Friday, October 31, 2008

Rhode Island Preview

UMass game notes for Rhode Island here (html) and here (pdf)

Rhody's game note for UMass are here (html) and here (pdf)

Rhode Island's 2008 stats here .


The Providence Journal has an article about Rhode Island native Liam Coen here .

Matty Vautour has an article about the Minutemen's last two losses in Rhode Island .


The Rams are 2-7 so far in 2008. Their wins:

This year the Rams under new head Coach Darren Rizzi have switched from a option attack to a mostly passing spread offense.

Leading the way is QB Derek Cassidy; he's 217-363 2289 yards 59.8% 15 TDs 254.3 yards/game with 12 INTs, which knock his EFF down to 119.77.

The Rams are in trouble with their rushing game All-American FB Joe Casey compounded his leg early in the season. Rhody's leading rusher is Jimmy Hughes who's 89-267 3.0 yards/carry 2TD's and 29.7 yards/game average. The Rams are only averaging 61.6 yards a game rushing.

Defensively, Matt Hansen is having a great year for the Rams. He has 49 UT 32 AT 82 TT 7.0-32 TFL 3 sacks 2 INT 4 FF and 2 blocked kicks. Whew!

The Rams are 9th and 10th in CAA scoring offense and total offense respectively.

They are 11th in both scoring and total defense . CAA stats here .


Actually, the Rams are, in my opinion, farther along than I thought they'd be in the transition from a option running team to a spread option passing offense. Usually it take about three years to switch over. Even the mighty Georgia Southern Eagles had a difficult transition when they made the switch.

Losing Joe Casey really hurt the Rams. With no significant running game, opponents have been loading up against the pass.

They can generate offense as their 517 yards against UNH shows. UMass will need to get some offensive production against one of the weaker defenses in the CAA. If the offense clicks, then the Minutemen defense can tee off against Cassidy.

The weather is expected to be good. The Blog will be there as usual and is looking for UMass to have a big day.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Matt Lawrence joins Ravens

According to this article former UMass RB Matt Lawrence has been signed to the Baltimore Ravens practice squad.

Special thanks to the UMass Football Blog reader who brought this to my attention!

Neither the Jets' (Brad Listorti) or the Ravens' (Matt) roster pages have been updated yet.

Thursday-before-the-Rhode-Island game wanderings

The UMass Daily Collegian has a pair of UMass-Rams articles here and here .


Former UMass Safety James Ihedigbo has been signed to the NY Jets active roster. Matty Vautour has an article here .

Article from the Jets website here .


Bruce Dowd has a long article about the JMU-Villanova game and wonders if JMU is a team of destiny.


We're still tied for 6th in the Lambert Cup standings. Since we've lost to both JMU and Richmond, it would take an earthquake for us to win the Lambert Cup this year.


"T" Brower making an impact at Central HS

I've blogged before on how former UMass All-American defensive end Valdamar Brower was hired as head coach at Springfield's Central High School.

This article says that he's making a difference in the lives of his players .

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sean Smalls lost for the season

Sean Smalls is probably lost for the season .

Jeff Thomas has a another story about his injury here .

Matty Vautour has another story about Smalls here . He states Michael Hansen and Tony Nelson will be available for the Rhode Island game.

The UMass Blog and all UMass fans hope Sean completely recovers soon. Sean, drink lots of milk and get ready to crush the Combine tests. We appreciate all your work for the program over the last four years.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Recruiting 2008 ----- Brandon Flanagan OL

I thought I had done a post about Brandon Flanagan the 6-2 300 pd RS Sophomore transfer from Buffalo, but apparently not.

His ESPN page from his recruiting days here . Rivals page here .

The 2005 Boston Globe All-Scholastics article here (also has a bio on Reshaude Goodwin).

Welcome to UMass Brandon. Hope you have a great career with the Minutemen!

Tuesday-before-the-Rhode-Island-game news

UMass ended up #15 in a number of polls. The Sports Network has a week #9 poll article here.

All the polls here .

UMass is #6 in the latest Lambert Cup poll. This blog has an article on the history of the Lambert Trophy that gets quite a few hits from Google.

Matty Vautour of the Hampshire Gazette has an update on Sean Small's injury.


David Coulson is calling the James Madison Dukes "Destiny's Darlings"

Another article about Villanova's last second loss to JMU.

The week #9 FCS bracketology website is up.


