Wednesday, August 16, 2017

UMass Football News--August 16th, 2017

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Matty Vautour has a post on new UMass offensive Leonard Hankerson. Wikipedia has a bio of Hankerson including his college and pro stats.

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The Beverely High School band will attend their first ever UMass Band Day this fall.

UMass Band Day will be back at McGuirk in 2017.

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The Hawaii Football team's haka. Turn your computer speakers all the way up and get psyched for the 2017 season!

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Old Dominion looks to keep it going after a swift rise in FBS.

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Auburn prepares for Georgia Southern's triple-option offense.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

UMass Recruiting 2018---Jaret Pallota II

Hudl.com image
I've blogged about 2018 verbal UMass commit Jaret Pallota before.

In this article in the Akron Beacon-Journal, Pallota talks about his commitment to UMass.

UMass Football News--August 15th, 2017

Matty Vautour has a post on Da'Sean Downey moving to DE. Downey is wearing #4 this year (ex James Allen).

More number changes Isaiah Rogers #9 (not assigned in 2016), Bakhari Goodson #14 (ex Shaquille Harris).

Current numbers not assigned #1 (not assigned in 2016 either), #12 (ex Todd Stafford), #39 (ex Isiah Rogers), #41 (ex Da'Sean Downey), #42 (ex John Robinson-Woodgett), #52 (ex Vondell Langston), #56 (ex Joe Parsons), #60 (ex Enock Asante), #62 #64 (not assigned 2016), #65 (ex Leyshawn Askew), #66 (ex Anthony Fernandez), #68 (ex Elijah Wilkinson), #71 (ex Michael Boland), #83 (ex Cody Banks), #98 (ex D'Shan Harley).

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KHON TV reports Hawaii DB Roe Farris thinks UMass will remember him. That play was right in front of me and I think Farris had some of the UMass receiver's jersey.

Faith keeps Hawaii QB Dru Bbown grounded.

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Tennessee comes into the 2017 season ranked just outside the Top-25.

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This article talks about Georgia's future schedules and the rising price of scheduling Group-of-Five teams including UMass.

Quote from the article:

We’re all fighting for the same pool of teams,” McGarity said. “Auburn does not want to go play UMass in Boston. You’ve got to basically go pay teams to come play you. They’re sitting in a good seat right now, the Group of Five schools. They are able to kind of dictate the market."

It looks like the Independent Minutemen will continue to be in demand for money games. There are a number of negatives be an Independent, but it appears UMass will have no problem making good money on away games.

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Coastal Carolina players are playing for Coach Joe.

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Monday, August 14, 2017

UMass Football Recruiting 2018--Rashard Jackson verbals to UMass


Rashard Jackson, a 5-10 190 pound RB from Riverdale Baptist in MD has Tweeted he's verbaled to UMass.

Mike Traini of "Fight Massachusetts" has a post on Jackson's signing with the Minutemen.

Chose UMass over an offer from Memphis.

UMass Football News--August 14th, 2017

Matty Vautour has a post on Saturday's scrimmage and an update on Fall camp.

Players Matty reports will likely not redshirt include JUCO transfer 6-0 215 pound safety Tyler Hayes. Also on defense, Chinedu Ogbonna, a 6-2 215 pound LB from Marietta, GA. I've blogged about Ogbonna a couple of times before. Another safety is Tyris Lebeau, 6-1 210 from Vanier College in Canada.

On offense, 6-4 JUCO Jacoby Herring and Jesse Britt, 5-10 205 from Lake Alfred, FL will likely contribute right away. I blogged about Britt yesterday.

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Matt Brown of "Sports on Earth" has an extensive review of 2017's Independents and predicts four or five wins for UMass.

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Hawaii gets a new green helmet.

Hawaii also ran a scrimmage this weekend.

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Coastal Carolina holds its first scrimmage.

The Chants defense is having a good camp.

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Old Dominion also held its first scrimmage.

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Sunday, August 13, 2017

UMass Football News--August 13th, 2017

UMass held a football practice that was open to season ticket holders. Everyone got a UMass t-shirt and some more swag. Whipple was upbeat. He said the QB situation was "the best since I've been in college football". Marquis Young is up 10 pounds (he's listed as 215 on the latest roster). He said Shane Huber's college career might be over. Whipple said for the first time since he's returned, the Minutemen have some "3's". He said he felt our "1's" could "play with anybody", but we haven't had the depth to play in the fourth quarter.

