Thursday, October 31, 2013

Thursday--October 31, 2013

Former UMass OL Nick Speller was added to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats roster on October 17th.


Coach Molnar's quotes from this week's MAC teleconference.

Quotes from NIU HC Rod Carey for this week's game against UMass.

Northern Illinois' game notes for UMass.


A.J. Doyle is out of practice with an injury. Dan Malone reports Mike Wegzyn will start against NIU.

Jimmy Kelly of Hustle Belt also comments on A.J. Doyle being out of the Northern Illinois game.

UMass has offically announced Jordan Broadnax, Steve Casali and Shakur Nesmith will medically redshirt for 2013.

Also Brendon Levengood will handle field goals as well as kickoff duties this week.


Dan Malone reports, as I did on Monday, the Minutemen are 23.5 point underdogs this week. That line seems low to me...


The UMass Daily Collegian says the Minutemen face their toughest test of the season against NIU.


Nothing succeeds like success; Northern Illinois gets seven home games in 2015.


Athlon Sports previews the UMass-NIU game.


The Northern Illinois Northern Star says the Huskies are ready for UMass.

The same source breaks down UMass.


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Wednesday -- October 30, 2013

The biggest ass-whipping we've taken since we went FBS? Michigan? Nope. Vanderbilt? Nope. Indiana? Nope ----- it was Northern Illinois. Last year UMass lost to the Huskies 63-0. The Minutemen just could do nothing with NIU. The Huskies totaled 610 yards of offense and averaged  8.1 yards/play.

NIU scored a TD the first eight times they touched the ball. The UMass offense had three fumbles and an INT. The Minutemen turned the ball over on downs four times.

This year NIU could be even better.

Dan Malone says the Minutemen are again faced with trying to contain Jordan Lynch.

Dan also has NIU coach Rod Carey talking about NIU's visit to Gillette.

Malone awards "Helmet Stickers" for Week #9.

Saturday's game will be picked up on a bunch of regional TV outlets.

College Football Performance Awards honored both Rob Blanchflower and Khari Bailey-Smith this week.


The Chicago Tribune says playing in NFL stadiums is nothing new for Northern Illinois.

CBS Sports previews the NIU-UMass game.

The Global Post has a comprehensive team report on the Huskies.

Rant Sports predicts the MAC results for Week #10.

CBS Local looks at the teams with BCS Bowl potential. Hint--- one of them is NIU.


I've never coached college football, but if it were me, I'd defense the Huskies like an option run team. I'd pull a linebacker and play an extra Safety. I'd task Khari Bailey-Smith or Antoine Tharpe with being Lynch's shadow...

Weekday MACtion is finally coming.


More weird news from the football universe:

Did you know you now can invest in individual football players? I'm a life member of AAII. This is a cut-and-past from their weekly Investor Update newsletter:

  The financial services industry seems to have an endless reserve of ideas for how to make money for itself at the expense of investors. Among the latest of these ideas are an investment in a football player and bonds paying coupon payments with additional bonds. Oh boy....

The first is a tracking stock by Fantex Brokerage Services based on Houston Texans running back Arian Foster’s future earnings. He currently ranks fifth in total rushing yards; a hamstring injury he suffered in last week’s game lowered his season-to-date rank. Last year, Foster signed a $43.5 million contract, which included $20 million in guaranteed salary. Part of this guarantee was a $12.5 million signing bonus.

Fantex wants to sell 1.055 million shares, priced at $10 per share, in a tracking unit tied to 20% of Foster’s future income. Specifically, it is tied to Foster’s future earnings derived from his persona as a football player. If he should do something else, such as write a children’s book or become a musician, those earnings would be excluded. If Foster’s earnings diminish enough in the future, the tracking stock may convert into Fantex Inc. Platform common stock. Foster’s stock will trade on Fantex’s website and the company hopes to sign up other athletes in the future. A regulatory filing has been made with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the company is waiting for the SEC’s approval.

There is a long list of questions to be asked, with the biggest being: What is Foster’s future earnings potential? The average career of a NFL player is about three years, but Foster is in his fifth year and has so far displayed all-star talent. Running backs, on average, peak at age 27, but some remain very good players after this age. Injuries, however, are a real concern and are unpredictable. How marketable Foster is to national advertisers and what his career will look like after he is done playing is also questionable. Forecasting the future earnings of emerging companies like Telsa Motors (TSLA) and Twitter (TWTR) requires a tremendous amount of guesswork; forecasting Foster’s future earnings is even harder.