Bulletin, bulletin, bulletin: The FCS Championship game may be moved in 2010 to the eve of the BCS Championship game . This would be an improvement IMHO. The students (and the team) would not be in the middle of exams. It would greatly simplify travel plans for fans. I know it was a real hassle getting airline flights and accommodations on one week's notice when UMass went to Chattanooga in 2006.

Monday, October 27, 2008

UMass-Bryant Picasa Web Album

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

I've posted a 50+ image of the UMass-Bryant game in a web album here . There is some bonus photography by UMass fan and ace photographer Peter Miller .

Monday morning musings

The UMass Daily Collegian has a Bryant game article here .

Matty Vautour discusses the injuries to Sean Smalls and Tony Nelson .

Brandon London caught his first career NFL pass according to the Miami game notes .

Keepers college football rankings have us at #8 . And we're a 13+ point favorite over Rhode Island.


As you know, JMU lost to Appalachian State in the playoffs last year with a fumble at the end of the game. The football gods have been smiling on the Dukes this year by way of compensation. If you have not seen their Hail Mary pass with 0:00 left to beat Vilanova, here it is .

David Coulson calls it The Great Escape .

BTW, Texas Tech is still undefeated and routed Kansas Saturday 63-21 .

Recaps of all the CAA games are here .


Sunday, October 26, 2008

UMass dominates Bryant 42-7

I liked the new uniform look. Click on the image and Blogger displays a larger view.

UMass Athletic Dept write-up here .

Bryant University Athletic Dept here .

The Boston Glove says UMass wore out Bryant .

The Worcester Telegram talks about Liam Coen's record setting day .

Jeff Thomas of the Springfield Republican says UMass aired it out .

The Springfield Republican talked about how UMass rocked on Band Day.

Matty Vautoru talks about Jeremy Horne's birthday party .


Matty states that UMass was without two starters OL Bob Getek had a suspension and Brandon Collier was out with an injury. Collier dressed for the game. They lost Sean Smalls and Tony Nelson to injuries.

Tony Nelson only had three carries. He looked OK to me on the sidelines. The same was not true of Sean Smalls who was on crutches. He did come out in the second half, but was not dressed.


UMass put the subs in with ten minutes to go in the third quarter. The Minutemen played rotating quarterbacks for the rest of the game. Scott Woodward, Scott Wallace and Spencer Whipple all got at least one series.

One QB who did not play was Octavius Hawkins, who dropped a wide open swing pass right in front of the UMass bench.

None of the backup quarterbacks looked that good, but they were working with the second string offense and it was obvious some of those players had not had a lot of reps.


I know it was Bryant and I know both sides were trying to get the game over with, but I was impressed with the second team UMass defense. They were flying around and were doing some crisp hitting. They looked excited to be playing.


The rain held off until the last three minutes of the game. the UMass band day was awesome as usual.

I'll be back later with a web album.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Open Game Day Thread

If you are part of the UMass Football Dispora and are listening to Josh or watching the game (if it's truly on) one of the links below, here's a spot to comment if you wish.

Game Day Bryant

Jeff Thomas has a game day story here .

Today is Band Day, one of the great events in the FCS/I-AA division.

Matty Vautour of the Hampshire Gazette has a game day post here .


Bruce Dowd has his weekly CAA preview column here .

David Coulson has his weekly FCS column here .

The Sports network has the FCS week nine preview here .


The UMass game notes states that there is no TV for the UMass-Bryant game, but, lists the game. The game is also listed here as being on CSTV XXL, which may be the feed for the above link. If you are not local, try it.

Towson @ UNH is on CSNMA/CSNE/CSS if you want to set your VCR.

The big game in the CAA is JMU @ Villanova, which will be on CN8 live internet video feed .


Friday, October 24, 2008

Recruiting 2009--- RB Martin Hyppolite

UMass is interested in Wakefield RB Martin Hyppolite 6-1 215 . Boston Herald story here .

His page is here . ESPN page, with writeup here .

He holds scholarship offers from Army, Bryant, Stony Brook and Navy. Getting interest from BC, Oregon, Maryland and UMass.

Boston Herald image by Patrick Whittemor.

Bryant Preview

UMass game notes here and pdf here .

Bryant's game notes here and pdf here .

Bulldogs page here .


Bryant is 4-3 in the their first year as a Division I team. They are the only FCS/I-AA independent with a winning record.

Monmouth is currently tied with Albany for the NEC Conference lead. CCSU has a overall 5-2 record. Bryant's only poor performance is the loss to 2-5 Marist.