Whipple felt UMass has done well the last two years, but "needed one more recruiting class".

In the scrimmage, freshman Jesse Britt made two nifty catches. I've blogged about Britt a couple of times before.

Ross Comis was wearing a knee brace, but moved well. He looks fully recovered.

Andrew Ford was running the first offense. Randall West had a couple of nice passes.

Rayquan Thomas looks visibly slimmer.

Click on the images and Blogger displays a larger view.










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Spectrum and Hawaii Telecom will broadcast the UMass/Eleven Sports production of UMass/Hawaii game.

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Saturday, August 12, 2017

UMass Football News--August 12th, 2017


UMass has reached an agreement with ELEVEN SPORTS/NESN to televise Minutemen home games in 2017. In addition, the game will be available FOR FREE, streamed from the UMass web site.

Mike Traini of "Fight Massachusetts" has a post on the TV deal.

This took a while, but it ended well. I doubt UMass receives much in the way of financial compensation, but the Minutemen get a professionally-run production package. Having NESN involved is huge. NESN and NESN+ are picked up nationally by a number of satellite/cable networks. In addition, if all else fails, UMass fans can get live streaming video from the Minutemen website.

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The Utah Daily Herald predicts Cougars 56-UMass 3. After the egg we laid in the second half in Provo last year, we can't blame BYU fans for being confident.

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Matty Vautour has a story on Derek Dumais, the new starting center and the UMass offensive line.

Matty reports the UMass starting OL will be:

RT -- Jake Largay RSJR 6-4 325 12-8 GP-GS

RG--Jack Driscoll RSSO 6-5 300 9-8 GP-GS

C--Derek Dumais RSSO 6-4 330 10-0 GP-GS

LG--Lucas Kotler RSJR 6-4 315 Redshirted in 2016, 17-0 GP-GS in 2016 and 2015

LT--Rayquan Thomas SO 6-5 350 12-12 GP-GS Down about 40 pounds since last year

Backups:

Mike Yeradi--RSSO 6-4 315 7-0 GP-GS in 2016

Larnel Coleman--RSFR 6-7 300 Redshirted in 2016

This is a young offensive line with no seniors in the top six. A goal for 2017 would be more production for the UMass running game. UMass was #124 in rushing offense in 2016. Part of that was playing all those Power Five schools last year. Not many Group-of-five teams rack up big rushing totals against SEC teams, but we need to do better than 3.3 yards/rush that we totaled last year.

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Howard Herman of the Berkshire Eagle reports UMass is gearing up for the 2017 season.

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Friday, August 11, 2017

UMass Football Recruiting 2018--Michael Nesmith

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Michael Nesmith, a 6-0 190 pound Safety from Hallandale, FL has Tweeted he's received an offer from UMass.

247Sports page here.

Hudl.com has video.

Also ran track and field.

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Nesmith also has an FBS offer from Akron.

UMass Football News--August 11th, 2017


UMass will play Auburn in 2020 and receive a record payout. UMass fans attending will get to see the flight of Auburn's War Eagle.

SB Nation says UMass will get a whopping payout.

UMass A.D. Bamford engineers another lucrative game for the Minutemen. With UMass as an independent, the Minutemen do not receive any funds from TV packages or other league promotional activities. So if you have to play money games, get top dollar. Bamford continues to do an excellent job managing UMass, IMHO.

Also let me point out for the nth time, game payouts are real spendable money, not accounting dollars.

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Ali Ali-Musa is the subject of this article by the Boston Herald.

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Matty Vautour reports Ross Comis is back and healthy.

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The Deseret News says BYU needs to be careful of UMass.

The same newspaper breaks down BYU's schedule game by game.

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Victor Cruz hauls in a TD pass for the Bears.

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Thursday, August 10, 2017

UMass Football Recruiting 2018 ---Dionte Gibson

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Dionte Gibson, a 6-4 220 pound DE/TE from Stone Mountain, GA has Tweeted he's received an offer from UMass.

247Sports page here.

Hudl.com has video.

Gibson holds seven offers including three Power Five schools (Minnesota, Maryland and Purdue). UMass is the only offer from the Northeast.

