Monday, September 01, 2014

Monday--September 1st, 2014




Both Emil Igwenagu and Rob Blanchflower were added to the Lions and Steelers practice squads yesterday.

Steelers transaction notice.

The Lions have Igwenagu as a linebacker ?!

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Julian Talley was also added to the Giants practice squad. Reports here and here.

Vladimir Ducasse made the 53-man Vikings roster.

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Jeremy Cain auditioned for LS with the Bears yesterday.

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UMMB, only one song at halftime? What the hey?

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The Eagle-Tribune says hope exists at home for UMass football.

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Football.com has Week #1 Roundup for the MAC.

Bryon Vance of Hustle Belt has final thoughts about the MAC from Week #1

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How UTSA became college football's best startup program.

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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sunday-- August 31st, 2014

UPDATE 7:20 PM: Giants sign Michael Cox to practice squad. He was cut yesterday; see below in this morning's blog post.

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Well, things went about as expected yesterday. Everyone knew BC was a running team with a huge and experienced OL. That meant the Eagles were going to have big rushing totals and dominate the time of possession. In addition, Don Brown has a veteran defense with the entire defensive backfield returning. So the stunting, blitzing Boston College defense was going to be tough to handle. It pretty much played out that way.

Despite the script, there were some good things and bad things for the Minutemen.

The Good:

Everyone expected the UMass defense to be over matched by the Eagles and they weren't.  Despite being on the field most of the game, the smaller Minutemen defense repeatedly stopped BC in the Red Zone. The UMass defense added an interception. In addition, the defense played a lot players. It looks like we have some depth and that'll make a difference later on. You can't hold the rushing totals against the defense. That's BC's game and they'll have a large rushing edge on most teams they play.

J.T Blyden looked good running the ball. The Frohnapfel-to-Sharpe 77 yard TD is the look of things to come.

In addition, did anyone notice we had good clock management and UMass had only one penalty in the first half? UMass looked well-coached. Brian McDonald did a good job with the punts.

The Bad:

Blake Frohnapfel was starting his first game and he looked rusty. For most of the game the UMass receivers didn't get much separation from Don Brown's defense and that didn't help him.

UMass needed to make some plays in a limited window of opportunity due to BC's offense. We didn't score after the defense's interception.

The UMass D did blow one coverage that allowed a Boston College TD. I thought the fourth-and-one should have been a J.T. Blyden run or a Fronapfel keeper instead of a screen pass.. Those two plays cost us 10 points. Everybody would have been more encouraged by 20-7.

Boston College easily won the battle of students by better than two-to-one.

The Results:

We didn't beat a BCS team in the first game of the second Whipple era. We still need seniors and more recruits, but it wasn't a bad start. One good thing is we're through with BC and they can now go to Hell or Connacht, as Cromwell once said. And they can take the Globe with them.

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UMass drew 30, 479 to Gillette.

Opening home totals in the MAC:

UMass-30, 479
Kent State-22,754
Buffalo-20,329
Toledo-20, 185
Central Michigan-15,793
Northern Illinois-12-398
Ball State-9,659
Akron-9,104
Eastern Michigan-8,748

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Dan Malone says Blake Frohnapfel was inconsistent.


Nick O'Malley says the BC running game pushed UMass to the breaking point.

Dan also says J.T. Blyden impressed.



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Matty Vautour has first impressions of the 2014 Minutemen.

Matty says Boston College ground down the Minutemen in the second half.

He points out UMass got good weather and 30,479.

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Michael Cox and Julian Talley were cut by the Giants yesterday.

Rob Blanchflower was cut yesterday by the Steelers.

We'll have to see if anyone gets picked up on waivers or added to the practice teams.

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The MAC results are here.

Not a great weekend for the MAC. Morgan State, non-scholarship Duquesne, and Colgate all made it close against league teams. Western Michigan had the best result as they lost by just nine at Big Ten bottom feeder Purdue.

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Colorado lost to rival Colorado State 31-17.

Penn State edged UCF 26-24.