Former UMass TB Lorenzo Perry transferred to Bryant and was a 2006 Harlon Hill Throphy contender.


The Providence Journal has a UMass-Bryant game article here .

Jeff Thomas of the Springfield Republican says Coen is sore, but ready to go .

Matty Vautour states that Coen will play through the pain .


Bryant has performed creditably in their first DI season. The Bulldogs defense has given up 341.31 yards a game, which would have placed them #41 in FCS. They've been averaging 23.57 points a game, which would have put them around #68 in FCS and ahead of Rhode Island, Albany and Fordham.

Bryant's best player is probably Jerell Smith (good name) he has 142 carries for 844 yards 5.7 yards/carry 4 TD and 116 yards/game.

QB Jay Garber is 105-190 8 INTs 55% 1151 total yards and 10 TDs. His eight INTs drop his efficiency rating to 115.1.

LB Paul Polomski does it all for the Bulldogs with 45 TT 3.5 TFL 3 sacks and 2 INT.


UMass should win this one comfortably, but the Minutemen need to pay attention and work on some of the stuff that has gone wrong so far this season. If Liam is not ready to go, it could be even closer.

The UMass defense has been battling lately and this would be a good time to shut down the Bulldogs and reduce our points scored against us total.

Go UMass!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thursday Blog notes

UMass and Bryant are soul mates-----both teams blitz like crazy .

This is the first ever game between the Minutemen and the Bulldogs .

Matty Vautour says that Liam Coen expects to be back for the Bryant game .


Bruce Dowd of CAA Today attended the UMass-Richmond game and has a long article with loads of UMass pictures here .

The Sports Network has its FCS Week 9 preview up . Could we be into the ninth week of the season already?

David Coulson has his "Around FCS" column posted .

Keyshawn Johnson has been working with the Dolphins' receivers including Brandon London .


The latest interation of the FCS bracket prediction blog is up .

Richmond Web Album 2.0

Peter Miller, a UMass fan, blog reader, and photography enthusiast sent us this image he took of Liam Coen's TD toss against Richmond.

Click on the image and blogger displays a larger view. I've added it to the web album.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Recruiting 2009----- Daren Davis WLB

UMass is interested in Daren Davis a 6-0 190 pd WLB from South Plantation HS in Plantation FL. His page is here .

In coach Brown's never ending quest for speed, Davis runs a 4.6 forty.

He's also being recruited by Albany, Florida Atlantic and Middle Tennessee .

Hope Daren gives UMass a long look!

Wednesday-before-Bryant-game news

The UMass Daily Collegian has an article on the latest FCS Polls .

Marcell Shipp may get a look from the Patriots .

Brett Mauser guest blogs on Matty Vautour's Hampshire Gazette site about his trip to Chattanooga as a member of WMUA's radio team during the 1998 Championship.

The UMass athletic site has a podcast (mp3) file of interviews with the 1998 team during the homecoming game.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Information on a cold Tuesday morning

Mike Zhe of Seacoast online takes a look at the CAA's chances for playoff teams .

The UMass police officer injured during Delaware game has returned to work .

The Bryant Bulldogs have their UMass game notes up.

Matty Vautour says the loss to Richmond has lowered UMass' expectations . He also has a story about the 1998 Championship Team.

UMass is still ranked #9 in Keeper's power rankings. And we're a 32+ point favorite over Bryant .

The UMass dance team's blog has some new material .


CSN has a recap of Saturday's FCS action here .

David Coulson looks at FCS teams struggling this here and UMass is among them .

The FCS bracketology site has been updated.


Monday, October 20, 2008

Richmond Game Web Album

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

A Picasa web album of the UMass-Richmond game is here .

Monday Morning Media

The UMass Daily Collegian has three stories about the UMass-Richmond game: here and here and here .

Jeff Thomas says the Liam Coen's injury is day-to-day . (link fixed)

Tony Nelson and Jeromy Miles show up on Josh Buchanan's 2010 NFL "Small School" draft board.


David Coulson has a story over on the Sports Network site on what a difference a year makes for William & Mary and the Delaware Blue Hens .

Texas Tech beat Texas A&M 43-25 to stay unbeaten .

Bryant defeated Robert Morris 20-7 Saturday .


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sunday Morning Stories

Boston Globe says the Minutemen fall to Spiders .

The boston Herald has and article that the Minutemen were caught in the Spiders Web .

The Richmond Times says Vaughn set the tone .

