Tuesday, August 30, 2005
The UMass Football Fanzone Blog will be on the road for the Richmond and Colgate games.
I believe that I will be able to update the blog with images and notes from Richmond and for a couple of days after.
However, I will be off the net for a few days the following week.
If I can't get the remote to work at Richmond, then this blog will be silent until 09/13 when I return. Then I should have tons of stuff..
Their next major project is raising funs to upgrade McGuirk stadium with field turf.
Here's why. While UMass does not have an artificial surface now, the field does turn into a swamp when a drop of rain falls...
The UMass game notes are up. The extended game notes show that two UMass Captains may miss the Richmond game.
Senior captain Colin Stoetzel Sr.OT 6-6 290 and Senior Captain Serge Tikum Sr. LB 6-0 226 may be out against the Spiders.
The two deep chart has Sr. Transfer Brent Caldwell 6-3 290 and So. LB Cesar Rosario 6-2 220 starting in their place.
Note that Dougherty predicts UMass will make it all the way to the semi-finals, the last four teams in the playoff bracket!
It's a must read for UMass fans.
Monday, August 29, 2005
- Richmond Fans site. By Rivals. Active Football messageboard. Registration is required to post.
- GoHens.net Delaware site. Active message boards. More up-to-date Hens info than on the Delaware athletic dept site. Registration is required to post.
If smack is your thing. Any Given Saturday has an excellent smack board here .
Another article on Stacy Tutt here. Looks like we will see Stacy Tutt in several positions. The UMass Football Fanzone thinks that Richmond will try to use Tutt at both QB and WR. The Spiders were next to last in the A10 in offensive production last year. Even though they beat us with Tutt at QB last year, I don't see them keeping the status quo just for us.
Note that this blog has done a number of articles on Tutt in the past. See blogs of 8/17, 8/16, 8/15. Scroll down. I still can't point blogger to a specific past blog.
Sunday, August 28, 2005
Saturday, August 27, 2005
Two bits of information of note:
• UMass’ 2005 freshman recruit Chris Zardas 6-1 230 from St. John’s Prep has been unable to practice with the team due to right knee injury suffered during his high school career. He is a Rivals two star recruit.
• UMass’ 2005 freshman recruit Tony Nelson 5-10 from Germantown Md is not with the team as he has not yet received clearance from the NCAA Clearinghouse. Clemson’s reneging on a scholarship offer to him sparked some controversy. He is a Rivals two star recruit.
Friday, August 26, 2005
Tuesday will be the start of Coach Brown's show at 7:00 pm.
The UMass article is here.
UMass fans will be able to listen to both the show and UMass games (starting with Richmond) via the internet here.
I have Verizon DSL and the audio link has worked fine in the past.
I'll be at Richmond (god willing), and won't need to listen :)
There is a good article here from the Springfield Union about UMass’ receivers.
This year the 2002 A10 Rookie-of-the-Year R.J. Cobbs 5-11 190 has been moved to WR. He will also do some punt and kickoff returns as well as some duty as RB. His career statistics as a receiver are 21 catches 140 yds 6.7 avg 1 TD 24 lg. All of those catches have been out of the backfield as a tailback.
In a two receiver set, the other starter will be Brandon London 6-4 210. He has excellent hands. His career totals are 38 catches 467 yds 12.3 avg 3 TD 35 lg.
Senior Dominique Stewart career 66 catches 744 yds 11.3 avg 2 TD 41 lg will probably be the third wideout. I’ve met his parents several times and they are just great people.
Sophomore J.J. Moore had a great year in 2004 32 catches 389 yds 12.2 avg 4td 40 lg. His 32 catches broke UMass record for receptions by a freshman (formerly held by Adrian Zullo 1998). He will push Stewart for the third spot. The Springfield Union had an article on him here.
UMass will also have two new WR’s for 2005. My favorite is Rasheed Rancher 6-5 187. I think Rancher will be an impact player in the future. He has NFL size. He and backup QB Liam Coen hooked up for a nice play in the Spring Game. Coen was flushed out of the pocket and spotted Rancher who had broken off his route. While running, Coen motioned for Rancher to take off. Rancher instantly went back into his pattern and Coen hit him on the fly for a nice gain. It was really a great football play.
