Thursday, July 24, 2014

Thursday---July 24th, 2014

UPDATE: Very limited Wi-Fi where I'm staying, so the blog will not be updated until probably sometime Saturday.

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Good morning. I'll be on the road the next three days. As usual, I'll try to keep the blog going if I have a WI-FI connection. If not, I'll be back late Saturday.

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UMass was picked last in the MAC East again. Note that we were picked last by a substantial margin. Below winless Miami. UMass has not finished last in either 2012 or 2013. I don't we'll be last in 2014.

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UMass white helmet
Dan Malone reports on Coach Whipple's debut in the MAC media world. Whipple brought the white helmet to the show. A hint for 2014?

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247 Sports image
During the TV interview, the announcers asked Whipple about Blake Fronapfel, but didn't seem aware UMass has signed Drew Harris. Dan Malone thinks those two players will make an impact for UMass this year.

Remember this article about Harris from NJ.com?

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Dan interviews MAC commissioner Jon Steinbrecher about UMass' departure from the MAC. Basically, when Temple jumped, UMass' rational for joining the MAC left too.

Steinbrecher was optimistic about the new college playoff system.

He also is not in favor of paying student athletes.

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Matty Vautour reports Mark Whipple expressed confidence at the Media Day convention.

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The Boston Globe reports UMass was picked last in the MAC and New Hampshire first in the CAA.

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Watch Victor Cruz propose to his fiancee.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wednesday --July 23rd

A.J. Doyle
Dan Malone cover A.J. Doyle as the latest player in his Top-25 for 2014.

Doyle's UMass bio here.

In 2013 Doyle went 11-9  Starts 99.1 EFF 128-235-11 54.5 Pct 1274 YARDS 6 TD 55 Long  115.8 AVE/G.

In 2013, UMass QB pass efficiency was 12th in a 13 team league. Doyle threw almost twice as many interceptions as TD's.

Let me be first to state I think A.J. will play better this year. I still think Blake Fronapfel will start, but when Doyle gets in the game, he will look better. First, he'll be healthy, something he hasn't been often in his Minutemen career. Second, even though being under center is new to him, he'll have a better offense around him. I keep saying that a good rushing offense makes a QB look good. I hope Drew Harris lives up to his recruiting commentary.

Doyle should get better WR play this year. Mike Cassano is the new WR coach. Last year Doyle had at least two TD passes dropped. In addition, there was some piss-poor route running. If you were not a UMass fan during Whipple's last era with the Minutemen, know that he does not take dropped passes or catch one yard shy of a first down lightly. Do that and Whipple will grab your face mask when you come off the field and he'll explain your deficiencies  to you ---- loudly.

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Today is MAC Media Day. The event starts at noon. It will be televised on ESPN3.

Coach Whipple and Stanley Andre and Tajae Sharpe will be there.

Cleveland.com has an article on the league's Media Day.
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The Boston College Blog "BC Interruption" looks at the betting odds for the Eagles and thinks BC will win easily over UMass, Maine and Colorado State.

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The MAC Blog Hustle Belt held its own media poll and picks UMass last in the league.

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Victor Cruz thinks he'll prosper in the Giants new offense.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Recruiting 2015---Ronnie James

Lori M. James image
NJ.com says UMass has offered to Ronnie James a 5-11 175 pound RB/DB from Glassboro, NJ.

NJ.com recruiting article here.

247 Sports three-star recruit.

Hudl.com has video.

Besides UMass, James has offers from Army, Rutgers, Pitt and Syracuse.

Tuesday--July 22nd, 2014

Former UMass star Peter McCarty has been hired as defensive line coach for UNH.

McCarty was a four-year letter (1974, 75, 76, 77). He was captain in 1977. He was All-Yankee Conference in his senior year.

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Penn State has five players on the preseason All-Big 10 list.

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News from the MAC

Akron has the look of a contender says Cleveland.com

Kent State looks to return to winning ways.

Syracuse has a lot of assistant coaches with MAC roots.

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Victor Cruz win "Party like a Sports Star" award.

Victor's also officially engaged.

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I was watching a replay of the Rose Bowl last evening on ESPNU. Stanford plays the 3-4 defense. The Cardinal was very successful last year in rushing defense; they ended up 3rd in the nation at 89.4 yards/game. Stanford missed going 12-0 in regular season by nine points.

Stanford sometimes added two stand-up defensive ends (or linebackers) to the three down linemen to play a five-man front. Sometimes they'd move a linebacker into the gaps. In passing situations they would only rush the three down linemen (and usually got a pretty good push against Michigan State) and drop everyone else back. The camera always stays close to the ball, so it was hard to see what else they were doing, but Stanford was able to use the 3-4 to play great rush defense all season.

In the Rose Bowl the Cardinal held Michigan State to 35-65 1.9 AVE rushing...

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Recruiting 2015--George Wilson

Wilson #8/ Joshua Sudock image
George Wilson, a 6-3 180 pound WR from Tustin HS in CA has previously verbaled to Utah.

This article says his commitment may not be solid.

Hudl.com has highlights.

This article covers his recruitment.

Utah has had six offensive coordinators since 2009. Wilson would probably shine in Whipple's Pro-set offense.

Besides Utah, Wilson has offers from San Jose State and UMass.

Monday--July 21st, 2014

An Oregon writer looks at the PAC-10's non-BCS opponents including UMass.

