Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sunday articles 11/30/08

Well, the Blog readers correctly picked seven of the eight first round games in the FCS playoffs. It was close on New Hampshire though. Weber State was all over Cal Poly to ruin most people's brackets.

ESPN has final scores, drive charts and box scores here .

The CAA website has longer write-ups of all the CAA games here .

A couple of articles on the UNH-Southern Ill. game here (from the Saluki's side) and here (from New Hampshire).

CSN has a bracket and more post-first round playoff stuff here .

I think Weber State beats Montana and Villanova upsets JMU in the second round.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Playoff Saturday 2008

In two different stories, the Salukis remind UNH of UMass here and here .

The game will be streamed for free. Details here .


Appalachian State Vs South Carolina State on ESPNU at 12:00 Noon.


Chuck Burton's CSN column "Feasting on Football"

More FCS playoff notes and facts from CSN.


Keepers Football ratings has the following:
  • Appalachian State by 18 over South Carolina state
  • Cal Poly by 10.75 over Weber State
  • JMU by 13.09 over Wofford
  • Montana by 17.75 over Texas State
  • UNH by 0.41 over Southern Ill.
  • Richmond by 31.71 (wow) over EKU
  • UNI by 9.81 over Maine
  • Villanova by 19.55 over Colgate

Friday, November 28, 2008

Recruiting 2009--Jermaine McDay

A kind Blog reader initially us the link for this story about Jermaine McDay a 6-3 245 pd FB/LB from Keene, NH (just down the road from me).

McDay also made 2008 All-New Hampshire.

Also being recruited by Hofstra and Northeastern.

Image by Correy Perrine.

Recruiting 2009---Martin Hyppolite Part II

I've blogged before about UMass recruiting Wakefield's Martin Hyppolite.

He ran for 218 yards and four TD's in the big Turkey-Day game against Melrose. (mentions UMass)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Thursday

Hope all readers are enjoying their Thanksgiving holiday. Truly there is much to be thankful for.

Dave Coulson prognosticates the playoffs .

Bruce Dowd does his weekly CAA Today column here .

Matty Vautour has a link to a video interview with Brandon London.

Recruiting 2010----Justin Silveria

Could Wareham Junior Justin Silveria be a future safety for UMass? He likes the Minutemen. Silveria sounds like Coach Brown's kinda player.

Image by Mike Valeri.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

News November 26, 2008

Mostly FCS playfoffs news on the web.

No TV for the New Hampshire-SIU game .

Maine gets UNI in the dome . No TV for that game either.

ESPNU will air probably the worst matchup in the first round: Appalachian State against South Carolina State.

2008 FCS bracket here .


The Miami Dolphins lost one of their top receivers to a knee injury. That may open the door for Brandon London to crack the starting lineup.

Recruiting 2009----- QB Ray Doucette

The Boston Globe has an article about Ray Doucette a 6-3 175 pd pro-style QB from Cambridge & Latin HS in Cambridge, MA.

He has thrown for over 7,000 career yards.

His page is here . page is here .

Recruiting interest by Columbia, Harvard, Temple and UMass.

Ray, take a long look at the UMass receiving corps!

Boston Globe image by Patricia McDonnell.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tuesday Morning 11/25/08

The UMass Daily Collegian has a Hofstra game article here .

Matty Vautour looks at next year's needs and discusses who will fill the seniors shoes here .

Relavent quote:"He will have plenty of holes to fill as key players depart. Some can be filled from within by redshirts, but Brown and his staff will likely be actively looking at potential junior college and Football Bowl Subdivision transfers."


Chuck Burton of SCN complains about this year's playoff selections .

CSN continues its series on the best FCS players of the last thirty years (all in pdf):
The Sports Network has its weekly column "Around FCS' here .


Eleven Minutemen make All-CAA teams

Eleven UMass players made the 2008 All-CAA teams. The UMass website has an article on the honors here .