New York University professor Aswath Damodaran attempted to calculate the fair value of Foster’s stock and came up with a price of $6.11 per share. He then adjusted his calculations to factor in injury probabilities and determined a fair value of $5.07 per share. The details behind his assumptions are on his blog; it’s an interesting analysis from both a valuation and a football perspective.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tuesday--October 29, 2013

The Play, Part III

Last Saturday I ranted to Mrs Blog all the way home about Coach Molnar's decision to go for two against Western Michigan.

Jimmy Kelly has a excellent article over on Hustle Belt on the decision. Also be sure to read the quotes by A.J. Doyle and Coach Molnar in the UMass game summary.

After reading Coach Molnar's quotes (again) I can appreciate better the quandary the coaches were in. Lucas' fourth quarter chip shot miss rattled everybody. Remember, most overtime games now end up as multiple possessions  (Buffalo-Stony Brook took five overtime periods). I can understand, that on this day, the UMass coaches didn't want to get in a field goal contest. We weren't going to win that.

Kelly's article has video. You can step through the play by tapping the start and stop button. Doyle, in his post game quotes said it was a play UMass has practiced, but had not yet run in a game. Looking at the video, it appears to have worked. Elgin Long breaks into the endzone and is running uncovered along the far end of the endzone. Coach Molnar said in his quote they couldn't see if Doyle was being screened from picking up Long. A. J. ran right. Tajae Sharpe seems to have been Doyle's first read (again see Molnar's quote). So, the play worked; UMass had an open receiver in the endzone. The play didn't succeed because of:

  1. Bad Luck. Doyle was screened
  2. Doyle didn't do his reads fast enough and by the time he decided to throw the ball, Long was running out of real estate and the coverage was closing.
  3. We'll never know which one is true.
Anyway, I feel better. UMass had a much better chance of making the play than it appeared at the time. I still would have gone for the tie and extended the game, but after looking at the video, you can't say UMass didn't have a good chance to win the game on the 2 point conversion.


Dan Malone has a story about the first good showing from the Minutemen's offense.

Matty V reports on Lorenzo Woodley's breakout game.

UMass is one of 21 FBS teams to have more INT's than touchdown passes.


MAC Report Online has Western Michigan's Andrew Haldeman as the MAC Special Teams Player-of-the-Week.


Sports Chat place looks at the upcoming UMass-NIU game.

I watched the NIU-Eastern Michigan game on DVR. The Huskies kept scoring after pulling Lynch half-way through the third quarter.



Monday, October 28, 2013

Monday--October 28, 2013

Blog News: I received an e-mail from Feedspot , which is a Google Reader replacement. They offered me a free subscription because people were signing up as followers of the UMass Football Blog. If you're looking for RSS reader PC Magazine has ten other options. Feedspot had a good review on Techcrunch, but I probably won't take them up on the free subscription offer.

This is a good time to mention again that I receive no compensation whatsoever for writing the Blog. Nothing. Nada. The UMass Athletic Dept kindly allows me to attend their functions and sends press information. I've never had an e-mail from any of the coaches. I've repeatedly turned down advertising offers for ads on the Blog. Google has their own integrated ads that would pay me for clicks originating on the Blog. The UMass Football Blog has never had ads and never will.

UPDATE: This a portion of an e-mail I received at 1:55 pm today:

Hi UMass74,

Just wanted to let you know that one of our clients on **** has checked out your blog and may want to contact you!

**** is a blogger outreach network with over 110,000 registered bloggers and our main goal is to connect writers like you with brands you love. We make it easy for companies to reach you and we believe you may be interested in this opportunity to connect with our client.. and tons more!

Offshore betting sites and lonely Russian ladies also would like to have marketing space....


Western Michigan 2014 recruits react to the Broncos win over UMass on Twitter.

The Broncos are currently #1 in 247Sports class of 2014 MAC recruiting rankings and UMass is #6.


Matty V. discusses UMass is closing in on the NCAA attendance threshold. He also has notes from the Western Michigan game, which includes the kicking situation.

This is a cut-and-past from a continuing thread over on the MAC BBS.

Weeks 1-9 Average
22,872- Ohio
22,458- Northern Illinois
21,819- Buffalo
19,728- Miami
19,130- Kent State
18,767- Toledo
18,589- Akron
18,580- UMass
18,533- MAC Average
17,381- Central Michigan
16,656- Ball State
16,604- Bowling Green
16,166- Western Michigan
5,442- Eastern Michigan

Note that the NCAA counts tickets sold not actual people in seats. Buffalo counted 18,000+ for the game against UMass. I was there in the rain and if there were 5,000 people in the stadium, I'd be surprised.


