Friday, September 30, 2005

Christian Koegel is 4th in the Nation

Junior UMass Punter Christian Koegel (16 punts-705 yds-44.06 punt/yds average) is having a great season. He is 4th ranked punter in the nation. Check out the NCAA's punting stats page here. The main NCAA stat page is here. Warning! It's a real work killer...

Koegel is also leading the A10. His closest rival is Joe Nolan of Hofstra with a 40.62 yds/punt average.

UMass Game Day Central

UMass' web site just gets better and better. Check out the Game Day Central page.

The page has a high signal-to-noise ratio and cool graphics!

I've added a link in my UMass Football Links section. The UMass Footbal Fan Blog now has 11 UMass and 8 I-AA football links.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

A look at the A10

Well, the 2005 A10 season is about 1/3 over. If we look at the current standings, can we glean any insights? The main goal of conference play is to make the playoffs. After All I-AA likes to be known as the "Championship" Division rather than the "Bowl" Division of I-A.

Once a team is selected one of the sixteen playoff teams, any thing can happen. Remember 1998!

The full A10 results are here (click on the "standings" button).

Note that the A10 is the largest I-AA league and is split into two divisions "North" and "South". This is somewhat artificial as there is only one league champion with an auto bid to the playoffs. A team could win its division and still not be selected for the playoffs.

After four games, things look like this:

Going Great So Far

  • UMass (2-0) is 3-1 overall and the only league member with two A10 wins.
  • UNH (1-0) Powerful New Hampshire is 3-0 overall and ranked #1 in the Nation
Not a good start
  • Northeastern (1-1) is 1-3 overall and has a bye week on 10/01/05.
  • Rhode Island (1-1) is 3-1 overall. They do not play Delaware or JMU. Could be in the hunt for an at large bid
  • Richmond (1-1) is 1-3 overall. Unless they have a great run in the tough A10, the playoffs are unlikely
A poor start
  • Maine (0-1) is 1-2 overall. They should improve to 2-2 against Albany this week.
  • William & Mary (0-1) and 2-2 overall.
On the edge Already
  • Townson (0-2) Can't afford any more A10 losses. They are undefeated OOC.
Still on the Sidelines

  • Hofstra (0-0) The Pride is 2-1) overall and meets JMU this weekend
  • JMU (0-0) Last year's National Champion plays at Hofstra
  • Delaware (0-0) is 3-0 OOC and ranked in the top five nationally. Should go to 4-0 and 1-0 in the A10 against Townson this week.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

UMass needs an off week

UMass and Richmond have an off week in the eleven week grind that makes up the A10 football schedule.

The Springfield Union has an article on the off week here.

The UMass offense line could use the rest. As all UMass fans know, the UMass offense has struggled at time this year to score points and run the ball. And Coach Brown's offense keys on running the ball.

The problem may stem from the fact that the UMass Offensive line has been hurting since day one.

UMass Senior and Captain Colin Stoetzel has not played a down so far. I've done a blog on him in the past. Use the "search this blog" button on the Blogger tool bar above to find it.

Also, Matt Austin and the other starting tackle O.J. McBride have missed time since the start of the season.

In this article from the Boston Globe (second page), Brown said "We need a rest. We're so banged up on the offensive line, it's frightening.

I read in one of the articles on UMass that Brandon Mcafee Jr. 6-2 287 got his first start against Rhode Island (I can't find the article).

The UMass running game seemed to be working better in the second half of the Rhody game. Hopefully, the off week will allow the UMass Offensive Line some recovery time.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

New I-AA link

Just added a new website in the "Links" section of this blog.

Check out .

A10 Attendance 09/24/05

Home team is listed first.

  1. 38,446 Vanderbilt-Richmond
  2. 23,257 Villanova-Penn (actually at a neutral site)
  3. 22,025 Delaware-Holy Cross
  4. 15,314 UMass-Rhode Island
  5. 11,741 William & Mary-Liberty
  6. 9,844 Furman-Hofstra
  7. 7,145 UNH-Dartmouth
  8. 3,801 Northeastern-Towson

Monday, September 26, 2005

Problems with Blogger

The image posting service for Blogger seems to be broke.

For the last week or so it has been harder and harder to post images in an individual blog.

For the last 24 hours, it has not worked at all.

I was able to do a work-around to post images of the Rhode Island game using the "Hello" service by picassa . Notice that the Rhody images had a different format than the other game images.

Until Google fixes the image posting process, I'll have to do all text blogs...

UMass Defense leads the I-AA Universe

The UMass defense leads I-AA in Total Defense, Scoring Defense and Pass Efficiency.

The NCAA Stat page for Total Defense is here. The pages for Scoring Defense and Pass Efficiency Defense are here and here .

Jason Hatchell named A10 Defensive Player-of-the-Week

UMass Soph. LB 6-0 224 Jason Hatchell was named A10 Player-of-the-week Sunday.

The A10 press release is here (click on the awards tab)

The UMass write-up is here. Jason is the brother of starting NT John Hatchell.

Jason suffered a torn ACL in 2004 and had surgery this spring. He has led UMass in tackles the last three games.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

UMass stops the Rams

UMass' top-of-the-nation defense Held the Rams to 249 total yards (they got 76 of those on the first series).

The UMass defense was in control of Rhody's vaunted spread option offense all night.