First Team:
  • Tony Nelson RB. In his first year as a starter, Nelson was 3rd in the CAA with243-1,325 5.5 yards/carry 12 TD 110 yards/game. He also added 19 receptions for 120 yards.
  • Victor Cruz WR. A couple of years ago Liam Coen said we "didn't have anybody like Victor Cruz". In his first year as a starter Cruz was the top receiver in the CAA in two categories. He led the CAA in total yards with 71-1,064 6TD 5.92 rec/game. He also led the CAA with 88.7 yards/game.
  • Vladimir Ducasse OL. Ducasse started practicing with the first team about three days after he arrived in Amherst. This year he sharply reduced his penalties and with his physical gifts became one the CAA's top linemen.
  • Josh Jennings LB. Jennings ended up 7th in the CAA in tackles with 90TT and 8.2 tackles/game despite missing the last two games of the season.
  • Courtney Robinson CB. Not many QB's threw in Robinson's direction and he added 18-404 22.4 kick return average.
  • Jeromy Miles DB. Miles was second in the CAA amoung DB's with 104 TT 8.8 tackles/game and was 5th in tackles amoung all positions.
  • Brett Arnold P. Arnold led the CAA and the nation with 46-2,080 yards and 45.2 yards/punt.
Second Team:
  • Liam Coen QB. Despite his ailing arm, Coen threw for 206-2,749 61.7% 24 TD and 229 yards/game. That was the 5th highest single-seasonTDs and 5th highest total yards in UMass history.
Third Team:
  • Jeremy Horne WR. Horne was 3rd in the CAA with 50-895 8TD's and 2nd in the CAA with a 74.6 yards/game average.
  • Sean Calicchio OL. Calicchio as a fifth year player was a force on the UMass OL.
  • Kyle Harrington DL. Harrington was 3rd in the CAA amoung DL with 50 TT 4.7 tackles/game.
Congrats to all the UMass players who made the 2008 All-CAA team. And seven of the eleven are underclassmen!

Monday, November 24, 2008

UMass-Hofstra Web album

Click on the image and Blogger displays a much larger view.

A Picassa web album of the UMass-Hofstra game and senior day is here .

Monday Morning November 24, 2008

Jeff Thomas has an article about Coach Brown recapping the season .


Shannon James and the Calgary Stampeders won the Gray Cup .


Fanhouse has a FCS plsyoff article here .

CSN has an extensive article with a bracket and individual game information here .

The Sports Network also has a long article about the playoff selections here .

Keepers football ratings have New Hampshire a slight favorite against SIU and Maine a nine point underdog to UNI.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

CAA gets five teams in the Playoffs

The New Hampshire football Report has details here .

All the traditional websites seem jammed up.

The teams:

Wofford (9-2) at No. 1 James Madison (10-1)
Colgate (9-2) at Villanova (9-2)
Texas St. (8-4) at No. 4 Montana (11-1)
Weber St. (9-3) at Cal Poly (8-2)
South Carolina St. (10-2) at No. 2 Appalachian St. (10-2)
Eastern Ky. (8-3) at Richmond (9-3)
Maine (8-4) at No. 3 UNI (10-2)
New Hampshire (9-2) at Southern Ill. (9-2)

Congrats Maine and UNH.

UPDATE: The CAA website has an article on the selection of five CAA teams (includes audio link to CAA press conference).

Sunday-after-the-Hofstra-game articles

Click on the image and Blogger displays a much larger view.

The NY Newsday says Hofstra ends a tough season with a loss .

The Worcester Telegram says Nelson stole Coen's thunder .

WWLP says it was the end of an era for UMass .

Jeff Thomas of the Springfield Republican said UMass ran past Hofstra .

The Boston Globe said Coen's parting gift to UMass was a victory .

Matty Vautour said 2008 ended with a win.


In case you missed it, UNH beat Maine in the snows of Orono to make the playoffs .

Playing in Hamilton, Holy Cross lost by a point to Colgate to knock the Crusaders out of the playoffs.

And the streets of Lubbock Texas must have been very quiet last night as the Red Raiders were creamed by crimson 65-21.


The FCS 2008 playoff selection show is on ESPNU (fixed link) at 6:00 PM. ESPNU is available on Dish Network channel 148.

