Sunday, August 31, 2008

Albany Game Report, Picasa Web Album & Thank You's

First, some thank you's are appropriate.

The UMass Athletic administration should take a bow. The Albany game was an event. McGuirk looked great under our new lights with our new sound system on our new field turf field. The fireworks were awesome. I bet a good 50% of the crowd stayed to watch the show after the game ended.

The UMass Marching Band was great for the umpteenth year. The band makes these halftime shows look easy------and it's not. Thanks for the great music.

The UMass cheerleaders were wonderful as usual. Speaking of making things look easy, that cheerleader that was ticking out those wide armed push ups, was in some serious good shape!

Special thanks to the 15,112 UMass and Albany fans who took in the game. The crowd made the atmosphere. That was the second largest opening crowd in UMass history. The UMass fans gave the team a nice hand as the game ended.

Consider these games:
  • Albany@UMass 15,112
  • Richmond@Elon (the FCS/I-AA game of the week) 10,842
  • Colgate@Stony Brook 5,808
  • Monmouth@ Rhode Island (the new version Rams open at home) 3,220
Take a bow, adminsitration, band, cheerleaders and fans. You were great!

Then there was the game. The good:

Tony Nelson was all he was cracked up to be and then some. He averaged 8.6 yards a carry. He rushed 20 times for 171 yards and one TD. Nelson didn't fumble the ball and he didn't cramp up. He was flat out the best UMass player on field.

Punter Brent Arnold (47.5 yard average) and kicker Armando Cuko (62.0 yard average) in their 2.0 version did really well. Cuko kicked the extra points half way to Sunderland and also hit his kickoffs well. In the still, humid air, Arnold boomed several punts. A little better coverage would have helped. If we could have downed one of those punts on one yard line, it would have really put some pressure on the Great Danes. JUCO Terrance Farris was close to the ball on special teams all game.

Ian Jorgensen made a great one handed catch for a TD.

UMass broke Korrey Davis' redshirt in the first game as he had seven carries for 19 yards.

And the bad:

UMass players were dropping like flies with cramps (which was not happening to Albany, BTW). The constant change in offensive linemen did not help the offense, which was limited to 16 first downs and 307 total yards. UMass had only 92 net yards passing and Liam was at an unheard of low for him with a 50% completion rate.

Our tackling in the first quarter was awful. It looked like we were trying to play flag football. We were whiffing on tackles all over the place. As the game went on, that improved. The defense began to get pressure on Esposito and the hitting picked up. McCarty still averaged 5.2 yards per carry.

Albany is a good team. They were 8-4 last year and undefeated in the NEC. They were also the unofficial Patriot League champs as they beat playoff bound Fordham 23-20. Albany has a definite chance of beating Hofstra, UNH or Delaware.

All in all, the first quarter was terrible, but we worked our way through it. On to Holy Cross.


The team was not the only ones not in game form. I left my image-stabilized zoom lens home and I was getting some serious blur in my images by the second half.

I made up a 54-image Picasa Web Album. It's here . Click on the "slide show" or view one-at-a-time.

Hope you enjoy the images.


Anonymous said...

Nice review of everything Frank. I second the kudo's to the Administration on a great job . . . GO UMASS!

Anonymous said...

I second that; wonderful assessment of the proceedings. Nelson was a man among boys, and the future looks promising for him. Our offense was struggling at times, due largely to the line. Coen was not sharp, but I feel that the play calling could have been better. The defense was disappointing. Still, this was the first and Albany is no slouch. They would be at home in the CAA, which is where they likely belong. Kudos to the Administration. The band and the cheerleaders were, as usual, outstanding! Great pics, Frank. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Why not give J. Fernandez, B. White, and A. Aguh a few touches each?

Anonymous said...

Frank nice pictures. Really brings the game to us. Great job.

Anonymous said...

Things to improve upon...have some merchandise ready to sell.When asking to buy two UMASS football sweatshirts,i was told,"don't have any,hopefully we will have some later in the year". These games are scheduled years in advance-get this fixed,as it happened last year too.New vendors and more activities made for a wonderful atmosphere,these games are now becoming events!!So be prepared.

Anonymous said...

Frank wrote:

First, some thank you's are appropriate.

The UMass Athletic administration should take a bow. The Albany game was an event. McGuirk looked great under our new lights with our new sound system on our new field turf field. The fireworks were awesome. I bet a good 50% of the crowd stayed to watch the show after the game ended.

What do you want from your Football Program and Football Team?

I want the best program,
I want to win the National Championship,
I want the best facilities in the CAA.

Before I clap I want to hear McCutcheon speak out like he did when he first game to UMass. I want to hear him say he wants to win a National Championship.
I want to hear his 5-year and 10-year plan to upgrade the football facilities.

UMass74 said...

Really brings the game to us.

That's was what I was going for. Even if the games are televised, the game day atmosphere does not come through.

The professional photographers with their $2,000 mono-pod mounted lenses are the way to go for action images.

I'm just trying to give a feel for the game to the UMass fans who live too far away to attend the games.

When Mrs. Blog and I were in the yellow parking lot getting organized before the game, the UMass Marching Band was making it's way through the SouthWest parking lots.

In the distance we could hear the cadence "gudgga gudgga tic tic gudgga gudgga"

The sound of football. Still makes my scalp tingle...

Anonymous said...

It was interesting to see that true frosh Korrey Davis got some carries. He seemed to be the primary back up to Nelson. I was also pleased to see how well Rouzier played at LB. He seemed to give them a spark when he came in with some hard hits and some nice plays. Other than Jennings he looked like our best LB out there. Lets hope they clean things up and beat HC next week!

Anonymous said...

I'm confused about something and wonder if someone can give me their view. Why do a large number of UMass students leave UMass football games at half-time even when it's an entertaining close contest? I'm sure they don't think the game is over. Are they likely too hyper-active? Do they probably have someplace important to go? Or is it because they basically don't like college football and have taken about as much of the game as they can stand?
Or is it something else? I've never seen anything like this any place else and I've seen many college football game in all parts of the country over many years.

Anonymous said...

Outcoached amd Outplayed
Why isn't Warren Wilson on the field?
Who is # 54 who was gassed after each Def. play?
What was up with # 61 who it seemed
every play came up limping?

They better get their shit together or its gonna be along season
Good thing I backed off the Texas Tech trip
See you at Leitrum's on Park Ave in Worcester saturday

Pat said...

Hey, this was a great game, my first as a UMass Minuteman!

It was interesting to watch how dominant our pass defense was! Other than the busted coverage at the beginning (which could have ended bad) Albany didn't complete a single pass down the field! All dunks and screens!

Topsfieldfan said...

Kudo's to the administration for the new lights and speakers. Now let's get new concessions where the smoke doesn't come up through the stands and make your eyes water all game long. And let's have our merchandise ready for the season opener. We don't have another home game till Oct. 5th, let's hope they have some shirts, sweatshirts and hats ready to go by then.

Anonymous said...

I was one of those crazy fans at the game saturday night. It was terrific. If they have their game in the eveings I will go to them all. Many students around me said they were attending their first football game because it was at night and fit their schedule and activities better. I think we will draw big crowds at any night game we have in the future.