The Worcester Telegram has an article here .

The Salem News has an article about UMass full back Chris Zardas .

Matty Vautour has a Richmond game story here .


Down by 21-3 to Northeastern, New Hampshire made a big comeback to win .

Life keeps getting worse for the Delaware Blue Hens as they did not score a TD in a 27-3 loss to William & Mary .

Villanova crushed Rhode Island 44-7 .

Maine beat Hofstra 41-40 in overtime .


For UMass the crowd of 15, 953 was the 21 st largest crowd in UMass history. It would be the 16th largest crowd with McGuirk in its current configuration of 17,000 capacity.


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Richmond runs down UMass 30-15

Shaky special teams play has been the bane of the 2008 UMass team and it proved fatal today. The Minutemen missed an extra point, a field goal and had a game changing punt blocked.

That and short kickoffs and a routine 20 yard return by the Spiders made every (it seemed) Richmond possession start on the 45-yard line. Those short fields kept the run-heavy Spiders in their comfort zone. The Spiders kept the ball almost the entire first quarter.

They also kept the UMass offense bottled up as we only had 13 first downs and 236 yards of total offense. Still, it was anyone's game until the blocked punt.

Another big crowd and the fans gave a warm welcome to the 98 National Championship team. It was great to see them.

UMass writeup here .

Richmond's write-up here .

Jeff Thomas has a story about the loss here .

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

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

Open Game day Thread

I've forgotten to leave an open game day thread the last two games.

If you're watching the game on CN8 or listening to Josh, you can comment here if you wish.

Go UMass!

Game Day---Richmond

Jeff Thomas of the Springfield Republican has a Richmond game article here .

The Boston Globe has an article about the London family, pater and filius.

Matty Vautour has a game day article here . He says that Ben Coblyn and Michael Hanson will be back in action for the Minutemen.

He also has a story about Marcel Shipp's visit to Amherst.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Friday-Morning-before-the-Big-Game-with-Richmond articles

Jeff Thomas looks back on the 1998 team that put UMass football on the national map.

The Amherst Police office injured at the last home game is recovering .

Matty Vautour of the Hampshire Gazette looks at the Richmond game here .

Bruce Dowd has a recap of last week's CAA games and take a look at this week in his Column "The CAA Today".

The Sports Network has its weekly FCS review here .

If you are going to set your VCR to tape a game, this week's football TV schedule is here (note Northeastern Vs UNH) is on College Sports New England (Dish network 435).

Richmond Spiders Preview

UMass game notes in html here . The notes with things like the two-deep chart in .pdf here .

Richmond game notes for UMass here (in html) and here in .pdf

The game will be televised with streaming internet video from CN8 . The game will be televised on Comcast Charter Sports Southeast, which is not available on Dish Network or Direct TV.

There is a Richmond football message board here .


Richmond is 4-3 for the season and 2-2 in the CAA.

The Spiders wins"
Richmond lost:

Richmond Stats (from the CAA gameday site)

Rushing: Josh Vaughan (7 G, 119-570 yards, 7 TD)
Passing: Eric Ward (7 G, 110-166-2-1422 yards, 9 TD) (3rd in the CAA in eff 153.7)
Receiving: Kevin Grayson (6 G, 31-436 yards, 1 TD)
Tackles: Michael Ireland (7 G, 27 solo, 18 assisted, 45 total)
Sacks: Lawrence Sidbury, Jr. (7 G, 3.0-16 yards)
Interceptions: Justin Rogers (7 G, 4-105 yards)

The Spiders lead the CAA in Total Defense giving up only 297 yards/game (more than a 100 yards/game less than UMass). Richmond is 2nd in pass defense and 5th in rushing defense.

The Spiders are in the middle of the pack in offensive stats.


The Spiders are a very good defensive team. This game could come down to turnovers. Their offense is nothing special and we would not want to give them a shirt field to score.

Richmond is 2nd in the league in turnover margin with a +8 turnovers with a + 1.14 turnovers/game margin.

UMass is 9th in the CAA with -3 turnovers and a -0.50 turnovers per game. The difference is that we have thrown 7 INTs with Richmond having only 2.

The UMass offense needs to not miss scoring opportunities. The UMass defense needs to continue to battle like they have done in the past several weeks. Hopefully, we can come up with a big conference win Saturday.

Go UMass!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Thursday Morning-before-the-Big-Game-with-Richmond articles

The UMass Daily Collegian has a pair of Richmond game articles here and here .