UPDATE: Charles Burton has an article on the FCS playoff selections here .

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Dude! I found my team! UMass 28-14 over Hofstra

Winning makes you warm! UMass made a big comeback from its dismal performance against New Hampshire.

The UMass defense, missing four starters, may have played its most opportunistic game this year as the defenders had two fumble recoveries and two interceptions. We did not allow a point in the second half.

Tony Nelson showed again he was the best player on the field with 208 yards and two TD's.

Over 5,000 frozen fans showed up for the final game and a significant number of seriously demented devoted fans even stayed for the post game concert.

I think the team showed a lot of character and the win was a good way to start building for next year.

Thanks again to the seniors and all UMass players, coaches and fans!

UMass write up here .

Hofstra write up here .

Game Day-----Hofstra

Well, it's a frosty morning here in New Hampshire. My thermometer says it's 14 degrees right now.

I'm charging my camera batteries and checking my winter clothes to get ready for the game.

The Herald News has a story about Shane Viveiros getting more playing time in the UMass secondary.

Jeff Thomas has a game day article here .

Matty Vautour has a Hofstra game article here .

Matty has another story about Liam Coen's legacy to UMass football. There is a great quote from Coen:

"I'm very loyal to UMass football," Coen said. "I hope people remember me as being tougher than maybe your average quarterback has been. To know how much I cared and how much most of my days went to trying to win games for this program. It's something I care about a lot."


The Sports Network has its week #13 FCS Preview here .

Chuck Burton has previews of the games of rivalry weekend.


Holy Cross will meet #21 Colgate for the Patriot League championship and a playoff birth today.

Albany has already won the NEC championship and awaits its opponent in the Dec 6th Gridiron Classic.

And "Oh-by-the-way", Texas Tech meets Oklahoma tonight at 7:00 pm for a BCS game bid.

Image stolen from the Wizard of Odds college football blog----who undoubtedly stole it from someone else. It's not accredited.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Hofsta Preview

Game articles for Hofstra:

UMass game notes here (html) and here (pdf)

Hofstra's game notes for UMass here (pdf)

Jeff Thomas states that it's a bitter-sweet game for the seniors .

The Springfield Republican says Coen's last game is the end of an era .

Matty Vautour says both Ben Coblyn and Josh Jennings are out of the Hofstra game with injuries.

Bruce Dowd has his weekly "The CAA Today week 12 &13" column here .

The Sports Network has its weekly "Around FCS" column here .


The Pride is 4-7 overall and 2-5 in the CAA

Hofstra players to watch are:

  1. Everette Benjamin 119-550 4.6 AVE 4 TDs
  2. Brock Jackolski (great name!) 75-506 6.7 AVE 8 TDs
  3. Cory Christopher (QB) 106-272 2.6 AVE 6 TDs
  1. Cory Christopher 127-190 6 INTs 66.8% 1,163 yards 4 TD's
  1. Aaron Weaver 66-572 8.7 yards/catch 4 TD's
  1. Luke Bonus (another great name) 42 UT 48AT 90 TT 6.5-31 TFL 2.5 Sacks 2 FF
  2. Greg Melendez 27 UT 35 AT 62 TT 2 FF

This could be a tough game for the Minutemen. With Ben Coblyn, Sean Smalls, Brian Ellis and Josh Jennings all out, UMass will be really short on bodies.

Freshman LB Tyler Holmes will get his first start.

Hofstra is a running team and our depleted defense has not done well against running teams this year.

I would look to the UMass offense to win this one. Tony Nelson, Liam Coen and the receivers Victor Cruz and Jeremy Horne should put up good numbers against the Pride. Get out to a good start and keep the defense off the field.

Go UMass!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Senior Day is Saturday

Click on the image and Blogger displays a larger view (much larger on my monitor)

Saturday will be the last game for the UMass seniors. Let's turn out for the game and give them a big send off.

Five years of football practices and lifting weights. Five year of running conditioning drills like I talked about when I visited the field in August to check on the lighting project.

Remember Courtney Robinson's interception against Montana .