Also available this year will be Victor Cruz 6-0 200. He was one of UMass’ top rated recruits in 2004 (one star Rivals), but ended up going to a year of prep school. Given the depth of the UMass receiving corps, he might get a red shirt.
Red Shirt Freshman Ryan Logan 6-2 217 is the subject of an article here.
The image to the right is a scan from the UMass 2005 press guide.
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
The Sports Network has published its preseason Payton Award and Buchanan Award Watch list.
Who won last year? No fair peeking...
The Sports Network article is here. UMass’ take on the article is here.
UMass is the one of only two schools with candidates for both awards (Steve Baylark and Shannon James)
Other A10 Schools:
UNH has two for the Payton award. David Ball WR and Rickey Santos QB
For the Buchanan: William & Mary Tony Lazotte DB, Delaware Tom Parks DT
Marcel Shipp played in his first game of the 2005 season recently. He averaged 8 yds/carry against the Chiefs.
Shipp missed all of the 2004 after suffering a severe leg injury in practice.
There is a nice article here about his comeback.
Shipp has averaged over 4/yds a carry over his NFL Career.
Marcel is a Minuteman legend after he led UMass to its 1998 National Championship. He was the all-time leading rusher in the A01 with 6,250 yards. He set UMass career records in carries (1,215), yds/game (130.2), all-purpose yds (7,759) and 63 touchdowns.
He also rushed for 244 yards against Georgia Southern in the 1998 National Championship game (then a Championship Game record)
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Speaking of former UMass coaches; have you seen what a good job former UMass Defensive Coordination Tom Masella is doing at Central Conn. State University?
CCSU went 8-3 last year. Masella led them to their 1st conference championship ever. It was also their first winning record in 17 years!
Masella spent two years at UMass (2002-2003) as Defensive Coordinator under Whipple. He was not hired when Coach Brown brought his entire coaching staff from Northeastern.
Also on the CCSU staff is Frank Forcucci. He spent five years with UMass working with the defense. He is now Defensive Coordinator for the Blue Devils.
CCSU opens with Colgate on 09/03/05 (the week before we go to Hamilton).
Monday, August 22, 2005
While reading this article on a Delaware receiver, I noticed that former UMass WR Neil Brown (2002-2003) was wide receivers coach for the Hens.
"Delaware needs a major contribution from Ingram, who has delivered before. In 34 career UD
games (18 starts), Ingram has caught 105 passes for 1,259 yards and four touchdowns. A few
more have slipped through his hands.
He's got superior talent, as much if not more than Justin and David," said new wide receivers
coach Neal Brown, a former wideout at Kentucky and Massachusetts. "He has to be more
consistent, more dependable and be a leader."
Brown’s totals with UMass were 58 catches 721 yrds 12.5 Ave. 4 TD. Brown spent two years with Kentucky before playing for the Minutemen. He had been working as a graduate assistant for two years prior to his joining the Hens.
The image above is a scan from the 2002 UMass press guide.
Delaware’s website apparently has not been up-dated as the coaching page does not list him.
Sunday, August 21, 2005
Saturday, August 20, 2005
There is a nice article on UMass’ new starting fullback Frank McDonald here .
Kudos to “Old Cage” who first posted the link on the UMass Hoops Board.
McDonald is a 6-0 240 pd fullback who transferred from Northeastern in 2003. Because he was a lateral transfer, he had to sit out 2004 as per NCAA rules.
Both of the starting fullbacks in last year’s two-deep Rich Demers 6-1 225 and Steve Wysocki 6-1 240 have graduated.
Note that I did a blog on UMass transfers on 08/12/05. Scroll down, I still can't point blogger at a specific post...
Friday, August 19, 2005
The Springfield Union has an article by reporter Jeff Thomas. Read it here .