Keepers College Football Ratings has NIU 29.2 favorite over UMass.

Las Vegas has Northern Illinois by 23.5. Seeing NIU scored 59 points on Eastern Michigan last Saturday while we were losing to one of the worst teams in the country, it would seem logical the Huskies will cover the spread with ease.

Is there a mistake in the Vegas line? 33.5 would more likely. Typo?

NIU is currently ranked #17 in the BCS rankings. NIU is likely the highest ranking FBS team ever to visit UMass. Jordan Lynch is also a Heisman candidate  Probably Doug Flutie was the the last Heisman candidate to play on UMass' home field.

Lynch threw for four TD's, ran for another and caught a TD pass in NIU's blowout of Eastern Michigan.

Huskie WR Tommylee Lewis had 187 total yards of offense last Saturday.

Minutemen fans will get to see both the NIU team and Jordan Lynch next Saturday at Gillette. If NIU runs the table and receives another BCS invitation, UMass would receive a financial windfall from the Bowl revenue. Last year as a "provisional" team, the UMass Athletic Dept did not get a share.

Even with their killer offense, the Huskie defense has been improved this year.


Victor Cruz suffered an injured neck in the Giants victory over Philly.


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sunday--October 27, 2013

Khari Baily-Smith hits the crease

Last man to beat


Jamal Wilson scores

Rob Blanchflower TD
As usual, click on the image and Blogger displays a larger view.

Well, boys and girls, that was a team loss. The defense, which had been the mainstay of team, tackled poorly and allowed a game-winning TD with about 4:00 minutes to play.

Blake Lucas missed two FG's, either one would have ended up winning the game. The chip-shot in the fourth quarter was the back-breaker.

I wouldn't have gone for two. UMass had the momentum. I would have sent it into overtime and kept playing.

In Coach Molnar's defense, it looked like UMass had two open receivers. Doyle just didn't hit them.

UPDATE: I have been thinking about my above comment. The Bronco coverage was decent. I should not have characterized the receivers as "open". The receivers would have had to go and get the ball and maybe out-wrestle the defender. However, A.J. threw it high and away, nobody even had a chance to make a play.

Another win is going to be tough to come by in 2013.


One positive note 20, 571 fans at Gillette yesterday. UMass fans have been really coming through. Imagine the crowds we'd be drawing if we were winning.

UMass falls short on a missed two-point conversion. Rob Blanchflower says he agrees with the call to go for two.

The Associated Press says UMass loses a close one.

The Hampshire Gazette reports UMass falls on a missed two-point conversion.

Matty Vautour says the two-point try brings Molnar under fire again.

MLive says Western Michigan gets their first win.

The Battle Creek Enquirer says Terrell passes the Broncos to victory.

The Kalamazoo Gazette reports Western Michigan celebrates.


All the MAC results here.


Misery loves company.

UConn annihilated.

BC steamrolled.


Maine won again to remain undefeated in FCS. The Black Bears have probably clinched a at-large bid and are now playing for the CAA Championship.

Kansas State pounded West Virginia.

Johnny Manziel and the Texas Aggies crushed Vanderbilt.


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Game Day--Western Michigan

Lots goin' on at Homecoming today.

From the Minutemen News Letter: "Parking lots open for tailgating: Noon.

Minuteman March at 12:45 p.m. Be sure to join the Minuteman Marching Band and UMass Cheerleaders in Minutefan Park to welcome the team to the stadium.

The Minuteman Club opens at 1 p.m.

Homecoming activities in Minutefan Park include A Taste of Amherst at Gillette Stadium, featuring your favorites from The Hangar (Wings Over Amherst), Antonio's Pizza, the Black Sheep Deli, Moti, and White Hut; and the Amherst Ski & Board Club's sale and expo. (Note: The ski sale and expo has been moved from the Putnam Club West to Minutefan Park and will start at noon rather than 10 a.m.) For full details, visit the Alumni Association's game page.

With forecasts calling for a mostly sunny day with a high of 56 degrees, it looks like tomorrow will be exactly the kind of day when you want to be out watching a football game.

Go here for broadcast media information and essential game notes.

For complete game notes, click here.

Information on Gillette Stadium, tailgating and activities is available here.