The Richmond Times has a UMass-Spiders article here .

The Harrisonburg Daily News says the New England CAA schools are the rust belt of the league .

David Coulson has his weekly "Around FCS" column here .

Bruce Dowd has a long recap of last week's Richmond-JMU contest (with images) here .


Speaking of JMU, they may have lost two linebackers for the season during the Richmond game.

The season for the Delaware Blue Hens just keeps getting worse . And more worse .


Matty Vautour says that more than forty members of the 1998 UMass National Championship game will attend this week's Richmond game.

This list of attending players is from the UMass website:"Here is a list of 1998 football players who have RSVP'd that they will be attending the 10 Year Anniversary at the UMass-Richmond football game. In no particular order: Head Coach Mark Whipple, Marcel Shipp, Pete Cariello, Greg Ward, Andy Maclay, Sean Higgins, Mike Wynne, Bryan King, Dan Schneider, Cliff Bolden, Bryah Gifford, Matt Murphy, Khalil Blakely, Bill Barry, Scott Shearer, David Melendez, Chris Tobiaz, Kevin Quinlan, Lance Overby, Jason Cherry, Jeremy Robinson, Aaron Parker, Christian Erhartic, Mim Hill, Mike Smith, Todd Bankhead, Kole Ayi, Eric Bross, Ed Campbell, Chris Price, Dan Healey, Kerry Taylor, Adam Quitt, Adrian Zullo, Khari Samuel, Deyate Haygood, Jamel Thomas, Saud Paul Bolden, Compton Webster, Steve Ley, Tyler Laubach, James St. Fort."

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Bulletin, Bulletin, Bulletin

From Matty Vautour's blog note on today's Sports Luncheon"

At today's sports luncheon, UMass athletic director John McCutcheon said that the Minutemen were in very early discussions about with a Bowl Subdivision Team about a game that would pay UMass near "a million dollars."

They were so early in the discussions that he hadn't discussed it with coach Don Brown yet. When Brown came to the stage for his own speech. He asked McCutcheon who the team was. McCutcheon's answer was inaudible, but Brown's response was "Oooh. I like the Big House."

The Big House, of course, is Michigan's stadium.

Afterward McCutcheon downplayed the exchange and wouldn't even confirm Michigan, but said he and Not-Necessarily-Michigan had spoken."

I'm so there whenever it is.

A look at the CAA North after half of the 2008 season

The 2008 season is half over for most CAA teams. While the meat of the conference schedule is still to come for the majority of CAA teams, it's possible to get picture of who's hot and who's not in the CAA North so far.

In the CAA North:
  • UMass--- Unchanged. The Minutemen were expected to be on the top of the CAA North----- and so far they are. UMass leads the North Division at 2-1 in the league and 4-2 overall. It would be hard to find another FCS team that would have had different results from two games @ JMU and @ Texas Tech. I'll have a more detailed look at UMass later.
  • New Hampshire--- UP. Everybody was expecting the Wildcats to decline after the Santos/Ball era. It has not happened. UNH is 1-1 in the CAA and 4-1 overall. Note that the Wildcats have FCS' best win in their 28-10 win over Army . The Wildcat lead the CAA in Total offense and are #2 in scoring offense. They've been doing it with their top running back Chad Kackert hurt. The Wildcats should be favored over Northeastern, Towson, Hofstra and Maine. A UNH win over either Villanova or UMass should put them in the playoffs.
  • Northeastern----Unchanged. The Huskies are 1-1 in the league and 2-4 overall. Every year it seems as if Northeastern has one big CAA upset. They'll get their chance with UNH and Villanova at home and William & Mary on the road.
  • Maine---- Down. The Black Bears may have lost starting QB Adam Farkes during their big win over Delaware. Maine is last in scoring offense and last in total offense in the CAA. That does not bode well for the remaining 2008 season. The Black Bears should be competitive with Hofstra, Northeastern, Rhode Island and Iona. They have a chance to influence the CAA as they play UNH on the frozen tundra of Orono on November 25th.
  • Hofstra--- Down. The Pride is 1-1 in the CAA and 3-3 overall. Hofstra lost starting QB Bryan Savage at the beginning of the season. The Pride lost to Albany and were pounded by James Madison . They still have to play UNH, UMass, @Maine and Richmond. Hard to see more than one or two additional wins for the Pride.
  • Rhode Island---UP. It usually takes about three years for an option team to transition to a different offense. The Rams are 0-3 in the CAA and 2-5 overall. However, their offense has shown signs of life with a win over Brown and close loss to UNH . The Rams are leading the CAA in pass offense with 280 yards/game. Rhode Island should at least match their 2007 total of three wins. They seem farther along than most people believed at the start of the season and I'll say they are on the upswing.
UMass and UNH are the only two CAA North teams still in the playoff hunt. As usual, the November 18th game between UMass and UNH in Durham should decide the CAA North Championship.

