Wednesday, January 31, 2007

One week to letter-of-intent day

One week to go until the 2007 class of recruits is signed.

UMass picked up what could be the top recruit in I-AA when Matt Vautour confirmed that Navy safety Jeromy Miles has transferred to UMass (scroll to middle of article). I've blogged about him before (scroll down).

UMass will use another scholarship on 6-7 270 pd Ben Coblyn who has transferred from BU.

Also re-joining the Minutemen this year is Bryan Smith. He was a highly rated recruit who had received a number of I-A offers.

Not listed on this year's roster is Victor Cruz, who was ineligible last year. If he returns, he would be an impact player for the 2007 Minutemen. Originally recruited in 2005, he was probably the top-rated recruit of that class.

I-AA allows 63 scholarships spread over a maximum of 85 players, so the "ideal" class is 17 recruits. Next week at this time, we will know how Coach Brown spent his remaining scholarships.

UPDATE: As you know, I have only one non-football site in my "links" sidebars. It's Dave Berry's website. Please read this story because A -- it's about football and B-- he still cracks me up. Dave Berry goes to Super bowl Media Day .

Monday, January 29, 2007

Great Performances 2006---- Liam Coen

In the race to the National Championship game, it was easy to loose track of individual performances in 2006.

Our QB Liam Coen had a banner year. The following statistics are unofficial . Remember he's just a sophomore...
  • Threw for 3,016 yards in 2006 (3rd all time for single season yard--dropping Jeff Krohn's 2961 in 2003 to 4th place)
  • 5,191 Career yards places him 3rd in total career yards passing ---behind Dave Palazzi's 5,402 career yards)
  • 65.0% completion average places him 1st in season average---he also holds 2nd place 63.9% in 2005)
  • 217 Completions in 2006 places him 4th---- just ahead of Tim Day's 194 in 2004)
  • 160.52 Efficiency rating places him 1st-----by a large margin over Greg Landry's 145.4 in 1965)
  • 26 TD Passes in 2006 makes him 3rd all time single season---behind Jeff Krohn's 28 in 2003)
  • 36 Career TD's places him 4th all time----behind Peil Pennington's 38 in '71-73
  • 1st in yards passing by a sophomore----destroying Tim Bryant's 1,430 in 1986
Hopefully he'll have another great season in 2007!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Moreshead verbals to UMass

Ryan Moreshead a 6-2 230 pd LB has verbaled to UMass. I previously blogged about him on Jan. 11, 2007.

Moreshead was an All-Scholastic, Defensive MVP of the Hockomock League and a member of the "Coaching Top-26" given to the best 26 players in Mass.

Chose UMass over Delaware, Hofstra and URI.

Welcome to UMass Ryan. You made the right choice!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Mark Whipple let go by the Steelers

Former UMass head coach Mark Whipple was replaced as QB coach of the Steelers earlier this week.

Whipple's UMass bio is here . As usual, Matty Vautour has the best take on Whipple's situation (along with some UMass football news) here .

Whipple has stated that he considers Arizona his home. This Blog thinks he would like to land a head coaching or OC job at with PAC1o team

Friday, January 26, 2007

Football Gathering a success

A large and enthusiastic group of UMass Football fans gathered at the UMass Club in Boston last night to celebrate the success of the UMass Football team in 2006.

Coach Brown spoke as did UMass President Wilson. Also speaking with the Chairman of the Board of Umass Trustees. UMass players in attendance were Liam Coen, Matt Austin, Charles Walker, Mike Meggett and John Hatchell (hopefully I didn't miss anybody). As I have said before, the UMass players are impressive young men to talk to.

It was wonderful to meet and talk with other UMass fans and members of the UMass administration.

This blog encourages all UMass Football Fans to join the UMass Friends of Football and the UMass Alumni Association. It's not just the $$$, it's the support that those organizations can point to in the on-going struggle to make good things happen for the team and the University.

It costs $900 for two season tickets to Montana football (cost of tickets and a large mandatory contribution to the athletic dept). UMass fans can make an impact for far less...

UPDATE: I forgot. Coach Brown brought a 2006 highlight film produced by the same people that do NFL Highlights. It was great. Brown said it would be shown to all the 2007 recruits.

Hopefully, the athletic dept will make it available to UMass fans. I would certainly make a donation to the athletic fund for a copy.

UPDATE II: The Alumni Club has some images here .

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Boston Media reports the 2007 UMass-BC Game

Without comment we give you the Boston Media reports of the release of Boston College's 2007 schedule.

The Boston Globe is here . "The University of Massachusetts, which lost the Division 1-AA championship game, visits The Heights Sept. 29."

