Sunday, April 06, 2014

Sunday--April 6th, 2014

I know I said I wouldn't be doing any Sunday blogging until the news cycle starts to pick up in the summer, but Dan Malone has provide us with some extensive notes on Saturday's scrimmage.

First off, Dan says the offense struggled.

That's not surprising, as the defense usually leads in the Spring. In addition, most of the reinforcements Whipple recruited are not on campus yet.

Blake Frohnapfel should compete for the starting QB position. See the completion percentages from the scrimmage.

JUCO offensive linemen Liam Porter (6-6 293) and Ryan Johnson (6-5 320) should make strong bids to start.

In addition, JUCO TE's Jean Sifrin (6-7 250) and Jon Denton (6-6 260) should give Minutemen more receiving options as well as some blocking strength.

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Malone reports the defense was stout.

The UMass defense has been the better unit the last two years despite not getting anywhere near the numbers of recruits the offensive did. That trend continued this year as per above where the offense adds two FBS transfers plus four JUCO's.

The secondary should continue to be the strength of the defense. The return of Steve Casali and Shane Huber, when healthy, should add some speed to the front seven.

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Everyone on UMass' special teams is new this year. Dan says everyone looked OK.

The Minutemen arguably could have won two more games in 2013 with better kicking and everyone would be under less pressure. Nothing went right in special teams last year.

UMass was 11th in total punting last year and last in punting AVE 37.3. The Minutemen were 9th in field goal percentage despite Brandon Leavengood's 9-for-9 late showing.

The return of Jordan Broadnax, who had good stats in 2012 returning kicks, could add some field position for the Minutemen. The special teams were a real liability in 2013. They have a lot to prove in 2014.

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