Some interesting tidbits:
- Cuko went 4 for 5 in attempts at the scrimmage
- Fireworks on tap for the 09/17 night game with Albany
- Live streaming video of the UMass home games will be available through the UMass website
- UMass-Army will be televised via ESPN Classic (Great! ESPNU is "vaporware")
Thursday, August 18, 2005
The main reason was graduation losses from 2003. Last year UMass lost seven of top eight defensive linemen and all three of the starting linebackers. We went into Spring 2004 with only 14 scholarship defensive players on the roster.
As the this article from the Springfield Union discusses, the UMass defensive line was both inexperienced and small. At the best of times the UMass defense averaged 220 pds from end to end. When starting DE Keron Williams went out, we played 202 pd DE Ola Sansusi against Delaware. Not a good match-up with the physical Hens. Note that Sansusi is a good pass rusher (he helped block the PAT that won the Maine game in overtime), but he is not a run-stopper.
When starting DT Jason Leonard separated his shoulder against JMU, we played a true freshman against one of the top rushing teams in the nation.
Last year UMass allowed five teams to rush for 200 yards-----and lost all five games.
This year, things are looking up.
First, we have more bodies with 15 defensive linemen on the roster. The big additions are Lehigh transfer John Hatchell 6-2 270 and Maryland transfer Patrick Powell 6-4 265. Jason Leonard has recovered from his shoulder injury and is up to 280 pds.
So the DL will probably look like this.
• Keron Williams 6-1 254 (2004 All-A10)
• John Hatchell 6-2 270
• Justin Schweighardt 6-1 265
• Patrick Powell 6-4 265
Much better don't you think?
Yesterday was UMass' annual media day. Read about it here . An image gallery is here .
This was also the debut of the new Nike Uniforms. In the dozens of images, there is not one that features a full length close up!
The image above of Raunny Rosario is the best I could find that shows the details of the uniform.
Rosario is an interesting and inspirational story. He lost an eye in a childhood accident. Despite this , he was a two time Boston Globe All-Scholastic in high school. He had 3,669 career yards and 52 touchdowns.
At UMass, he has been mostly a back-up for Baylark. However, when given the chance he has been very effective. His career totals are 190 899 4.7 3 TD. His longest gain is 62 yards.
4.7/yrds/carry is pretty impressive! He should break a 1000 yards for his career this year.
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Richmond's website has a story about the Spiders Adam Goloboski. We've already talked about him in a blog below (scroll down).
Goloboski was named first team All-A10 by I-AA.org. Note that I could not find the citation on I-AA.org's website.
Richmond returns the entire front seven of its defense in 2005
Noteworthy was the performance of Armando Cuko Fr. 5-11 180 from Beverly, MA. Cuko hit field goals of 37, 42, 39, 47 and 44 yards. It does not say how many he missed :)
Cuko is the only kicker on the UMass squad after last year’s starter Michael Torres transferred
(first entry in this archive. I still can’t point Blogger to a specific post) to a I-A school in Florida
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
16 days until we open at Richmond. See another article on Richmond here .
Richmond was 3-8 in the overall last year and 2-6 in the A10. One of their two A10 wins was against us.
This year most pundits picked Richmond 4th (Athlon Sports) or 5th A10.Richmond finished 11th in total offense and 11th (18 pts/game) in scoring offense. They finished 8th (27 pts/game) in scoring defense.
They do return eight starters on offense. Other than Tutt, the top returning player is probably David Freeman (188 att., 945 yds., 5.0 ave., 5td). He is #30 shown above. He and Globoski (below) were picked preseason All-A10.
On defense the top returning player is Adam Goloboski (116 TT, 51UA/65 AT). He had a season high nine tackles against UMass last year. Joining Goloboski are eight other starters.
The middle of the Spiders schedule is brutal when they play @Maine, @ Vanderbilt, Villanova, @ Delaware, Hofstra and @ JMU.
The Spiders had a highly regarded class of recruits . It will take them another year or so before they start to make noise in the A10. And hopefully they won't beat us two years in a row.
Images are from the Richmond Atheletic Dept. Photographer is not listed.
Monday, August 15, 2005
It is seventeen days until Sept 1, 2005 when UMass opens its season against Richmond under the lights at 7:00 pm at City Stadium.