And the Boston Herald is here . "UMass, coming off a trip to the Division 1-AA championship game, will be at Alumni Stadium for the second time in four years on Sept. 29. "

UPDATE: A Eagles blogger comments ...

UPDATE II: College Football News has BC rated #19 in their early 2007 ratings.

Jeremy Cain signs with the Eagles

Former UMass LB Jeremy Cain has been picked up by the Philadelphia Eagles after being released by the Chicago Bears.

His NFL page is here.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Jeromy Miles---- Possible Navy Transfer

Sources say Jeromy Miles a 6-2 189 Safety from Navy is considering transferring to UMass.

Miles is an outstanding player. He was the All-East Freshman-of-the-Year.Miles was also an Honorable Mention Freshman All-American .

Miles' stats for 2006 13 g 23 ST 33 At 61 TT 2.5 TFL 2-52 INT 1 BrUp.

He is also considering Bowling Green.

Jeromy! UMass has defensive genius Don Brown at Head Coach. Coaching defensive backs is Bob Shoop, former defensive back coach at Boston College and a former head coach at Columbia.

Hope you choose UMass!

UPDATE 1/25/07: It's official. He's been given his release by Navy. Article here .

UPDATE II: Our source, Adam Nettina runs a high-quality Navy Blog here . It's definitely worth adding to your "favorites" list.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Baylark in East-West Shrine Game Part II

A visitor named Football1 left a link to a recap of the Shrine Game on on the other Shrine game article (scroll down) that pretty much matches what we were saying here. Nice to see draftniks discovering Baylark.

Baylark had an impressive game. The analysis on DraftDaddy does not mention how well Baylark can catch the ball out of the backfield. That gives him an extra dimension over some backs.

NY Giants Defensive Coordinator has UMass Roots

Eagles linebacker coach Steve Spagnuolo has been chosen as Defensive Coordinator by the NY Giants.

This article quotes former UMass DE and Assistant Coach Steve Telander about Spagnuolo.

The Boston Globe has a 2005 article about him as Eagles Linebacker Coach here.

This is Telander's bio from the 1983 UMass Press guide "Steve Telander graduated from UMass in January of 1979. During his four years at UMass he was named to the 1978 All-ECAC Team, All-New England in 1978 and All-Yankee Conference in 1975. He played Defensive end for the Minutemen. Since Graduation from UMass, Telander has been an assistant coach at Dartmouth and head football coach at Hanover High School."

Spagnuolo as a graduate assistant coach, apparently did not rate a bio in the then pretty sparse press guide. I believe both Telander and Spagnuolo followed two year UMass head coach Bob Stull to UTEP when he left.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Recruiting 2007 Zach Wilson and Roger Williams

The Cape Cod Online has a recruiting article here about local players being recruited by local colleges.

Several entries mention UMass:

"ZACH WILSON, Barnstable, senior - This fullback/defensive lineman is a repeat Old Colony League All-Star ... Big (6-4, 250) and strong ... Led Red Raiders with 700 rushing yards ... Led team in scoring with seven TDs ... Moved from linebacker to line when team needed him ... Also catches for baseball team ... Getting looks for football from UMass, Maine, Northeastern and Bryant, among others."

"ROGER WILLIAMS, Dennis-Yarmouth, senior - Atlantic Coast League All-Star ... Moved up from Louisiana as a junior after Hurricane Katrina ... Kicked school record 47-yard field goal, breaking his old mark of 40 set last year ... Kickoffs usually reach the end zone ... Good edge player on defense ... Being looked at by Albany, UMass, UNH and Maine for his kicking

And maybe a couple of two sport athletes?

"JAMES HAMILTON, Cape Tech/Harwich, senior - What more can be said about this Mayflower Large Schools All-Star and Boston Globe Div. 3A Player of the Year? ... A 5-10, 190-pound tailback who rushed for school records of 2,322 yards this season, 4,318 yards for his career ... Had 34 TDs and 214 points this season to lead division ... Averaged 9 yards per carry ... Very tough to bring down; rarely did first tackler do so ... Plays baseball and basketball ''¦ Pitched Harwich to state title last spring ... Choosing between UMass-Amherst and Eastern Connecticut for baseball."

The Pittsburg Post Gazette has an article here about Basketball recruiting.