If you're a former UMie, and you've been craving some Amherst food, MassLive has more on the "Taste of Amherst" event.


"Somewhere, somehow, somebody must have kicked you around some"


 Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

Coach Whipple said we would take our lumps in the first couple of years in FBS. Last year Western Michigan laid it on us 52-14. The Broncos had 32 first downs and 551 yards of offense.

I'd like to see the UMass defense change that around in 2013. We owe a lot of teams so far. Western Michigan would be a good time to start some payback...

Hope to see everybody at Gillette today. Go UMass!!


Dan Malone says UMass has a chance for a win against depleted, winless Western Michigan.

MLive has a Q&A with Dan about today's game.

MLive has three keys to a Broncos win.

Matty Vautour has Minutemen favored to win over Western Michigan.

The UMass Daily Collegian says UMass hosts winless Broncos.

The Battle Creek Enquirer says UMass presents an opportunity for winless Western Michigan.

A Michigan writer predicts a low-scoring UMass win.

Hustle Belt previews two struggling programs.


Six televised games in Week #9 for the MAC.

Why it will be hard for NIU's Jordan Lynch to win the Heisman.

The MAC Report Online previews all of today's conference games.


Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday--October 25, 2013

TopUMassFan sent us a couple of McGuirk construction images. I didn't get them until I returned home. Special "Thanks!" to him for thinking of us.

As usual, click on the image and Blogger displays a larger view.


Dan Malone reports UMass players and coaches have to do a better job controlling the little things.

Coach Molnar on P.J. Fleck's "Row the Boat" mantra at Western Michigan.

Dan gets together with a Western Michigan beat writer for his latest UMass pod cast.

He also as an article on the upcoming three-game home stretch. Dan says it was a perceived cheap shot on DT Daniel Maynes that drew a bench unsportsmanlike penalty. Robert Kitching will start in place of Maynes for the Broncos game.


The Boston Globe says UMass is not taking the winless Broncos lightly.

The UMass Daily Collegian reports the UMass defense is stepping up.

The Kalamazoo Gazette says the winning play in UMass-Western Michigan could come on special teams. Kalamazoo is one MAC venue I've got to visit. When I was a kid at school, I used to look at a big map of North America and daydream (I was a big daydreamer)  about what was going on in exotic-sounding places. Last year on our trip to Alberta I finally got to see what Moose Jaw looked like. I definitely want to see downtown Kalamazoo. Following UMass will be excellent reason to do so.

Athlon Sports previews the UMass-Broncos matchup.

The Western Herald says UMass is a golden importunity for the 0-6 Broncos.

CBS Boston reports Coach Molnar thinks the Minutemen defense is getting better.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ says NIU is battling for the Fiesta Bowl.

Hustle  Belt looks at the five year road losing streak that the Akron Zips broke last weekend.

MAC Report Online reports the Miami Beach Bowl will give the MAC five bowl tie-ins.


UConn gets #21 UCF tomorrow.

Boston College plays North Carolina.

The #11 Maine Black Bears have a big game with #18 Villanova Saturday.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Thursday--October 24, 2013

In our 1 1/2 years in FBS UMass has taken its lumps so far. Saturday, we get our first chance to return some favors. Western Michigan put it on us last year 52-14 . This year, the winless Broncos visit Gillette. The Minutemen generally play pretty decent at home. Let's win the game and guarantee a better record for our second year. It's Homecoming and I'm hoping for a good Alumni turnout. The weather looks promising so far. Cooler, but clear. I for one, could use a little payback.


UMass has its game notes for Western Michigan up.

So do the Broncos.


Dan Malone has a feature on Trey Dudley-Giles. At the Buffalo game, UMass fans were yelling for Trey to run one back,  that being our best chance to score.


The UMass website has a Q&A with UMass offensive lineman Matt Sparks.


Western Michigan's Kirk Nakama convinces their beat writer to try Spam musubi. Hawaiians like Spam. It's available on restaurant minus out there.

This article features LS Nakama.

Dareyon Chance and Corey Davis of Western Michigan both had 100 yard+ games against Ball State last week.


Central Michigan adds home games against Syracuse and Oklahoma State.

The MAC Report Online has its Week #8 Power Rankings.


In a first for college football, four female officials will work a DII game.


John Kenny image
Brandon London uses the straight arm in the Larks win over Hamilton.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wednesday--October 23, 2013

The mystery of Colter Johnson's struggles may have been solved. His drop from first-in-the-league in punting average to last, has had an impact on this year's results. Hopefully, he'll shine in the remainder of the season.