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The Hartford Courant looks at UConn's FCS opponent Stony Brook. The Courant thinks UMass transfer Stacey Bedell will be backing up RB Marcus Coker.

Bedell's Sea Wolves bio.

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Boston College's ACC Media Day transcript. Mentions UMass.

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The non-Power Five conferences were not enamored with June Jones suggestion they move football to a Spring sport.

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Hustel Belt previews Kent State's OOC opponents.

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Fan Sided reviews every teams ESPN football logo.

Quote about Boston College's logo : "Like everything Boston College, this logo is wicked mediocre at best"

Speaking of mediocre, the Times says the ACC has mediocrity in the middle.

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Attention UMass football team! The Moscow Times reports no sex, no success, World Cup study finds. Print a copy for your girlfriend.

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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Recruiting 2016-- Ted Field III

I've blogged about Ted Field, a 6-6 325 pound OL from Springfield, PA several times before.

Yesterday he verbaled to Rutgers .

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Recruiting 2015-- Griffin Clancy

247Sports image
This article by Saratogian.com reports UMass is recruiting Griffin Clancy, a 6-6 315 pound OL from Saratoga Springs, NY.

Hudl.com has highlight video.

247Sports page here.

Drawing interest from Albany, New Hampshire, JMU, Syracuse and UMass among others.

Saturday--July 19th, 2014

Matthew Dixon of Vavel.com previews the 2014 Minutemen.

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UMass CB Trey Dudley-Giles has been named to the College Football Performance Center Punt Returner Trophy List.

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This article about the 25th Maine Shrine Lobster Bowl mentions UMass recruit Andrew Libby.

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Cleveland.com says the MAC West needs quarterbacks.

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SMU coach June Jones says the non-power five conferences should move football to Spring.

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A SB Nation writer looks at the Philadelphia Eagles TE's as training camp opens.

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday--July 18th, 2014

Dan Malone looks at the Minutemen's defensive ends for 2014.

Peter Angeh's UMass bio.

Sha-Ki Holnes UMass bio.

Enock Asante's Minutemen bio.

Peter Angeh gets a sack in the Spring game

Enock Anante rushes A.J. Doyle
The UMass defensive line did well during the Spring game. They mostly controlled the line of scrimmage against a bigger offensive line. The Minutemen are going to be small by FBS standards this year. I was flipping through Lindy's looking for other teams that run the 3-4. UMass' starting three will probably be NT Daniel Maynes 6-285 and two of the three Asante 6-2 260, Holines 6-2 260 or Angeh 6-245. West Virginia plays the 3-4 and their starting three are 6-4 295, 6-4 293 and 6-3 303. Navy's three down are 6-2 251, 6-1 303 and 6-1 246.

UMass will have to play with a high intensity and get some rotation with the second string guys. Michael Dowe, Jr 6-2 240 and Joe Tyo 6-5 250 played DE in the Spring game.

Back a year or so ago when Holines verbaled to UMass, I received an e-mail from a Springfield fan who said Holines was a good pickup for UMass. The writer said Holines was an excellent athlete and had a big upside.

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ESPN looks at Colorado's OOC schedule including UMass.

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Jesse Allen of Hustle Belt previews UMass-Vanderbilt and predicts a big Commodores victory.

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Cleveland.com says veteran quarterbacks abound in the MAC East.

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Speaking of quarterbacks, Penn State's Christian Hackenberg has been named to the O'Brien watch list.

Penn State is also in college football's top-25 in ticket prices.

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The MAC will receive a much higher payout from the new college football playoff structure.

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USA Today previews #53 Toledo. UMass plays @ Toledo on 10/25.

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Steelers Depot thinks Rob Blanchflower will make the team.

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A Bleacher Report writer thinks Michael Cox will make the Giants 53-man roster.

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Thursday--July 17th, 2014

Penn State transfer Alex Kenny is the subject of Dan Malone's latest installment of his UMass Top-25 players for 2014.

Kenney's UMass bio.

As Dan points out, last year the Minutemen had Tajae Sharpe as a WR threat, but not much else. It will be interesting to see if Whipple can integrate all that speed Kenney possesses into the passing offense. If UMass has a deep threat that opposing defenses have to respect, it would open up the shorter stuff.

I hope Blake Fronapfel will be able to call when in a "21" personnel-- two RB's and a TE: "I Weak Right 639"!

Harris is in the I, the fullback sets up on the Weak Side, Tajae runs a curl, the TE runs an out and Alex (the "Z" receiver) runs a "9" route (Fly)....

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A sports writer looks at making the jump from FCS to FBS. Mentions UMass.

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The kickoff time between UMass and Penn State won't be decided until September.

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Bryon Vance of Hustle Belt looks at the MAC's 2014 TV schedule. UMass will make four TV appearances. The previous link about Penn State says every Nittany Lion game for the last ten seasons has been televised, so UMass should make an appearance on the Big Ten Network in addition to the four games listed by Hustle Belt.

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SEC Media Days reports on Vanderbilt.

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Mike Roy image
The NY Giants running back coach Craig Johnson says don't count out Michael Cox.

G-Men HQ has more on Cox including a video highlight.

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Igwenagu #82/ Stephanie Maksin image
Several writers think Emil Igwenagu will have a tough battle to make the Eagles roster: here and here.

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