"Steffphon Pettigrew, a 6-5 senior at Elizabethtown, Ky. who made a visit to Duquesne in the fall but didn't sign a national letter of intent, is the leading candidate for Mr. Basketball in Kentucky. He leads the state in scoring (35.6 ppg) and rebounding (14.3 rpg). Pettigrew set a school record with 54 points against John Hardin earlier this month and has scored more than 40 points in six other games. Duquesne, Bradley, South Carolina State and Western Kentucky have been heavily recruiting Pettigrew and New Mexico State, Mississippi and UMass have recently gotten involved. Kentucky has only offered him a chance to be a walk-on and Louisville is interested in him for football."

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Baylark plays tonight in the East-West Shrine Game

Steve Baylark plays tonight at the East-West Shrine game at 7:00 on ESPN2.

His competitors teammates at RB on the East Squad are: Alonzo Coleman (Hampton), Tyrone Moss (Miami), fullback Jesse Allen (Virginia Tech) and Jason Snelling Virginia.

UPDATE: The UMass Athletic Dept has an article about Baylark and the game here . He will wear #23 in the Red uniforms.

UPDATE Sunday 1/21: Baylark had a great game! He led all East RB's with 7 carries for 32 yards 4.6 yards/carry. He also caught the only ball that was thrown to him for 10 yards and a first down. So Steve ended up with 42 total yards. The East run blocking stunk. Baylark had 27 yards one carry (I think the longest run by ANY TB in the game). He got about four yards on another run. He had ZERO blocking on his other five carries.

The East's offense stunk.They only had 60 yards of total rushing. The Associated Press box score of the game is here .

UNH's David Ball had three catches for 80 yards. He made one of his patented climb-the-ladder catches for the best catch of the game.

Delaware' TE Patrick was under unitized. He ended up with 2 catches for 27 yards. The I-AA contingent seemed to be QB'd mostly by Gutierrez from Idaho State and he did not have a good game going 8/19 67 yards. He found Patrick for a catch more or less by accident. Baylark was open out of the backfield on nearly every play. On his only catch, he clapped his hands to attract Gutierrez' attention...

Brown's Zac Deozzie had an excellent game. He was a star on special teams and was around the ball all day on defense.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Be still my heart!!!

Be still my freakin' heart.

Relevant quote from the article:"Now, as UMass seeks to replace and renovate aging classroom and research buildings and possibly build a new football stadium if a move to take the Division 1-AA Minutemen into big league Division 1 gathers momentum, university officials are more confident than at any time in recent history of more support from the state."

One week until football gathering at the UMass Club in Boston

On January 18 the UMass Club will be hosting the Boston UMass Alumni chapter to honor Coach Brown and the team.

The alumni association press release is here . Register here .

Complimentary wine, beer and hors d'oeuvres will be served (very good the last time I was there).

This blog will be there. Please all local UMass fans make an effort to be there to support Coach Brown and team.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

A couple of new UMass football items in the Campus Store

The online UMass store has two new UMass football items. The National Championship t-shirt is different from the one I bought in Chattanoogna, but still nice.

There is a UMass hoodie sweatshirt that I'll pick up on my next trip to Amherst.

Show your UMass football colors!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Meanwhile ---- in the rest of the A10/CAA

Hofstra verbaled the highest rated QB to sign with a I-AA team so far t his year.

Delaware has six verbals .

James Madison has one .

New Hampshire has four .

Rhody Island has one .

Richmond has one .

Towson has a two star QB .

Villanova has six verbals w/four two star recruits .

William & Mary has two verbals .

UMass, Maine and Northeastern have none listed so far.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Recruiting 2007 -- Tremayne Graham WR/CB

UMass is recruiting Tremayne Graham a wide receiver/Defensive back from Parkview Panthers High School (check out their weight room in the gallery section). Story here .

He was a CSS/Chevy All-Georgia DB.

Also being recruited by Chattanooga and Richmond.

Tremayne, we hope you choose UMass. The minuteman have one of the best DB coaches in football with Bob Shoop .

Friday, January 12, 2007

The Return of Bryan Smith

Matt Vautour has reported the return of Bryan Smith TB to the UMass football program. He played one season for UMass in 2004.

Bryan is the twin brother of Brandon Smith who had an excellent career as a free safety for the Minutemen.

When Bryan was originally recruited, he was the higher rated player. He received offers from several I-A schools.

This is a cut-and-paste from the original UMass recruiting press release.