Middle-of-the-Week-before-the-big-Richmond-Game Post

The UMass Daily Collegian has an article about Victor Cruz's year as the CAA's leading receiver .

The Richmond Times has an article about Sean Smalls.

Matty Vautour of the Hampshire Gazette has a story on experience helping the Minutemen .


A new FCS website "" gives a weekly prognostication of the FCS/I-AA playoff brackets.


Keepers College football rankings has us at #5 in FCS and 4 1/2 point underdog to Richmond .


This article on travel costs has been causing a lot of comment on the message boards. Note that the article does not really say anything definite. It also, like many newspaper articles, does not tell the whole story. The article states that Richmond's costs for Saturday's UMass trip have tripled in the last decade. That sounds bad. It does not say how much Richmond's budget has increased over the same period. Gotta make stuff look as bad a possible. Rule #1 in journalism school.


Josh Buchanan has updated his "Small Schools" NFL prospects over on NFL Draft Bible . I found the link on the excellent NFL Blog Draft Daddy .


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A look at the CAA South after half the 2008 season

The 2008 season is half over for most CAA teams. While the meat of the conference schedule is still to come for the majority of CAA teams, it's possible to get picture of who's hot and who's not in the CAA South so far.

In the CAA South:
  • UP---James Madison. The Dukes are 4-0 in the league and 6-1 overall. JMU is #1 in the league in both scoring offense and rushing offense. Rodney Landers is having a Stacey Tutt kinda year and Scotty McGee is the best special teams player in the counrty. With only four games to go in their regular season, the Dukes look like a lock for the playoffs and a #1 seed. An away game at Villanova seems to be their only chance for loss.
  • UP---Villanova. The Wildcats are 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the league. The Wildcats lead the league in rushing defense giving up only 91 yards/game. They do have six league games left and get JMU, UNH and Towson at home. There has been a QB controversy between Anton Young and Chris Whitney. Villanova should be favored against Rhode Island, Northeastern and Delaware away. A 4-2 final and a playoff slot is certainly doable.
  • UP--- William & Mary. The Tribe is 1-1 in the league and 3-2 overall. They should be favored over Delaware, Rhode Island, Towson and Northeastern. They probably need beat either Richmond or JMU to be considered for the playoffs. The Tribe's defense was last in the CAA in 2007 and they have moved to the middle of the pack in 2008.
  • Unchanged----Richmond. The Spiders were picked by many FCS pundits to win the CAA this year. Richmond's two league losses put them in a tight spot for the playoffs. The Spiders should be favored against Georgetown, Hofstra and Towson. They do have to play at UMass and at William & Mary. Two losses would very likely mean no playoff bid. One loss could be trouble depending on how the league plays out.
  • Down---Delaware. One year after going to the National Championship game, Hen fans are jumping ship in droves. The Hens are 9th in the league in scoring and total offense. Hen QB Robby Schoenhoff has been having a terrible year .The Hens managed just 41 yards rushing against Maine last Saturday. Delaware has had a lot of injuries and suspensions . At 0-2 in the league and 2-4 overall, the Hens are in big trouble. They probably will be favored only over Hofstra and Towson in their final six games.
  • Down---Towson. The Tigers are 1-2 in the league and 3-4 overall. Towson should be a sold underdog to UNH, William & Mary, Delaware, Villanova and William & Mary. Sean Schaefer recently broke the 10,000 career passing yards mark. Outside of Schaefer, there's not much talent in Towson.
JMU and Villanova are looking good for playoff slots at this time. The winner of the Richmond-W&M contest on the last game of the season will probably decide if the CAA gets three playoff teams from the South.

Tuesday-before-the-big-game with Richmond Articles

Two articles from the UMass Daily Collegian here and here .

The Richmond Times has a Richmond-UMass preview here .

The GridIron Power Index has UMass as #9 and Richmond as #6 .


Holy Cross had a nice win over Brown Saturday. Imagine what would have happened if they had lost .