Last year on Sept. 18, 2004 Richmond defeated an unbeaten UMass team 24-14 at McGuirk. It would be the start of a four game losing streak for the Minutemen.
The box Score:
Richmond 7 14 3 0 24
UMass 14 0 0 0 14
First Downs 18 12
Rushing yards 42-204, 29-85
Passing 31-12 132 1, 33-19 230 1
Total offense 73-336, 62-315
Punt returns 6-29, 5-8
Kick returns 3-57, 3-48
Punts 7-35.9, 9-34.7
Fumbles 1-1, 1-1
Penalties 6-40, 15-111
Third Down Conversations 7-16, 1-14
Red Zone scores 2-3, 1-3
Couple of things jump out. In a previous blog (scroll down) we talked about Stacy Tutt , who had a career game, passing for two TD’s and running for another. He had 132 yards passing and 117 rushing.
The 15 penalties for 111 yards probably figured into our atrocious 1-14 third down conversations that day. UMass looked flat after our emotional win over Colgate, but the penalties problem would dog UMass for the rest of the season.
Images from the UMass athletic Dept website. Photographer not listed.
Saturday, August 13, 2005
There are more images from the UMass Preseason camp here.
The main UMass sports page has two video clips of interviews with Head Coach Don Brown.
Can’t be much fun practicing in the heat and humidity that have covered New England for the last week!
Friday, August 12, 2005
Here’s my take. Note that I do not have any special “insider” information. I do not even live in Massachusetts. And if the UMass Athletic Dept has noticed my blog, they’ve done an excellent job of containing their enthusiasm.
The ten transfers are:
Brent Caldwell OL Sr. 6-3 290 Syracuse
Jon Carnes OL So. 6-4 290 Rutgers
Shawnn Gyles DB Jr. 6-0 180 Northeastern
John Hatchell DL Jr 6-2 270 Lehigh
Taylor Humphrey QB Fr. 5-11 205 Hawaii
Matt Lawrence RB Jr. 6-1 198 UConn
Frank McDonald FB Jr. 6-0 245 Northeastern
Michael Meggett DB Fr. 6-1 205 West Virginia
Patrick Powell DE So. 6-4 265 Maryland
Justin Schweighardt DE Sr. 6-1 265 Ball State
Lateef Taylor DL So. 6-1 290 Cincinnati
I think their contributions this year will be as follows:
1. Schweighardt transferred in 2003 and started on the DL last year (25UT 10TT 35 TT 1Sack 1.5 TFL). He has been moved to DE this year.
2. Brent Caldwell played well in the spring game. Since he has only one year of eligibility left, why bring him in if he’s not going to play.
3. Frank McDonald transferred in 2003 and sat out the 2004 season. He started in the Spring game and probably will start in September.
4 Jon Hatchell transferred in 2003 and sat out the 2004 season. He has set several UMass bench press records and started in the Spring Game. The Fanzone expects him to start in September.
That’s it. Two I-A transfers starting and two from I-AA. Note that I think there will be only three new starters in 2005 and two of them will be from I-AA. Possibly the one new 1-A transfer starting will be an OG. There should be little fodder for comments that UMass won because we loaded up on 1-A transfers.
TRANSFERS WHO MAY SEE A LOT OF PLAYING TIME.
1. Matt Lawrence. UMass lost last year’s back up Bryan Smith because of academic reasons (he’ll be back next semester). Lawrence played well for UConn and would start if any thing happed to Baylark
2. Brent Caldwell is the backup center
3. Partick Powell is an awesome physical specimen and may push last years transfer Justin Schweighardt for playing time later in the season.
INELIGIBLE THIS YEAR
1. Shawnn Gyles. Transferred this year and must sit out per NCAA rules (lateral transfers in the same division must sit out a year)
LITTLE PLAYING TIME THIS YEAR
1. Taylor Humphrey. Injured his shoulder in the spring. Will be in the mix next year after Tim Day graduates.
2. Michael Meggett. Highly rated safety will probably sit out a year to preserve four years of eligibility in UMass’ talent heavy secondary.