"Bryan Smith Fr. TB 6-2 190 Bayonne, N.J. / Bayonne H.S. He enrolled at UMass for the spring semester, and will take part in spring practice ... Played for coach Ricardo Rodriguez at Bayonne High School, in Bayonne, N.J. ... Rushed 208 times for 1,687 yards and 26 touchdowns during his senior season, averaging 8.1 yards per carry ... Also intercepted three passes as a defensive back, returning one for a touchdown ... Had career totals of 3,336 rushing yards and 52 touchdowns ... Served as team captain during senior year, when team won the New Jersey Group 4 Section 2 championship ... Named Hudson County Running Back of the Year as a senior ... Earned third team All-State honors from the Associated Press ... Named to the Tri-State Select 22 High School Heisman Team ... Selected All-Hudson County and All-Conference following junior and senior seasons ... Also played basketball at Bayonne, averaging 19 points per game as a junior ... Identical twin of UMass freshman Brandon Smith. "Bryan is another outstanding running back from New Jersey, who we feel can make a major impact on our program. He is an outstanding athlete, like Marcel Shipp and R.J. Cobbs, but has more height and speed. Bryan is a very natural runner who sets up his blocks very well with his patience and outstanding vision. He is a home run hitter, who is a legitimate threat to score every time he touches the ball." - UMass running backs coach Mike Cassano "

If Smith can return to the form he had when we initially recruited him, he would be an impact player for UMass.

Welcome back Bryan!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Recruiting 2007--- Ryan Moreshead LB

Interested in UMass is Ryan Moreshead, a 6-2 230 pd LB from Foxboro. The Boston Herald bio is here .

Moreshead had 302 career tackles, 12 sacks and 5 INT. Being recruited by UMass, Hofstra, Delaware and URI.

This article mentions him (at the end). He was also a member of the Herald's All-Eastern Mass team.

Ryan, hope you play for the home team!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Recruiting 2007-- Will Nagle OL/DL

Being recruited by UMass is Will Nagle a 6-4 260 pd OL/DL from Marshfield.

Start here with the Boston Herald.

Articles mentioning him are here and here (Herald's All-Eastern Mass team).

Will---hope you choose the Minutemen!

Besides UMass, Nagle is being recruited by a number of A10 schools.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Recruiting 2007 Jason Pena Athlete

Considering UMass is Jason Pena a 6-1 190 pd athlete from Whittier. Pena had over 4,200 yards of total offense and 250 total tackles as a safety.

Considering UMass, Syracuse, UConn and Delaware.

Jason, hope you choose UMass!

The Boston Herald has an article about him here .

Monday, January 08, 2007

UMass football 2007 schedule

UPDATE 01/11/07: The schedule below is now official. See this article on the UMass Athletic Dept website.

This was posted on the UMass Message board. Nothing on the UMass athletic site as of 7:00pm

2007 Schedule:

09/01: Holy Cross

09/08: @ Colgate The Raiders full 2007 schedule is here .

09/15: Towson The Tigers full 2007 schedule is here (pdf).

09/22: @ Maine

09/29: @ Boston College The Eagles non-ACC schedule

10/06/07 Bye week

10/13: Villanova (BAND DAY)

10/20: Northeastern (HOMECOMING WEEKEND)

10/27: @ William and Mary The Tribe's full 2007 schedule is here .

11/03: @ URI

11/10 UNH

11/17: @ Hofstra

11/24 First round NCAA Playoffs

12/1 NCAA Quarter finals

12/8 NCAA semifinals

12/14 (Friday) National Championship game @ Chattanooga

Nice schedule. This blog likes the mid-season bye week. That will help rest the team and allow for some injuries to heal.

Any predictions?

Sunday, January 07, 2007

UConn Dumps Navy

The evil UConn Huskies have backed out of a four year commitment to play Navy. That leaves openings for both schools. Navy already plays a I-AA school for the next four years, so I don't think they would be open to play us. Too bad---- the Navy game was a great atmosphere.

On the same token, I think it would be a frosty day in Hades that UConn would play us. A UMass-UConn football game would generate a lot of New England interest. The Huskies have played Maine, Northeastern and Rhode Island, but somehow can't seem to find us.

Sorta like what happened in basketball when Calipari was here... In a way, it's a great compliment to UMass football. They don't want any part of a Don Brown coached team. Last UMass-UConn meeting 62-22 for us.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Colgate Blog ends

Way back in May of 2005 an ardent Colgate fan and I started an e-mail conversation. After viewing his Colgate blog I decided to start the UMass Football Blog.

After 20 months and over 1,100 posts we're still going strong. I fully intend to keep the blog going in 2007.

It is sad to report that Colgate13 has officially pulled the plug on the 13 Yard Line.

I am still fairly astonished that there are probably less than a dozen I-AA blogs in existence (there are more message boards) and probably less than five are active...

Friday, January 05, 2007

Brown to be honored as Boston Gridiron Club's Coach-of-the-Year

UMass head coach Don Brown will be honored as the Boston Gridiron Club's Division I coach of the year.

The UMass article is here .