Remember George Byrd's blocked punt for a TD against Army.

Remember when Liam Coen came in against Colgate in the fourth quarter and led an amazing comeback ?

This Blog has lots of memories of the last five years. It's been a great time for UMass football and the seniors were a big part of it.

Put on the thermal long johns Saturday and come to the game to watch the seniors become the winningest class ever!


The Daily Collegian says UMass is playing for pride in its last game of the season.

The Collegian states UMass is trying to regain focus .

Marty Dobrow has an article about UMass' QB Liam Coen .


The CAA expects a busy Saturday .

David Coulson entitles this week's "Around FCS" column "November Nailbiters"


Up in Canada, Keron Williams was named to the All-Canadian Football League team . His UMass bio here .

Meanwhile, Shannon James is going to the Gray Cup.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wednesday-before-the-final-game-of-the-season stuff

The UMass Daily Collegian has an article on the defense's troubles .


College Sporting News has an article about this year's National Championship and a printable playoff bracket here .

CSN is also continuing their series on the history of FCS. They have their picks for the top 30 Offensive Linemen and the top 30 Defensive linemen. (pdf)

Continuing a CSN morning, the latest Gridiron Power Index is here (UMass is #19).


The Sports Network defogs the playoff picture .


In a sad note, Bob McGovern has stopped publishing Between Mullins and McGuirk . He did a great job during the blog's run.

Let's hope some other UMass fan picks up his mantle and starts a UMass basketball or hockey blog (or both!).

In a related note, this is the UMass Football Blog's 2,258th post. I'm still having fun with the blog and I intend to keep it going.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

UMass-UNH Picasa Web Album

Click on the image and Blogger displays a larger view. The Picasa web album also allows a larger view if needed.

Not much good photography here except for the bonus images by Peter Miller. The Picasa web album is here .

I had my point-and-shoot, and because of the rain and general gloom, I had the ISO set at 800, which Nikon helpfully flashes red to tell you "we really don't want you using this setting". So besides the rain, the images are pretty noisy.

Tuesday-before-the-Hofstra-game articles

The UMass Daily Collegian has commentary on the UMass-UNH game here .

UNH's Matt Parent was named the CAA Defensive player-of-the-week for his performance against UMass.

The Portsmouth Daily News talks about the UMaine/UNH game for a playoff bid.


For the first time in a number of years, UMass has been knocked out the the top-25 polls .

We did hang on to 10th in the Lambert Throphy poll.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Monday Morning Mulling

Matty Vautour says mistakes doom UMass in painful defeat .

Lost in the defeat were a number of UMass records. Courtney Robinson set the All-Time UMass return yardage record.

Tony Nelson went over the 1,000 yard mark rushing.

Victor Cruz went over 1,000 yards receiving. The UMass season stats page for everybody is here.

Also lost for season is Senior Brian Ellis, who broke his leg against Maine.


All the FCS score from Saturday are here . The CAA site has a review of all the league games here .

Keepers FCS power rankings are here . His predictions page is here (he has UMass by 10+ over Hofstra).

The week# 12 Bracketology page is here .


I'll be back this evening with a Web album from the New Hampshire game.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunday-after-the-UNH-game articles

The Boston Globe said UNH routs UMass .

The Boston Herald phrased it differently: UNH clobbers UMass.

ESPN recaps the game .

The Portsmouth Herald said Parent and the seniors lead rout of UMass .

Foster's Daily Democrat said it was a memorable day for Parent .

The Concord Monitor says the Cats can run .

The Nashua Telegraph and the Union Leader have articles here and here .

The Springfield Republican called it embarrassing .

Matty Vautour said we got buried .


Under the misery-loves-company category: Delaware had three first downs against Richmond.

Uh-Oh. Hofstra beat Northeastern 42-14.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Dude, where's my team? UNH 52-UMass 21

Well, if you were watching it on TV, it wasn't any better in the mist and rain in Durham.

UMass got run over by a better Wildcat team. UNH had 621 total yards and went around, over and through UMass. They averaged 8.6 yards/play and 29.5 yards per completion.