3. Lateef Taylor is still a work in progress. May play on short yardage situation.
Thursday, August 11, 2005
The UMass website has an article on the Sports Illustrated pick here .
The Fanzone does not put much stock in most polls. The AGS poll has proven to be the most accurate in the past.
Outlets that specialize in I-AA football tend to know more (in some cases a lot more) about I-AA football
Case in point is Street & Smith, which does a good job with I-A, but dropped its I-AA coverage several years ago. This year they did do a Top 25 and included the laughable pick of LaSalle (3-8) last year in the MAAC. To be fair, the Fanzone thinks this is a “typo” (The Fanzone knows a thing or two about typos), Street & Smith probably meant Lafayette (8-4 in the Patriot League in 2004)...
The Fanzone would pick UMass as around #15 or #16 pre-season. Certainly, UMass is a lot better team this year. We have more athletes, especially on defense. But until we do it on the field, we're still 6-5.
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
The UMass website has more images from 2005 preseason. See them here. The images are unattributed, but probably are by Assistant Athletic Director for Media Affairs Jason Yellin.
My comment is on the new paint job for McGuirk. Although this is a modest expenditure, it shows that entropy is not being allowed to take over. I remember a conversation with UMass Head Coach Jimmie Reid (1986-1991). He told me it was a constant struggle to keep UMass from dumping stuff that it no longer used, but did not want to throw away, at the stadium. In recent years the north side of the stadium has been paved and now the seemingly yearly small projects.
It shows! McGuirk is looking pretty good.
Now if they could only do some work on UMass' sad looking field house!
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Last year was a facinating year for UMass football. Despite the heavy turnover in players (UMass only had 14 scholarship players on Defense in the spring of 2004), and a new coaching staff, UMass finished with a winning record. That record could have been better by two games.
One of thse two losses was this year's opening opponent Richmond (who won only two A10 games in 2004), The Spiders beat us on the play of Stacy Tutt. He earned A10 Player of the Week for his performance against UMass. He threw for two touchdowns and ran 41 yards for another. He was 12-31-1-132 and 2 TDs passing, and rushed 18 times for 117 yards and 1 touchdown.
His Hail Mary touchdown pass with 0:00 left in the first half was play that beat UMass.
Now there is news that Richmond is considering moving Tutt to WR.
Richmond finished at 3-8 and they are hoping to get more talent on the field by possibly playing RFr. Will Healy or true Fr. Levi Brown at QB.
This will poise a challenge for the UMass Defense. Tutt scrambled. He is most effective when running around making plays. Both Healy and Brown are more pocket players.
Every A10 game is important and the changes going on in Richmond should make the game under the lights at UR Stadium on 09/01/25 even more interesting.
Monday, August 08, 2005
It's FREE. Thanks Google!
However, it does have some quirks. The longest thread in the support section is how to make blogger point a specific previous entry. Most people can't get that feature to work. I'm one of them. To get around that problem, I've set the posts to be archived by week, which is probably more in tune with football anyway.
If this is your first visit, be advised that images in the archived section may not show right away. I use FireFox and IE6 (however if FireFox does not stop wiping my bookmarks, I may switch to Opera). If you visit an archived post and see just a caption and a small rectangle, then click on the rectangle and the image will load. At least it does with FireFox and IE6...
One loaded your browser should cache the image. Note that in most cases, you can click on the image for a larger view.
Also, I've repeatedly set Blogger to notify me when someone posts a comment. That does not seem to work either. So I may miss your comment. If you really want me to know something, e-mail me. In addition, there does not seem to be a way to edit a comment once it's posted.
The Blogger formant is somewhat restricting and I may move the Fanzone to an independent server to give me more control over the presentation.
Visitors should note the "next blog" button at the top. Clicking on that button will take you on a long strange trip through the hive mind of blogging humanity. There are porn blogs, chamber of commerce sites, Icelandic poetry reviews and lots of "my-life-sucks" blogs. There is even one written in Arabic by the "Avenger". Don't know what he's ranting about, but he uses lots of exclamation points...