Johnson's surgery news was part of Coach Molnar's weekly MAC teleconference quotes.


I missed a UMass website Q&A session with UMass LB Jovan Santos-Knox.


Zack Terrell likely to start for Western Michigan against the Minutemen Saturday.

P.J. Fleck says the Broncos are beating themselves.

Western Michigan opens with Purdue in 2014.


Hustle Belt has the MAC week #9 odds.

UMass kick returner Trey Dudley-Giles gets a mention in Hustle Belt's awards. Trey has gone 21-520 41 LONG 24.8 AVE to lead the MAC in kick returns.


BTW, UMass is currently 4th in the MAC east standings. The Minutemen are ahead of Akron, Kent State and Miami (Ohio).

The MAC is 9th in ESPN's latest conference power rankings.


The 6-1 Maine Black Bears are up to #11 in the latest FCS poll.


Michael Cox gets some praise from a Giants blogger.


Boston College is thinking hopeful thoughts for the rest of the season.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Recruiting 2014---- Quai Jefferson II

Andrew Mills image
UMass commit WR Quai Jefferson gets the featured image in a  game against St. Peters Prep.

Jefferson has a 16.75 yards-per-catch average and a 14.5 yards-per-rush average.

He gets a mention in the report on a game in September.

St. Joseph's is ranked # 8 in the nation in HS football.


Tuesday--October 22, 2013

Dan Malone reports Coach Molnar praises the UMass defense. The Minutemen "D" is giving up almost 12 points per game less than last year. That number should improve even more this week as the Western Michigan Broncos put 52 points up against the Minutemen this year. It's hard to see the 0-6 Broncos doing that again.

Dan says the following Minutemen did not practice Monday:

  • Jordan Broadnax (a sure medical redshirt)
  • Shane Huber
  • Daniel Maynes
  • Steve Casali
  • Shakur Nesmith (another likely redshirt)

  • Trey Seals


Dan also has three helmet stickers from the Buffalo game.

As I blogged yesterday, Dan shows Vegas has UMass as a slight favorite over the winless Broncos.


Rant Sports has Western Michigan hoping for their first win of the season against UMass.

The Kalamazoo Gazette looks back on the Broncos 38-17 loss to Ball State.

The KG has an article on what Western Michigan P.J. Fleck is trying to build.

Broncos NT Trevonte Boles is trying to stay the course in Kalamazoo.


The South Bend Tribune says Ball State QB Keith Wenning could have a NFL future.

Hustle Belt reports NIU is no longer projected to make a BCS bowl.

SB Nation has a story on the new MAC-eligible Miami Beach Bowl.

Hustle Belt's Bryan Vance looks at this week's league games and TV schedule.


Michale Cox had 11 carries for 23 yards in his first game as a active NY Giant. Cox was not getting much help as the Vikings stuffed the Giants run game all night.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Monday--October 21, 2013

Good Morning from New Holland, PA. Mrs Blog gets some recompense for attending that freezing, miserable game at Buffalo.


Dan Malone points out UMass is flirting with historic futility on offense.


The UMass Daily Collegian says UMass was stomped by the Bulls.


Matt Daley of Hustle Belt said Buffalo extended its dominance.

UMass stayed #11 in Hustle Belt's weekly MAC power rankings.

NIU was ranked #18 in ESPN's first BCS ranking of 2013.


Keepers College Football ratings has UMass a 12.10 point favorite over Western Michigan.

Vegas Insider has the Minutemen by 2.


The Boston Herald says Justin Anderson adds pressure for UMass.

I mentioned yesterday, that I thought the UMass defense played well despite the score. Anderson was the second leading tackler with 5 UT 3AT and 8 TT. Those are good numbers for a DT. Galen Clemons had 5 TT and Kevin Byrne had 4TT. The Minutemen also had 5 TFL.

Buffalo had good field position during the game. The Bulls started on the UMass 48 and then four times near midfield on their own 44, and 48 (three times).


Western Michigan's offense only scored 10 points in their 38-17 loss to Ball State last week.

Clearly the team that reaches double digits in this week's Homecoming game at Gillette will win the game....

Western Michigan's assistant coach Ed Pinkham has special feelings about the pink gear being worn by football teams in the fight against breast cancer.