KAEO former UMass coaches Mike Cassano & Bill McGovern

Former UMass Defensive backs coach and defensive coordinator Bill McGoven has been retained as part of the Boston College coaching staff after they changed head coaches.

McGovern was defensive backs coach for the Minutemen 1987-1990 and Defensive Coordinator 1992-1993.

Also in the news, former UMass Running Backs coach Mike Cassano has been hired at Florida International. His UMass bio is here. Mike was running backs coach with UMass from 1998-2004.

Ah, the above link for Mike Cassano being hired does not work for no obvious reason. Try this. Click on four coaches added to football staff link on the F.I. football page.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

UMass wins Lambert cup

This blog reported that UMass would win the Lambert Cup back on December 3, 2006.

Now it's happened. The UMass Athletic Dept has an article here .

Congratulations to the UMass players and Coaches!

Cobbs joins the Giants

We've talked before about R. J. Cobbs being activated by the Giants for the playoffs (scroll down).

Two New Jersey papers mention him: the Z-Wire and the New Jersey Ledger .

He's also got his own Wikipedia article here .

UPDATE : As usual, Matt Vautour does it best. Read his article about Cobbs here .

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

2007 Schedule update III

A Rhode Island fan has posted the Rams 2007 schedule. Remember, the dates below are unofficial until reported on the UMass Athletic Web site. It does help those of us planning day trips for 2007 :)

Provisional UMass 2007 football dates:

9/8/07 @Colgate
9/15/07 Towson (home)
9/29/07 @ Boston College
10/27/07 @ William & Mary
11/03/07 @ Rhode Island
11/10/07 New Hampshire (home)

Five dates to go!

Reception for Coach Brown

This was posted in the UMass Football Message Board:

"The UMass Amherst Greater Boston Alumni Club in partnership with the UMass Amherst Alumni Association will be hosting a reception with UMass Men's Football Coach Don Brown on Thursday, 01/25, from 6:00 to 8:00 PM, at the University of Masschusetts Club.

The University of Massachusetts Club is conveniently located in downtown Boston at 225 Franklin St. on the 33rd Floor.

The cost of the reception is $10.00 for Alumni Association members and $20.00 for non-Alumni Association members. Light hors d'oeuvres will be served and a cash bar will also be available. "

This blog will be there if the weather is suitable for traveling. Boston area fans will have a good opportunity to meet Coach Brown and to celebrate the wonderful 2006 season.

I'll publish more details when they are available.

UPDATE: The alumni association now has event details here .

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

R.J. Cobbs Update

The UMass athletic dept. site has an update on R.J.Cobbs being activated for the playoffs . He will play special teams for the Giants.

The story is here .

UPDATE: On 01/03/07 the Springfield Republican has a short article on Cobbs here .

Looking back on the A10 South

In my earlier Blog (scroll down) we looked at 2006 in the A10 North. It's time to review the other division.


James Madison 7 1 .875 9 3 .750
Villanova 5 3 .625 6 5 .545
Towson 4 4 .500 7 4 .636
Delaware 3 5 .375 5 6 .455
Richmond 3 5 .375 6 5 .545
William & Mary 1 7 .125 3 8 .273

James Madison---- The Dukes dominated the A10 South. Their reward for going 9-3 was to be shipped out for the first round of the I-AA playoffs. Mickey Matthews was not happy . Four Dukes players were AP All-Americans . The JMU plays North Carolina in 2007. The Duke's complete '07 Schedule is here .

Villanova--- The Wildcats were the surprise of the A10, taking the A10 South second place outright. Villanova won six of their last eight games. Wildcat senior QB Marvin Borroughs had a great senior season . The Wildcats beat JMU and beat Delaware .

Towson --- The newcomers to the A10 were in competition for a playoff slot right until the last game of the season . Their QB Sean Shaefer threw for 3,000 yards in 10 games . Just what the A10/CAA needs --- another team that goes 8-3 every year.

Delaware --- It was a unhappy season for the Blue Hens who finished under .500 for only the third time in 19 seasons. Their TE David Patrick will play in the East-West Shrine game . The 2007 Delaware schedule is here .

Richmond --- Good things may be comming for the Spiders as their freshman QB Eric Ward was named the A10 Rookie-of-the-Year . Our old Friend Stacy Tutt is now playing fullback for the Jets . The Spiders had one of I-AA's best wins by dominating Duke . But then Richmond lost four of their last five.

William & Mary--- Not much went right for the Tribe in 2006 . The NCAA is making them change their athletic logo . They did have the best graduation rate in the A10 . The Tribe's 2007 schedule is here .