Great night and great atmosphere as 15,000 chilly fans took in the game.

Read the UMass write-up here.

The providence Journal is here. Registration required---- use Bugmenot.

The Boston Globe take is here .

The awesome image of Baylark on the roll is by Thom Kendall of the UMass Athletic Dept.

UMass-Rhode Island 09/24/05 (Click on image to enlarge) Posted by Picasa

Saint0917 runs the chains! Posted by Picasa

15,000 Fans wait for the kickoff Posted by Picasa

Baylark is going to get the handoff Posted by Picasa

Defense Holds! Posted by Picasa

The #1 Defense in action! Posted by Picasa

Look at that hole! Posted by Picasa

UMass starts the show Posted by Picasa

Lots of Tubas Posted by Picasa

Bands to the left of me Posted by Picasa

Detail AHH-TEN-HUT! Posted by Picasa

Band to the right of me Posted by Picasa

UMass runs Posted by Picasa

UMass closes game Posted by Picasa

Final Score Posted by Picasa

After game fireworks Posted by Picasa

Great Fireworks Posted by Picasa

The End Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Former UMass Player Lorenzo Perry does well

Former UMass player Lorenzo Perry TB 5-6 182 transfered to Bryant University last spring.

At UMass he was used as a kick returner and not a runing back. He had career kickoff return totals of 18 returns 383 yds 0 TD 34 long.

At Bryant he has had a chance to show what he can do as a RB and last week he ran for 221 yards and three touchdowns. He was Northeast-10 player of the week

Two Articles featuring Liam Coen

The Providence Journal has an article here about Rhode Island native Liam Coen's quarterbacking UMass. Registration required use bugmenot .

The Springfield Union has another article here about Coen and today's game.

Friday, September 23, 2005

More UMass and Google News

More on the UMass preparations (registration required) for Rhode Island Spread Option Offense.

Also take note that Matt Vautour reports Matt Lawrence may redshirt. He is the highly regarded transfer RB from UConn. Lawrence was hurt on his first carry of the season against Richmond.

I wrote an earlier blog on Google’s Blog search. Note that the UMass Football Fanzone Blog is hosted by Google for free. Thanks Google.

Now there is word that Google may be trying to start its own Internet. Interesting stuff from a company that is rapidly becoming the prime mover and shaker in cyberspace.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Defending the Option

As you know, Rhode Island runs the Spread Option Offense. Scroll down for more information.
And they run it well. Rhody is third in the nation in rushing offense.

How do you defend the option? The Springfield Union has an article here about that problem.

Coach Brown has coached against the option twice when he was UMass' defensive Coordinator under whipple.

In 1998 UMass won the National Championship against GSU who had one of the best offensives in I-AA (and one of the best players in Adrian Peterson). UMass won that game.

UMass again played Peterson and the Eagles in 1999 when we met them in the second round of the playoffs. GSU won that time.

In both games Brown played five defensive backs (three safeties) to increase speed and tackling ability.

I believe that Lance Overby played in both games as the third safety.

In 2005, the extra safety probably be Greg Scott, joining free safety Shannon James and strong safety James Ihedigbo.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Rhody Game Notes and Stadium Article

Game notes for UMass-Rhode Island are up on both sides.

Read the UMass notes here .

Rhody’s notes are here .

Also, Rhode Island is planning a nearly $2 million upgrade to its stadium.

You will remember that Rhody’s basketball palace went way over budget. They tore down the visitors side seats to construct the basket ball facility and then did not have the funds to make the replacement.

With half a stadium, the Rams have been stuck with one of the poorest facilities in I-AA..

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Rhode Island"s Spread Option Offense

Getting ready for Rhode Island means getting ready for Rhode Island’s Spread Option Offense.

This is a variation of the triple option offense and Rhode Island’s coach Tim Stowers wrote the book on it. Literally. His book is available here .

If you don’t have time to order the book, there is a crash course on the spread option (also by Coach Stowers) here.

Last year Rhode Island was fourth in the nation in 2004 with 3074 yards of rushing offense. They averaged 4.4 yards/carry.

This year, they’re even better. Rhody already has 1034 rushing yards in three games. They have averaged 343.7 yards/game and a mind boggling 5.8 yds/carry.

If you put eight men in the box to stop the option, then they’ll throw off it. Against William @ Mary they completed eight passes for 217 yards. The shortest reception was 20 yards.

Our old rivals Georgia Southern use the spread option and Coach Stowers won a National Championship there with it.

I-A uses the spread option too. The Utah spread option is hot in I-A.

The UMass Defense is leading the nation in total defense. Should be a great match-up between a unique offense and a superb defense.

How to stop it: SI says “How to stop it: Defenses have to master their assignments and exercise extreme patience so as not to fall for any of tricks and misdirection. The defense needs cornerbacks and safeties who can lock up the receivers, and the linebackers and safeties have to be "option-sound," particularly against the threat of the shovel pass.”

Good luck to the Minutemen this week.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Articles about Rhody's big win over W&M

These articles cover next week's opponent Rhode Island's big win over #6 ranked William & Mary.

The Providence Journal is here. ProJo has registration required. Goto to get registration stuff.

Another article mentions Rhode Island native Liam Coen leading UMass to victory over Albany.

The image to the right is Rhody's QB Jayson Davis.