Football Scoop has the prognosis for the seven remaining winless FBS teams. UConn got whacked by Cincinnati Saturday, so their chances are 1-6 Temple and 2-4 SMU.


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday--October 20, 2013

No images from Buffalo. I had some camera trouble so I left my digital camera at the hotel. It was just as well as the predicted "showers" varied through the game from a steady drizzle to a frog-drowning downpour.

Sometimes in life what you do is not rewarded. That was the case for the UMass defense who played another spirited and gritty game. Nine of the Bulls 33 points were given up by the UMass offense. The Minutemen "D" held the Bulls to 4-14 first downs and had bad field position all day. The defense finally tired in the fourth quarter.

The UMass offense was terrible, led by A. J. Doyle. He struggled all day to get the play off. UMass took two time outs in the first half to stop the play clock. The Minutemen promptly took a sack after the time out on both of them. Doyle threw a pick-six, fumbled the ball to stop another UMass dive and took a delay of game penalty on a third-and-one that killed another. The lousy playing conditions did not bother Buffalo; they had no fumbles and no INT's.

To top everything off, Rob Blanchflower was ejected from the game for taking a swing at a Buffalo defender.


Dan Malone mentions some of my points in a halftime summary from yesterday. He should have been sitting out in the bleachers with the about 30 UMass fans who made the trip, if he wanted to experience ugly.

He says UMass was undone by sloppy play and and miscues.

The Hampshire Gazette says mistakes did in UMass.

The Boston Glove reports UMass lost its way.

MassLive says Buffalo managed to disrupt UMass' play calling.

The Buffalo News says the Bulls went deep to defeat UMass.

CBS Sports says Buffalo routs UMass 33-3.

The Buffalo News said Khalil Mack lived up to expectations.


MAC Conference results from yesterday's games.

Ball State kept next week's UMass opponent Western Michigan winless.

They had a moment of silence at the UMass-Buffalo game for slain EMU WR Demarius Reed.


Wisconsin blew out Illinois.

Vanderbilt stunned # 15 Georgia.

Maine beat William & Mary to remain undefeated in CAA and FCS play.


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Game Day--Buffalo

Good Morning from Buffalo. The weather looks iffy with a 60% chance of showers.

I was looking at last years UMass-Bulls stats. The Minutemen "D" held Buffalo to 405 yards (UMass' fourth lowest of the season). UMass had a strong first half and led 13-0 at the break. The Bulls owned the second half.

Buffalo held UMass to 35-49 rushing and had eight sacks. Hopefully, the Minutemen offensive line will lead the way with a strong rushing game and keep A.J. upright. The Bulls have Mack and Way. I think the Minutemen tandem of Byrne and Anderson can be just as effective. I'm looking for another good performance from the Minutemen "D".

With the Bulls, we ca't afford to leave points on the table with missed field goals and drive stopping INTs. Let's run the rock and beat Buffalo.

Go UMass!!!


Dan Malone says the Bulls will be a stiff challenge for UMass.

Where to catch the game, if you're not here with us in Buffalo.

Mark Chiarelli of the Hampshire Gazetter reports UMass is looking to build off last week's win.

The Buffalo News says the Minutemen will get a big dose of Bulls RB Oliver. Brandon Oliver's bio.

Khalil Mack makes opponents pull out all the stops.

Study habits make Bulls' QB Joe Licata make the grade. Licata's bio.


Watch all the MAC ESPN3 games here. looks at today's MAC Conference games.


Eastern Michigan WR Demarius Reed was murdered yesterday.  That's a shame that a young life has to be cut short. Why anyone would kill a person during a robbery is beyond me.


ESPN says Grambling football players are not bluffing. The Tigers game against Jackson State canceled.


Friday, October 18, 2013

Recruiting 2014--Dimitri Angelas II

John Heider image
UMass commit Dimitri Angelas, a 6-5 285 pound OG gets an image from this recent game. has video from September 2013.

Friday--October 18, 2013

Mrs Blog and I are off to Buffalo for our first ever MAC road trip.

We went to every venue in the CAA. The MAC will be a whole new set of places to visit.

Scenic Buffalo will be our start :)


Dan Malone has a scorecard for the second quarter of UMass' 2013 schedule.

He also has a podcast with Bob DiCeasare of the Buffalo News about tomorrow's Minutemen-Bulls game.


Sports Illustrated College Football says Buffalo is marching towards Bowl eligibility.

If you double team Khalil Mack then you get Colby Way from the other end. Way's Buffalo bio.