Monday, October 13, 2008

UMass-Northeastern Web Album

Click on the image and Blogger displays a larger view.

I took my point-and-shoot digital camera to the Northeastern game because I knew I would be riding the "T" and doing some walking. The Canon 30D with the big lens is a boat anchor.

Turns out that the T was doing some track repair and I had to get off the train and take a slow shuttle bus to nowhere to make it to Parsons Field.

The point-and-shoot is not a bad camera, but the battery has the lifespan of a fruit fly....

Anyway, a forty-image Picasa web album is here .

Mulling over Monday Morning

Jeff Thomas says the Minutemen are waiting for Richmond .

Matty Vautour relates UMass kept the Huskies at bay .

He also has an article about UMass fullback Chris Zardas.

Another article on how JMU kick return phenom Scotty McGee did in the Spiders on Saturday. Richmond was supposed to kick away from him.

McGee's return was the #1 play on ESPN .


CSN has the national FCS Recap here .

The Washington Post states that the CAA towers over the FCS landscape .


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Northeastern game stuff

The Boston Globe says UMass picked the right time .

The Herald says we escaped Northeastern .

The Springfield Republican highlights Tony Nelson's 175 yards .

The Worcester Telegram said we rallied past the Huskies .

Matty Vautour has a game article here .


One side benefit of running the UMass Football Blog is the nice people I get to meet. I got to talk with Joanne and Alex Getek (the parents of UMass OL Rob Getek) at the Northeastern game. They were in Lubbock too, but we missed connections. Joanne was kind enough to send me some images of the Texas Tech game, but they're on my laptop, and I haven't been organized enough to port them over.


Speaking of Texas Tech, when I got back to my truck, the Red Raiders-Nebraska game was on satellite radio. I was thinking about driving back to Plainview Texas while I was making a different ride back to New Hampshire. What a difference a couple of weeks make. The Red Raiders won in overtime .


Back in the CAA, Maine beat Delaware.

New Hampshire blew a big lead to lose to William & Mary. That knocks the Wildcats out of the undefeated column.

Towson got their first CAA win by topping Rhode Island.

Scotty McGee, who gave us fits in our game with JMU, returned a punt with 58 seconds left to beat Richmond.


Saturday, October 11, 2008

UMass grinds out 28-24 win over Northeastern

Once again Tony Nelson was the deciding factor in UMass winning its fourth game of the season. Nelson kept banging into the line and by the last ten minutes of the the game it was the Huskies that got tired. He ended up with 37 carries and 175 yards.

This one was not easy as we left at least 10 points on the field and made the game tougher than it should have been.

The UMass defense again rose to the challenge when needed supplying several late stops to seal the game.

Big UMass turnout and a beautiful day. A win is a win and it's not decided by style points.

UMass writeup here .

Northeastern athletic dept writeup here .

ESPN recap here .

I'll be back tomorrow with mor e articles and a web album.

We're 4-2! Go UMass !

Game Day---Northeastern

Jeff Thomas of the Springfield Republican has an article here .

Matty Vautour has a game day story here .

A complete list of TV/streaming internet FCS games here .

Chuck Burton of the CSN has the mid-season awards for FCS .


In another sign that the Apocalypse is upon us, now they're suspending marching bands. UCAL Davis here . Wisconsin here .


The weather is going to be great in Boston for the game .


Friday, October 10, 2008

Friday-before-the-Northeastern-Game Articles

Jeff Thomas of the Springfield Republican has a Huskies game article here .

The Boston Herald has a UMass-Northeastern game story here .

Matty Vautour has an article here .

The Gridiron Power Index has returned and is here . UMass is tied for 9th in the first edition of 2008.

Bruce Dowd of the College Sporting News has a long column about the CAA in his weekly "The CAA Today" essay.

The Sports Network has it's weekly column on this week's games "Around FCS" here . They pick Northeastern to upset the Minutemen.

Our past I-A opponent Texas Tech has Nebraska at home .

Albany has its first home game since November of last year .

James Madison plays Richmond in the game-of-the-week in the CAA----and maybe in all of FCS.

Matt Lawrence was released from the Seattle Seahawks practice squad .

Directions to Northeastern

I'll probably drive to Riverside station on the "D" Green line . More riverside photos here .

