 J.J. Moore 2005
    13 Brandon London 2005

Single game reception yardage

1. 262 Victor Cruz 2008
2  210 Adrian Zullo 1999
3. 198 Rasheed Rancher 2007
4. 193 Tajae Sharpe 2014

More praise for the UMass defense. Maybe for the first time in FBS the Minutemen "D" shut down another team's star player. UMass led the Eagles in first downs 34 to 11. How many times in 2011 and 2012 did we experience the reverse of those numbers?

We're still in contention for the MAC East Championship and a bowl game.

Twelve fans correctly forecast a 21+ point victory in the weekly scoring poll.

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EMU's report on the game.

Dan Malone has UMass makes it two straight.

Shadrach Abrokwah had a career day with four rushing TD's.

Dan looks at UMass' improving numbers in MAC conference play.

Reggie Bell--non-factor. UMass defense shuts down the Eagles offense. We blew a coverage on EMU's first possession, but after that EMU's offense was not doing much.

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Matty Vautour reports a balanced offense led UMass to a win.

Tajae Sharpe had career days in receptions and yardage against the Eagles.

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The Globe says UMass wins second straight.

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The Collegian says Sharpe continues his banner season.

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The Boston Herald reports UMass has a winning streak.

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The Eastern Echo says EMU remains winless on the road.

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All the MAC results here. Some interesting results. Western Michigan beat Bowling Green and winless Kent State handled Army.

MAC stats: UMass is 1st in passing offense, last in punting and extra point average.

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Game Day--Eastern Michigan October 18th, 2014

Awesome effort by the defense. The UMass defense held Reggie Bell to 21-40 1.6 yards a carry. EMU had 52 yards in the second half.

The UMass offense rang up 34 first downs. We left 16 points on the table, so the score doesn't reflect how much UMass dominated.

We're tied for 3rd in the MAC East!

UMass write up with box score, quotes, notes and more here.

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Hey, today is Band Day. It's going to be mostly sunny with highs around 70. Let's turn out and watch the Minutemen start a winning streak.

The Minutemen need to put hats on Reggie Bell and keep moving the ball with Frohnapfel and the receivers. Another 150+ yard rushing performance wouldn't hurt either.

It should be a fun day at Gillette to tailgate and watch bands from all over New England take part in Band Day.

Let's beat EMU and keep a positive buzz going. Speaking of going: Go UMass!!!

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Thanks to the kind reader who pointed out to me this link from the Boston Globe about Blake Frohnapfel taking care of business at UMass.

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MassLive has how to catch the game if you can't make it to Gillette.

Hustle Belt also has media information about the game.

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Hey, the MAC Conference website features Tajae Sharpe.

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Football guru Phil Steele has revised his All-MAC team after half the 2014 season and added four UMass players. Jean Sifrin is first team and Blake Frohnapfel, Tajae Sharpe and Randall Jette are on the second team.

Dan Malone previews the UMass-EMU game.

Like the whole Minutemen team, Loranzo Woodley is looking to build off a good performance last week.

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Phil Steele also named three EMU Eagles (all defensive players) to his Mid-Season All MAC Team.

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Matty V. says UMass is looking for a second straight win.

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The Boston Herald says Elijah Wilkinson and the UMass offensive line are coming together.

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The MAC Conference Game Day post for today.

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Victor Cruz posts on social media that his surgery went fine and he'll be back bigger and stronger.

Giants.com reports Cruz has set goals for his comeback.

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Friday--October 17th, 2014

The UMass alumni site has details of UMass Band Day and a list of all the area bands participating.

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Dan Malone has his latest podcast with Michael Niziolek of MLive.com discussing Saturday's game with Eastern Michigan.

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Matty Vautour reports freshman QB Ross Comis as well as Elgin Long and Shaq Harris are all playing the role of Reggie Bell on the scout team as the Minutemen prepare for Eastern Michigan.

If it was me, I'd set a priority on containing Bell's ground game. With Frohnapfel at the helm, I don't think EMU throwing for 160-180 yards is going to beat UMass.

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A Hustle Belt article by Byron Vance says Indiana is the UMass of the Big Ten, or vice versa or something.

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Prior to EMU's victory over Buffalo, they had a pep rally complete with a live bald eagle.


Above video is from a minor league hockey team (the Bakersville Condors)  that brought a live condor to a game as a promotion and things don't go quite as planned.

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David Drew of MLive.com picks the MAC winners for week #8.

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Akron and Kent State add future OOC games with Nebraska and Alabama respectively.

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Remember when I talked about the economic benefits that Penn State brings to Pennsylvania? Mississippi is the latest state feel what college football brings.

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ESPN says after week #7, 32 teams remain in contention for the college football playoffs.

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Thursday--October 16th, 2014

Dan Malone reports on Whipple's comments regarding saving A.J.Doyle's redshirt year. Doyle played as a true freshman. Austin Whipple already burned his redshirt year at Penn State.

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The UMass Daily Collegian looks at the coverage Minuteman WR Tajae Sharpe drew at Kent State. Unlike last year when the Minutemen's offense was Sharpe and Blanchflower and not much else, this year Frohnapfel has a flock of receivers. By my count 16 different players have caught passes this year. Sharpe, Jean Sifrin, Marken Michel, Rodney Mills, and Jalen Williams all have double digit catches. Alex Kenney has 9, but is averaging 19.2 yards/catch.For the first time since we moved to FBS, we have players that other teams have to game plan to contain.

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The Collegian also looks at UMass' plans to try to contain dual-threat EMU QB Reggie Belle, Jr.

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The Eastern Echo says the Eagles are eager to continue the second half their season the same way the first half ended.

Reggie Bell was named to the Manning Award Star-of-the-Week list for his performance against Buffalo.

EMU's helmet design through the ages.

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Max Moore of Hustle Belt looks at the Minutemen's first win.

Jesse Allen and Alex Alvarado talk smack about the Eagles-Minutemen game.

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Brandon London pulls in a TD as the Larks crushed the Roughriders.

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Check out this story from Football Scoop on Kentucky's new football training facility. Man, the outside looks different, but the inside is a clone of UMass' performance center. I mean exactly, like the performance center.

Quote from the article:"It’s scary to think the type of recruits Mark Stoops and his staff will be able to pull in once this is finished."

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The Buffalo Bulls try to keep focus on the remainder of the 2014 season after the firing of HC Jeff Quinn.

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The NY Daily News says Victor Cruz can become a source of inspiration for the G-Men.

Tom Coughlin "absolutely" believes Cruz will return as a top receiver.

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