Vanderbilt got run over by Temple, but that wasn't the only thing that went wrong.

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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Game Day Boston College-- August 30th, 2014

Welcome to game day! Hope to see a bunch of UMass fans at Gillette.


UMass cadence. Turn your speakers up all the way up.

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Dan Malone has his Season Preview II covering UMass hopes for a more aggressive defense and more consistency on special teams.

He also say the Minutemen open with an emotional game against the Boston College Eagles.

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Matty Vautour says both UMass and Boston College have a lot of unknowns to start the 2014 season.

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Lots of vitriol from BC Interruption: Gloating about the 1974 70-8 Eagle victory in 1974. A.J. Black makes fun of UMass and the Boston area working class.

Smile UMass fans. We're inside their heads already :)

As a direct descendant of some working class Irish ------ and eight years of Catholic school, I'll comment with the following:

 Sarcasm and abuse are the mark of an arrogant man,
     but vengeance lies in wait like a lion for him.

                           Ecclesiasticus 27:28

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The Hamsphire Gazette has an editorial saying we're heading in the right direction.

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WBUR rehashes the move to FBS debate and quotes UMass professor Richard Bogartz who says we can't compete in the MAC.

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Steelers Depot thinks Rob Blanchflower will end up on the Steelers practice squad.

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All the pundits picked Bowling Green to win the MAC this year. The Falcons were waxed by Western Kentucky last night 59-31.

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UConn lost to BYU 35-10 in a penalty filled game.

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Villanova took Syracuse to double overtime.

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Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday-- August 29th, 2014

UPDATE: I received the UMass Game Day Guide by e-mail. It's available in a browser here.

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The UMass Radio Network adds 50,000 watt WXKS 1200 Bloomberg Radio. That should give us a big signal in New England for Minutemen football and basketball.

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The UMass game notes for BC are up.

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The Boston Herald has a story about Boston College's offensive line. The Eagles' line looks to be:

Four fifth-year seniors and one senior offensive lineman. I know what I'd do if I was coaching the Eagles. Their starting RB will probably be Myles Willis SO 5-9 203. The Eagles also have a four-star Freshman RB Jon Hilliman 6-0 215.

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The Boston Herald says new-look UMass ready to take on BC.


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The Boston College Blog Soaring to Glory expects a crowd of 20,000 for Saturday's game.

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Jesse Allen of Hustle Belt trades questions with the BC Interruption.

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The MAC conference season opened last night. Akron and NIU cruised to easy victories over weak FCS teams and Central Michigan struggled with Southern Conference Tennessee Chattanooga.

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BTW, Temple crushed Vanderbilt last night. Hope for UMass on September 13th?

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Michael Cox ran well in the Giants' game last night.

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Steeler's Depot has some game film of Rob Blanchflower against the Eagles.

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Thursday--August 28th, 2014

Coach Whipple quotes from the MAC's weekly teleconference.

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The first Mark Whipple football show will be tonight at 7:00 pm at the Hanger.

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Matty Vautour has Camp Superlatives II.

He also has Tatoo Tuesday: Jovan Santos-Knox.

Matty also sorts out the new-look UMass offense.

The Eagle Blog BC Interruption interviews Matty.

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Dan Malone says Whipple is going to use the BC game and Gillette stadium as a recruiting moment.

He also reports Whipple thinks UMass will play well despite being the 3rd youngest team in the nation.

Whipple also thinks if you need a team to emulate, then the Pats would be a good choice.

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Fox News previews Boston College.

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Boston Inno says UMass-Boston College rivalry is lame.

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CBS Boston has an audio interview of Coach Whipple here.

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The Boston Herald says Trey Dudley-Giles does it all.

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The Hampshire Gazette reports on the annual UMass Community Breakfast pep rally.

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BC Interruption wishes there was a word for taking enjoyment in the misfortune of others.

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Rant Sports looks at Friday's Colorado-Colorado State matchup.

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The NY post looks at the Kendall Gaskins-Michael Cox battle for a roster spot on the Giants.