Liam struggled again and he was not helped by a bunch of dropped passes.

Not much went right except for Brett Arnold, who punted 6 times and averaged almost 50 yards a kick. He just crushed the ball all day.

UMass write-up here .

UNH write-up here .

Even a 16-ounce steak at the Steak House in Wells, ME didn't raise my spirits, but I'll be back tomorrow with more articles.

As I said before, win or lose, Go UMass!

Game Day New Hampshire

Well, Mrs Blog and I are in southern Maine and we will be leaving for the game in an hour or so. The local weather does not seem promising. They're predicting fairly steady rain in the afternoon.

We drove up yesterday afternoon. Had a great meal at Mike's clam shack.

Jeff Thomas says that UMass is playing to keep its slim playoff hopes alive.

The Boston Globe says UNH is ready for UMass .

The Naples Daily News has an article about UMass LB George Byrd.

The Portsmouth Herald News has an article about UNH captains Boyle and Parent .

Matty Vautour says UMass is not ready to quit on a playoff bid just yet.


The Sports Network has its week 12 FCS preview article up.

I'll be back tonght, if my WI-FI conection keeps working, with a game report.

Go UMass!

Friday, November 14, 2008

UNH Preview

UMass game notes for the UNH game here (html) and here (pdf).

New Hampshire game notes for UMass here (html) and here (pdf).

Recent game articles include:
Bruce Dowd has his weekly "CAA Today. Weeks 11 & 12 " here .

Dowd also has an article on the NCAA playoff selections and most of the article is based on an interview with UMass' John McCutcheon.


The UMass-UNH game will be televised on CSNMA and CSNE. That will be channel 435 on Dish Network.

Be sure to check if you don't have satellite or cable access. Note that they usually don't list the game until Saturday.


The Wildcats are 7-2 for the season.


Statistically, the Wildcat are led by:


Rushing: Robert Simpson (9 G, 101-540 yards, 6 TD)
Passing: R.J. Toman (9 G, 183-263-7-2188 yards, 21 TD)
Receiving: Mike Boyle (9 G, 49-724 yards, 7 TD)


Tackles: Dino Vasso (9 G, 51 solo, 20 assisted, 71 total)
Sacks: Brian McNally (9 G, 2.5-16 yards)
Interceptions: Ryan Hinds (9 G, 4-218 yards)

The Wildcats lost senior tackle Josh Droesch to a knee injury against Villanova. It looks like Senior Chis McClurg will replace him guard and the rest of the line will shuffle.


Well, UMass will be playing for pride this week. There are still plenty of goals for the season. Tony Nelson has a chance for a 1,000 yards rushing. Victor Cruz has a chance for 1,000 yards receiving.

The Seniors need at least one win to go out as the top winning class of all-time.

UNH's defense has given up a lot of yards this year. They are 9th in total defense in the CAA. UMass' offense needs to jump out and control the game and keep UNH's high powered offense off the field.

I think we should try to speed it up and not be too slow in the huddle and in our play calling. This year's offense seems to work better in a hurry. Let's get after the Cats and take one step to winning out .

Go UMass!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Sure Happy it's Thrusday

The Dover Community News says New Hampshire has little room for error .

The Concord Monitor states that UMass is more than just another game for the Wildcats .

The UMass Daily Collegian knows the Wildcats are waiting.

The weather forecast for Durham on Saturday has gone from rain to showers .


Maine is playing Rhode Island in Kingston and it will be raining.....

CSN continues its series on the FCS's best players since 1978 when the division began. This section covers the 30 best defensive backs . (pdf)

Bruce Dowd has a long article on last week's UNH-Villanova game .

David Coulson's latest "Around the FCS" column is here .


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Recruiting 2008 ---RB Cedric Gonnet

During one of Coach Brown's radio shows, he was asked if there had been any impressive players on the scout team.

One of the players he cited was Cedric Gonnet, a 5-9 180 pd Freshman RB from Passaic, NJ.

Gonnet was Group IV first team All-South Jersey.

Welcome to the Minutemen, Cedric! May you have a great career with UMass.