Maddux Sports says the MAC game-of-the-week is NIU-Central Michigan.


Phil Steele's Mid-Season All-MAC squad. Only Anthony Dima makes the list.

Hustle Belt previews all the league games and TV schedule.

MAC Blogger Round Table for Week #8.


A historic college football meltdown is going on at Grambling. The Grambling football team is boycotting practice. Football Scoop has more.


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Recruiting 2014-- Chris Carter II

Kathy Johnson image
UMass DE commit Chris Carter had a good game last weekend (scroll). has some 2013 video highlights.


October 17, 2013

UMass has its Buffalo game notes up.


The Daily Collegian reports UMass has put the Miami win behind them.


Dan Molone wonders if UMass-Buffalo can build a rivalry from scratch.


Commonwealth Magazine interviews Coach Molnar.


The Democrat and Chronicle says the Bulls have turned it around.


Central Michigan Life says NIU's Jordan Lynch is a poor man's Johnny Manziel.

Speaking of Northern Illinois, they just signed a home-and-home  with UNLV.


Hustle Belt has it's most recent Mid-Major Top Ten.


ESPN says there is no formula for a perfect college QB.


Victor Cruz has some tips about lookin' good at the gym.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Recruiting 2014 -- Randall West IV

Martin Griff image
UMass QB commit Randall West was the Times Offensive Player-of-the-Week following his huge game last Saturday.

West tied a New Jersey state record with his eight TD game last week.

Wednesday--October 16, 2013

The Bulls website has a 30 minute video press conference about the upcoming UMass-Bulls game.


Rob Blanchflower has been named to the mid-season Mackey Award Watch List.

Dan Malone has more on Blanchflower's award. To me, it seems if Blanchflower is still showing some rust from his long injury layoff. He has dropped some balls and seems a half a step slower than last season. Hopefully, he will continue to heal; he adds a third dimension to the UMass offense when he's out there.

Blanchflower and Bailey-Smith both were mentioned in College Football Weekly Performance list.

The whole UMass defense was named  the Minutemen Athlete-of-the-week.

University of Buffalo image
Dan Malone says stopping Khalil Mack will be the UMass offensive line's toughest challenge so far. Mack has lived up to his preseason billing as the top NFL prospect in the MAC.

Controlling Mack will not be easy for UMass. Except for Blanchflower, the Minutemen do not have another big TE to block Mack. Dereck Beck is 205, Sharif Custis is 215, Brandon Howard is 250 and Ricardo Miller is 226.You wouldn't want Blanchflower tied up with blocking Mack because of Blanchflower's importance to the Minutemen's anemic offense. Mack eats up TE's anyway.

Quote from Malone's article:"Khalil got triple-teamed 13 times, and 17 times got double-teamed," Buffalo coach Jeff Quinn said of Western Michigan's game plan in the Bulls' 33-0 win Saturday. "He was either triple-or double-teamed 30 times in that game, and he still had six tackles, one sack, three pressures, a couple tackles for a loss, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a pass breakup."


Jimmy Kelly of Hustle Belt has a Q-and-A session with Buffalo blogger Bull Run.


Former Bulls receiver Courtney Lester has caught on at defensive back.


Hustle Belt also has the MAC Week #8 odds.


The MAC Report Online has Week # 8 power ratings. UMass is not last.


Michael Cox might start for the Giants against the Vikings. Good Luck Michael!!

The Washington Posts says Cox is the Giants only healthy running back.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tuesday--October 15, 2013

Matty V. reports UMass has a shot at a more than one win season.

Injury Report: Matty says Shakur Nesmith, Jordan Broadnax and Steve Casali are not practicing. Joey Colton, Trey Seals and Tom Brandt are limited.


Dan Malone says for the second year in a row, Buffalo stands between UMass and a streak.

Coach Molnar still believes in Blake Lucas.

Malone awards three helmet stickers for the Minutemen's win over Miami.


The Western Michigan website has more on the MAC's affiliation with the new Bahamas Bowl. The article lists the MAC's tie-ins with future bowls through 2019. Let's hope by then the Minutemen will be doing well enough to be bowl eligible.

Actually, UMass could be bowl-eligible this season. The Minutemen have one win. In the remaining schedule of Buffalo, Western Michigan, Northern Illinois, Akron, Central Michigan and Ohio, only Northern Illinois is a sure loss. Five wins out of six would be a real stretch, but not totally impossible. UMass could be favored over Western Michigan and Akron. Both are winless and both play at UMass.