Julian Talley is still in contention for one of the Giants WR spots.

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James Ihedigbo speaks at the Lion's kickoff luncheon.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wednesday--August 27th, 2014

There's been a lot of depressing news over the last month of so. This prank made me smile. Kudos to the UMass fan or fans who dressed the statue of Doug Flutie at BC stadium in a UMass jersey.


Story by CBS News here. Matty Vautour has UMass players reaction here. Note that the game will probably set a UMass home attendance record.

BC Blog "Soaring to Glory" reacts with the sense of humor that Eagles fans are noted for.

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Dan Malone has Mark Whipple talks freshman contributors and physical conditioning.

He also reports Jamal Wilson looks like the starting RB against BC.

After three years of waiting, it looks like TE Brandon Howard will start Saturday.

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Matty Vautour looks at the amazin' career of Minutemen punter Brian McDonald.

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Speaking of BC, the Globe says the Eagles captains are a study in perseverance .

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Cleveland.com rates UMass' schedule as the toughest in the MAC.

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Michael Cox and Julian Talley both survived the Giants first round roster cuts.

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The Colorado Buffs release their first 2014 depth chart.

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Anchor of Gold looks at the new Vandy starters.

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Meanwhile Penn State prepares for a very long road trip.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tuesday--August 26th, 2014

I don't know about you guys, but I'm starting to get excited---and nervous. I want to see UMass do well.

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Two articles on the Minutemen's first official two deep: Dan Malone and Matty Vautour.

I'd take the two-deep with several grains of salt. I doubt UMass would break true freshman J. T. Blyden's redshirt just to return kicks. Ryan Johnson, Jean Sifrin and Shane Huber could start later in the season.

QB- Blake Frohnaple, A.J. Doyle

Austin Whipple would be the 3rd QB

RB- Jamal Wilson, Lorenzo Woodley
FB-Rodney Mills, Daquan Mack

Mills at 6-1 215 would likely be another receiver out of the backfield

WR- Tajae Sharpe, Shakur Nesmith
WR -Jalen Williams, Alex Kenney

Marken Michel will also see a lot of snaps

TE: Brandon Howard, Jon Denton

LT-Tyrell Smith, Tyshon Henderson
LG-Fabian Hoeller, Michael Boland
C-Matt Sparks, Rich Queen
RG-Josh Bruns, Lucas Kolter
RT-Elijah Wilkinson, Cameron Mock

Hoeller would probably backup Sparks. Henderson will probably back up both tackle spots.

Defense

DE-Peter Angeh, Enock Asante
NT-Robert Kitching, Daniel Maynes
DT -Sha-Ki Holines, Leo Krizanovic


OLB -Kessan Messiah, Lucas Amato
ILB-Stanley Andre, John Robinson Woodgett
ILB-Jovan Santos-Knox, Steve Casali
OLB-Trey Seals, DaSean Downey

Along with WR's, this is a deep unit.

CB-Randall Jette, Iric Harris
S-Joe Colton, Khary Bailey-Smith
S-Trey Dudley-Giles, Zeke Edmonds
CB-Jackson Porter, Jesse Monteiro

Monteiro would probably be the nickle back. Edmonds, a true freshman, has had a good camp.

Special Teams

K-Blake Lucas, Matthew Wylie
P-Brian McDonald, Logan Laurent
LS-Nick Berus, Emmett Odegard
H-Blake Frohnapfel
KR-Trey Dudley-Giles, J.T. Blyden
PR-Trey Dudley-Giles, Bernard Davis

Five freshmen in the two-deep. Seventeen new starters.

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Matty Vautour also has 2014 may be the most important season in UMass history. Just remember opening with four BCS teams does not really measure the progress UMass has made.

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UMass is picked last in the MAC preseason coach's poll.

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BC loses LB Tim Joy for the season. Always hate to see a player get hurt.

The Boston Herald says mystery awaits the Eagles in their opening game.

A writer on BC Interruption predicts Boston College's season.

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Another game Saturday with interest by UMass fans:

Idaho plays at Florida.

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