Middle-of-the-week before the UNH game

The GridIron Power Index is up and UMass is #15.

CSN is doing a series on the FCS Division from 1978 to present time. The first article covers the top 30 wide receivers .

Meanwhile over in the Big Money Divsion, the BCS game and related Bowls (Orange, Sugar and Fiesta) are considering moving the TV rights to ESPN/ABC for .5 $Billion.

UMass has fallen to ninth in the Lambert Cup .

BTW, fellow Western Mass team AIC is undefeated at 9-0 and is ranked #16 in Division II. (pdf) And they're in the DII playoffs.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans Day

Click on the image and Blogger displays a larger view. A US Navy image. Details here .

Today is Veterans Day. Please remember the people who have served our country and are still serving today.

Congress recently passed a law allowing veterans and military personnel not in uniform to salute the flag, although I probably would not do it unless I was covered and had something visible, like a veteran's hat, to identify me.

Tuesday-before-the-UNH-game stories

The Daily Democrat says the Wildcats must clean up their act .


Matty Vautour has an article that state picking the CAA Players-of-the-Year is easy in 2008 .

This week's FCS Polls .

This week's FCS Bracketology prediction .

Keepers FCS power ratings still has UMass at #9 . He has us as less than a point favorite against UNH.

The UMass-UNH game will be on CSNE TV and CSMA TV .


It's good being good. Under Armour will pay Texas Tech $11 Million to be the exclusive provider of the Red Raiders' apparel and footwear .


Monday, November 10, 2008

UMass-Maine Picasa Web Album

Click on the above image and Blogger displays a larger view.

I have a shorter than usual Picasa web album of the UMass Maine game here . It poured during portions of the game and I was keeping my camera under my jacket.

Monday Morning Musings

The UMass Daily Collegian says the Black Bears ran all over UMass .

They also talk about the loss doomed the Minutemen's playoff chances .

The Collegian has a third story about the UMass Seniors, who still have the chance to be the winning-est group ever .

The Maine student paper has a game article here .

Jeff Thomas says the Minutemen still have a chance for a 8-4 record .

Matty Vautour says UMass Safety Brian Ellis got hurt in the Maine game . He also talks about the remaining season .


All the FCS scores this weekend .


Remember yesterday I talked about UMass' strength of schedule? The NCAA reports we have played the 2nd toughest cumulative schedule in FCS/I-AA . (pdf)


Sunday, November 09, 2008

Sunday after the Maine loss stuff

The Boston Globe said Maine made its point .

The Boston Herald said it was the point of no return .

The Worcester Telegram has a story here .

The Kennebec Journal said Maine picked up a rare win in Amherst.

The Bangor Daily News has an article on the Black Bears win.

Matty Vautour of the Hampshire Gazette says the playoffs are unlikely.


There was no joy in Durham either yesterday as New Hampshire lost to Villanova . Another article on the UNH loss here .

The Sports Network reports on the Villanova-UNH game here (Notes: Andy Talley became the all-time winningest coach in the CAA with 98 victories).

Our strength-of-schedule continued to improve as:

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Playing for Pride

Well, UMass' 2008 quest for the playoffs ended in the rain at McGuirk. Hopefully, we will play with pride in the last two game and send the seniors out winners.

This game went bad right at the start. You would think that Maine's All-American DE Jovan Belcher would be the one player UMass would be pointing to on every play. He went flying in untouched on the first play and hit Coen. The hit seemed to hurt Liam, who has been playing with what has been described as a shoulder or elbow injury. Or maybe it's both. He was inaccurate for the rest of the game. There were four interceptions, but there could have been six. One of whom was a sure six points.

Then on the next play, Ben Coblyn got hurt and was on the field for a long time. Those first two plays took all the air out of the offense in the first half. For some reason, when Maine plays a slow-down offense and we do the same. We were slow in the huddle and slow getting plays in. In the second half, we picked up the tempo and moved the ball.

The defense played well enought to win. We had a couple of stops late in the game. The Black Bears ran the ball, but that's what they do.

Let's get after UNH next week. As I have said before, win or lose, Go UMass!