Yahoo Sports says Buffalo's Jeff Quinn could be in line for MAC coach-of-the-year (scroll down).

Buffalo DE Colby Way was named MAC East Defensive Player-of-the-Week for his performance against Western Michigan.

NIU is projected for the Fiesta Bowl.


USA Today ranks UMass as #120.


Jeff Zelevansky image
Michael Cox is the last standing running back for the Giants.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Recruiting 2014 -- Randall West III

Help may be on the horizon, UMass fans.

Mike Mancuso image
Last Tuesday I wrote about UMass QB commit Randall West's 406 passing yards.

This week West threw for 456 yards and eight TD's in a 53-18 victory.

Monday--October 14, 2013

Dan Malone said the defense led the way.

He also says A. J. Doyle played through adversity.

J. Anthony Roberts image
Jamal Wilson solidified his position as one of UMass' top RB's with a 146 yard performance against Miami (Ohio). In a season with very little offense, Wilson is bright light. Three rushing TD's against Buffalo would be a great encore.

Jimmy Kelly of Hustle Belt does a nice job in an article on UMass' win over Miami Ohio.

The MAC Report Online said UMass rode turnovers to a victory over the Red Hawks.


Sports Chat Place looks at the Buffalo Bulls vs UMass.

Keeper College Football ratings has the Bulls by 20.54 over the Minutemen.

Vegas has Buffalo by 20.

The Bulls are on a four game winning streak, but as Hustle Belt points out, those four opponents are a combined 4-20 for the year. FCS Stony Brook took the Bulls to a five overtime contest at Buffalo.


UMass rises two spots in Hustle Belt's weekly MAC Power Ratings.

Northern Illinois remains #23 in both the AP and Coaches Poll.


Now that the Minutemen are out of the club, Football Scoop looks at the prospects for the eight remaining winless FBS teams.


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sunday--October 13, 2013

Justin Anderson

First. I want to congratulate the UMass players. Did you see how happy they were? Losing is tough on fans, it's even worse on players. All that work and nothing to show for it. May they have many more wins in their future.

The game itself, was an eerie copy of last year's win over Akron. The Minutemen have won two games in FBS and the defense has won them both. The UMass "D" held the Red Hawks to 290 total yards and 1-11 in the third downs as well as 1-3 in fourth downs. Like Joey Colton's INT last year against Akron, Khary Bailey-Smith's second INT against Austin Boucher sealed the game. The third straight gutsy game by UMass' defense won the day.

Take a bow UMass fans! Remember all the media coverage of the attendance at Gillette? Think there will be any mention on how good the turnout has been given the fact UMass is 2-17 over the last two years?

Band Day attendance:

  • 2010 McGuirk 12, 121
  • 2011 McGuirk 11, 736
  • 2013 Gillette 21,707

If we start to win, I stand by my belief UMass can draw 30,000 to Gillette.

There were a couple of shadows on the win. The UMass offense struggled against the weakest FBS defense on the planet. A.J.Doyle threw two INT's one of them stopping a scoring drive on the opening possession. Blanchflower's wining TD came on what should have been a third INT. We again were out punted by a substantial margin 47.6 to 34.8 AVE. We went 1-3 on field goals.

Inside the 40, we need to think about banging Jamal Wilson into the line four straight times...

And can we please keep Justin Anderson in the Game? He stopped Miami all by himself on one series and then promptly spent nearly the rest of the first half on the sidelines. Play that kid every down!


Miami's write-up on the game.

Notes, quotes and video from the UMass website.

The Republican Sports desk says UMass defeats Miami 17-10.

Dan Malone has Khary Baily-Smith helps UMass win the day. BTW, I thought the ejection on Anton Tharpe was bogus. They replay showed he hit the Miami receiver in the shoulder.

I stand corrected. I try to write my impressions of the game before reading the press reports. Dan Malone comments on 2013's attendance at Gillette.

The Gazette has Khary Bailey-Smith has a career day vs Miami.

Matty Vautour says UMass savors its first Gillette win.

The Boston Globe reports UMass gets first win.

The Boston Herald said it was reason to celebrate.

The UMass Daily Collegian said the opportunistic Minutemen sealed the victory.


BC lost to Clemson.

UConn lost to UCF to go 0-6.

Wisconsin crushed #19 Northwestern 35-6.

Kansas State fell to Baylor 35-25.

Bowling Green lost by one to Mississippi State.


All the MAC scores and stats.