Directions to Parsons field from the Northeastern website:"From the West (Massachusetts Turnpike): Take Exit 18 (Allston/Cambridge) toward Cambridge. Take right at first set of lights toward downtown Boston onto Storrow Drive. Continue for one mile and take first exit at Boston University onto Commonwealth Avenue (one-way). Take left at second set of lights (St. Paul Street). Continue for six blocks and take left at second set of lights onto Beacon Street (Holiday Inn on left). Take first right onto Kent Street. Parsons Field is 2/10 of a mile on the right.

From the South & West (128/95): Take Exit #20A, Route 9 East. Continue for five miles (10 lights) and take left onto Brookline Avenue toward hospitals and Kenmore Square. Take second left onto Aspinwall Avenue. At first set of lights take right onto Kent Street. Parsons Field is immediately on left.

From the North (93 & 95 across Tobin Bridge): Take Exit 26 (Storrow Drive) and follow signs for Storrow Drive West. Take Kenmore Square exit. Take first right off exit onto Beacon Street, staying in middle lane. Do not bear right onto Commonwealth Avenue to Boston University or take left onto Brookline Avenue. Continue on Beacon Street for one mile and take left onto Kent Street (before Holiday Inn). Parsons Field is 2/10 of a mile on the right.

Public Transportation: Take the "D" car of the Green Line to Longwood. Exit train, take a left up the hill to Longwood Ave. Take a right onto Longwood and then first left onto Kent Street. Parsons Field is ahead, one-tenth of a mile on the right."

I might have a family function to attend. It looks like a Saturday morning decision to attend in person.

The game will be on Comcast Sports Net , which I believe will be on Dish Network's channel 435, and Direct TV's chanel 629.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Northeastern Preview

UMass game notes for the Northeastern--- html here and pdf here .

Northeastern's game notes for UMass ---- html here and pdf here .

The CAAZone's Northeastern message board here . is here .


The Sports Network's David Coulson takes a look at this week's FCS games here .

The CAA has this week's CAA news here .


About the game:

When you consider Huskie football, you have to take into consideration their schedule. Every year Northeastern probably plays FCS/I-AA's toughest schedule. This year, in addition to the tough CAA schedule, they have played two FBS/I-A opponents and Southern Conference power Georgia Southern.

They lost to Ball State 48-14. Ball State is ranked 25th in AP poll.

Northeastern lost to Georgian Southern in overtime .

And the Huskies gave Syracuse a hard time .

Northeastern beat UC Davis at home and crushed Towson on the road .


Offensively, they have an excellent QB Anthony Orio . His stats are 83-141 3 INT 58.9% 1032 yards 6 TD 130.1 EFF. Running back Anthony Bloomfield is fourth in the CAA in rushing 112 473 yards 4.2 ave 5 TD 87 yards/game.

Senior WR Chris Plum is 5th in the CAA with 65 yards/game .

Senior TE Brian Mandeville is 6-7 253 is a potential NFL prospect.

LB Phil Higgins is second only to Josh Jennings in tackles in the CAA. Cornelius Bunch is another very good LB for the Huskies.

DB Nate Thellen is the brother of UMass freshman Darren Thellen .


UMass needs to take care of business at Northeastern. The Huskies could be a trap game if UMass reverts to its poor tackling of earlier in the year.

Liam Coen and the offense has to recover from a scoring poor effort against Delaware and and make the Huskies play from behind.

Hopefully, we'll play well on both sides of the ball and come away with a win in Boston.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

UMass attendance 2008

The stadium lights are energizing the attendance at UMass football games. 1999's average of 14,688 was the record. See this article by Jeff Thomas.

When I attended the 2003 UMass game against Kansas State, a K-State fan said the Cats made about $1 million per home game. Delaware, with a 22,000 seat stadium averages about half that.

Last Saturday's game with 15,767 had to have made a profit for the athletic dept. It's not just the ticket sales. I bought a coke and it was $2.50/bottle. While it's unlikely that the students spent any money, the rest of the crowd probably did.

UMass AD John McCutcheon wrote a thank you to the fans and students here .

The average attendance of CAA teams are as follows:

22,112 - Delaware
16,142 - James Madison
15,767 - UMass
(92.5% capacity)
10,469 - William & Mary
8,604 - Villanova
7,215 - New Hampshire (111% of capacity)
6,769 - Richmond (only 31% of capacity for top-five team in the nation)
5,609 - Hofstra
4,807 - Maine
4,589 - Towson
4,449 - Rhode Island (surprise 67% of capacity)
1,137 - Northeastern (only one home game so far)

Teams in red are meeting the minimum standards for a FBS/I-A team.