UMass write-up here .

Black Bear's write-up here .

Jeff Thomas has an article on the loss here .

I'll be back tomorrow with more stories and a web album.

Game Day Maine

The Boston Herald says that UMass is out to cool off Maine .

The Springfield Republican states both UMass and Maine need a win .

Matty Vautour says UMass awaits Maine .


David Coulson is on vacation, but sent his weekly picks to CSN anyway .


The New Hampshire-Villanova game will be on at 3:30 pm.

Texas Tech will meet Oklahoma State in another prime time game @ 7:00 pm on ABC.


Did you know that High School football is big in British Columbia? No?

Perhaps it's the Canadian rules with the wider field and two-men-in-motion.

Then again, maybe it's the nearly naked cheerleaders .


It's supposed to be warm with showers in Amherst. Hopefully the rain will hold off until 3:00 PM.


Friday, November 07, 2008

Maine Preview

The Boston Glove has an article about Josh Jennings.

Jeff Thomas has an article about the resurgent UMass defense .

Bruce Dowd give his weekly long article on the review of the CAA's 10th week and makes predictions for week #11 .

The Sports Network has it's weekly FCS Preview .

This week's TV college games are listed here (with UMass being on Comcast Sports New England).

Matty Vautour previews the Maine game here .


UMass game notes here (html) and here( pdf).

Maine games note are here (html) and here (pdf).


Maine has an almost identical record to UMass they have lost to a FBS/I-A team (Iowa) and also to Richmond and JMU.

  1. Iowa 3-46
  2. Richmond 17-44
  3. JMU 10-24
  1. Monmouth 21-17
  2. Stony Brook 28-17
  3. Delaware 27-10
  4. Hofstra 41-40 overtime
  5. Northeastern 20-0
  6. Iona 55-7

Maine's top players:

Rushing: Jhamal Fluellen (6 G, 91-433 yards, 1 TD)
Passing: Michael Brusco (35-49 71% 508 yards 6TD 56.0 yards/game 199.9 EFF)
Receiving: Jared Turcotte (9 G, 20-226 yards, 1 TD) (Note he's an H-back)
Tackles: Jovan Belcher (9 G, 29 solo, 47 assisted, 76 total) (Note: All-American)
Sacks: Jovan Belcher (9 G, 6.0-33 yards)
Interceptions: Lamir Whetstone (9 G, 3-0 yards)


Maine actually got better when Brusco took over the QB duties after Adam Farkes got hurt at Delaware.

Maine is 6th in rushing and 6th in Total Defense in the CAA. They are 8th in Total Offense.

They really shine in Turnover Margin. The Black Bears are +10 in turnovers, which is tied for second in the league. They have 8 fumble recoveries and 13 INT's.

The Maine defense also is tied for the league lead in sacks with 20.


Keys to the game are plain to see. Maine leads the league in sacks. UMass leads the league sacks against with only 6. The UMass offensive line against the Black Bear defensive line.

Saturday is Liam Coen's 23rd birthday. He and the offense need to produce some points to keep the game from turning into one of those 13-10 defensive battles. With a close score, anything can happen.

The UMass defense must continue to improve. Someone said on the UMass football message board that during the last game against Rhode Island the UMass defense looked like the 2006 team that went to the National Championship. That was true. Let's keep that going.

Go UMass!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Thursday-before-the-Maine-game articles

Liam Coen won this week's New England Gold Helmet Award. Saturday is also Liam's 23 rd birthday.

Maine is looking to snap a six game loosing streak to UMass .

The Black Bear's DE 6-2 228 pd DE Jovan Belcher is on the Buchanan Watch list .

David Coulson looks at the FCS playoff picture .

New Hampshire-Villanova is the biggest game of the week for the CAA .


The Texas Tech-Texas game was the highest rated football game this year and ABC's fifth -highest regular season game in history.

Kansas State, UMass' 2009 FBS opponent fired their coach yesterday .

If you are planning to go the K-State game next year, as I am, UMass will play the Cats on September 5th .

This has been your Big 12 news for the day.


Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Wednesday wanderings

The UMass Daily collegian has story about the drive for the playoffs at UMass .


New Hampshire tickets: I was at the UMass ticket office yesterday. They have UNH tickets available. As you know, the sight lines for the visiting stands are very poor. With the track around the field, all the visiting fans in the lower seats get to look at is the backs of the players.

I bought two tickets and received row 12, which is the highest row. I would advise anyone going to the game to get their tickets now while the higher rows are available.

UPDATE: A couple of readers have indicated in the comments that they were purchasing tickets as I suggested.

I should have made it clearer why I thought getting the tickets was a good idea. When I first went to the ticket office I was told the tickets were "General admission"---- so I was thinking I'd get there real early to grab a high row.

However, when the ticket guy came out with the tickets, he said "They're Reserved Seats. Is that OK?"

And I said "Oh yes!"

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Looking towards the playoffs

With three games to go as many as seven CAA teams have a chance for the playoffs. UMass is one of them.

Already by the boards is a playoff home game for UMass unless there is a complete meltdown. Generally, it takes a 9-2 record to host a home game.

Also gone is the Lambert Cup. We have lost to two team higher than us, so the only way to win it would be to make the National Championship game.

Here's my take on the last three weeks:

CAA South:
  • James Madison (currently 8-1 and 6-0 in the CAA) . Games: bye, William & Mary, @ Towson. The Dukes win both those games and go 10-1 and have a home field for the entire playoffs.
  • Villanova (currently 6-2 and 4-1 in the CAA) Games: UNH, Towson and @ hapless Delaware. I think the Wildcats win all three and go 9-2. Low fan attendance means, I think, a road trip in the playoffs.
  • Richmond (currently 6-2 and 3-2 in the CAA) Games: @ Hofstra, Delaware and @ William & Mary. I believe the Spiders will win all those games and end up 9-3 and have a playoff home game .
  • William & Mary (currently 6-2 and 4-1 in the CAA) Games Northeastern, @ JMU, Richmond. The Spiders will loose to JMU and Richmond to end up 7-4 and out of the playoffs.
The CAA North, on the other hand, will likely only get one team in the playoffs. UNH has the toughest schedule but has a loss to give. UMass and Maine very likely have to win out.
  • New Hampshire (currently 7-1 and 4-1 in the CAA) Games: @ Villanova, UMass, @ Maine. It think the Wildcats will loose at Villanova and set up the UMass game as the play-in for both clubs. Since I bleed Maroon & White, I'll pick UMass. UNH goes 1-2 and ends 8-3 and out of the playofs unless the CAA gets five teams again.
  • UMass (currently 6-3 and 3-2 in the CAA) Games Maine @ UNH, Hofstra. I think UMass wins out and goes 9-3 (only 8 DI wins however). UMass gets the lone CAA North playoff bid by means of the tie-breakers against Maine and UNH.
  • Maine (currently 6-3 and 3-2 in the CAA) Games @UMass, @ Rhode Island, UNH. I beleive the Black bears loose to UMass and UNH and finish 7-4 and out of the playoffs.
CAA Playoff teams:
  1. JMU 10-1. Ranked #1 seed in the playoffs
  2. Villanova 9-2. Road playoff game despite their record
  3. Richmond 9-2. One home playoff game
  4. UMass 9-3. On the road in their first playoff game (Wofford? Montana?)
If UNH wins the Villanova game and/or William & Mary beats either JMU or Richmond one of those teams could make the playoffs on tie-breakers. Either team could be the 5th CAA playoff entrant if the committee goes that way again this year.

Tuesday Tales

Matty Vautour has an article on the playoff picture for the CAA.

UMass is up to #13 in three different FCS polls .

David Coulson has a review of the results from FCS football on Saturday.

Liam Coen and Josh Jennings were the CAA's Offensive-player-of-the-week and Defensive-player-of-the-week respectively.


As usual, defense is the key to Maine's success .

Plenty is at steak for Villanova and UNH .

New Hampshire is getting ready for the stretch run .

New Hampshire's season will be defined by the next three games .