Sunday, August 07, 2005
Hopefully UMass will avoid any serious injuries during the 29 days of practice allowed by the NCAA.
UMass opens under the lights at Richmond on Thursday, September 1, 2005. The probability of this blogger being at the game has waxed and waned during the last couple of weeks. Right now things are looking up.
This issue is related to "SPU"s. As shown in the Blogger Profile section, I'm also into Amateur Astronomy.
This is a quote from the Glossary section of "A Practical Guide to Lightcurve Photometry and Analysis' by Brain D. Warner
"SPOUSAL PERMISSION UNITS (SPU'S) Credits issued by one spouse to another so that the recipient may do something in the future, e.g. purchase a telescope, without incurring the wrath of the spouse issuing the credits. There is no actuary table that defines the number of SPUs required to cover the cost of any given act. Their value is often volatile and subject to seasonal if not daily fluctuations. Note that SPUs do not accrue interest and, indeed may loose value over time. Therefore, it is usually wise to redeem the SPUs as soon as possible after they are issued."
SPUs also apply to permission to go to away football games more than 200 miles from home!
Friday, August 05, 2005
The UMass Helmets above are a scan from the 2005 UMass Press Guide. The source of helmets is The Helmet Project. Click on the image to enlarge.
The sequence is missing the 1972 helmet (probably because the Helmet Project does not have a image of that helmet.)
The lesser known Helmet History Site does have an image. That's the one below.
I know for a fact that the players hated the 1972 version.
If I were "building" the perfect UMass helmet, I would go with the "type" 1988 helmet with the current type 2003 black and maroon center stripes.
I would rank the helmet history this way in order of preference.
- Type 1988
- Types 1993 and type 2003
- Type 1970
- Type 1989
- Type 1962 and type 1986 (don't like the "Penn State" look)
- Type 1963
Thursday, August 04, 2005
The A10 held its annual preseason Media Day yesterday. See the official article here
UMass tied for first with UNH in the North division by Coaches and Media.
Note that I list UMass below UNH for two reasons: UNH had more first place votes and to avoid the
A10 first place hex. First place votes in parenthesis
1. UNH (14)
2. UMass (12)
3. Hofstra (4)
6. Rhode Island
In the South Division
1. JMU (16)
2. Delaware (6)
3. William & Mary (6)
4. Villanova (6)
The image is UMass Coach Brown and Shannon James being interviewed at the Media day.
On Monday, the UMass Friends of Football held their annual Golf Day and meeting. It's their major fund raiser and social event. Over 125 UMass Friends of Football had a great day of golf and friendship.
Athletic Director John McCutcheon attended. UMass Basketball coach Travis Ford and UMass Hockey Coach "Toot" Cahoon also put in an appearance.
Former UMass Football head coaches Dick MacPherson, Bob Pickett and Mike Hodges attended.
The image on the right is by me (It's too dark, sorry).
Signs are by "Signman", who should have his own website, but does n0t as far as I know.
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
An interesting read is this account of the blog universe. According to Technorati, there are over 14.2 million blogs. The problem is that only about 13% are updated at least once a week.
Outside of the UMass Fanzone, the only I-AA bogs that I'm aware of are:
- The 13 Yard Line
- The Lehigh Football Nation
- TSPN Daily ( with links to the interesting non-blogs: SWAC Page , MEAC Fan Page and Onnidan Black Colleges Online)
If anyone is aware of any more active I-AA blogs let me know.
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Click on the image to enlarge.
Information about ordering a copy is in my previous Blog.
The guide is written and edited by Jason Yellin, Assist. Athletic Director of Media Relations.
Monday, August 01, 2005
The UMass 2005 Media Guide is out. Follow this link for a preview and order form.
The Fanzone gets one every year and it’s great for UMass Football browsing (especially during the football deprived seasons of spring and summer).
The 2004 edition was 200 pages of UMass information. It is well worth the $15 publication cost.
The UMass Football Media Guide is well produced. The guide has won awards in the past for its production even against the mammoth guides issued by I-A teams. Check out this amusing story how the NCAA has put an end to escalating I-A media guides (