UMass Football News--August 10th, 2017

Matty Vautour has a post on UMass Kicker Logan Laurent goal of no drama in field goals.

If we deserve any ridicule since UMass moved to FBS, it comes in the kicking game. Laurent was #115 in field goals per game in 2016. Our seven field goals puts us in the bottom ten in offensive production from that position. If we were just average, we would get 12-15 field goals per season.

The article says freshman Michael Schreiner will handle kickoffs.

Matty also reports redshirt freshman Avien Peah 6-2 260 has been getting reps at fullback.

Shane Huber is back home in New Jersey dealing with another knee injury. Hope he gets better soon.

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UMass has updated the Fall roster----somewhat. Freshmen are listed but mostly no bios yet.

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The Herald News has a post about Coach Mac during his time at UMass.

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Former UMass LS Emmett Odegard has found success at Utah State.

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Victor Cruz wants to show Chicago he still has gas left in the tank. Cruz's Bears bio.

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Wednesday, August 09, 2017

UMass Football Recruiting 2018-- Cade Barnard III

Jacob Ford image
I've blogged about Cade Barnard, a 6-2 225 pound LB from Seminole, TX twice before.

This article from yesterday features Barnard and updates his recruiting.

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UMass Football recruiting 2018--Owen Thomas II

Owen Thomas, a 6-4 225 pound TE from North Penn, PA has verbaled to Villanova.

I blogged about Thomas back in December 2016. UMass was the first to offer Thomas.

UMass Football News--August 9th, 2017

Dick MacPherson has passed away. He was head coach at UMass from 1971 to 1979.  His 73 games is third on the UMass all-time games coached list. He won five Yankee Conference championships and led UMass to the first FCS Championship.

The UMass administration promptly cut his scholarships the next year and he left for Syracuse where he became a Hall-of-Fame coach.

He was a great guy and boy could he tell football stories.

The Gazette has an AP story about Coach Mac.

Matty Vautour has a post on UMass coaches remembering MacPherson.

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Matty has a story about Bryton Barr, a 6-0 225 pound transfer from Towson. I've blogged about Barr before. With Shane Huber's status uncertain, he'll bring depth to the linebacker position.

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CBS Sports rates UMass dead last in FBS football. Many sports "writers' just go through the motions. If it draws eyeballs, it's OK.  They get paid to crank out stuff, that's it.

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A "Chowder and Champions" writer picks UConn to go six-and-six. Note that he picks the Huskies to beat both USF and UCF. USF is a consensus Top-25 pick and Athlon has UCF picked second in the AAC East.

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MASSACHUSETTS, A STATE GRIPPED WITH TERROR

Another underwear-wearing driver crashes his car doing 100-miles an hour in East Bridgewater.

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Tuesday, August 08, 2017

UMass Football News--August 8th, 2017

Matty Vautour has a post on Tyshaun Ingram moving to running back. You remember Ingram averaged 7.3 yards/carry in HS.

Matty Vautour also reports Shane Huber is still dealing with knee problems.

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USA Today predicts the records of all 130 FBS teams including UMass at 3-9. They also pick Ohio, USF and Appalachian State to win their conference divisions.

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Meanwhile, at BYU, Riley Burt and the wonderfully named Squally Canada compete to be the lead back for the Cougars.

Also in the RB mix is KJ Hall who ran for 101 yards against UMass last year.

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Sports on Earth previews the Sun Belt including sections on UMass opponents Georgia Southern, Appalachian State and Coastal Carolina.

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Old Dominion opens training camp.

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Maine finds training camp without three of their top players challenging.

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The AAC has become a launching pad for Power Five coaches.

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THE BLOG IS STILL NOSTALGIC FOR THE FIVE COLLEGE AREA

Man in underwear steals Northampton police cruiser.

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Monday, August 07, 2017

UMass Football News--July 7th, 2017

KHON Hawaii says the Warriors DT Van Moala has a chance to be "a real superstar".

Hawaii's offense continues to develop withing the system.

The Warriors linebackers provide for an experienced core for Hawaii's defense.

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Tennessee's DT Kendall Vickers joined the Vols in 2013 at 220 pounds; he's now 285 and had 38 TT's 6 TFL 2.5 SACKS and 1 FF in 2016.

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Ohio QB Quinton Maxwell looks to lead the Bobcats offense. Maxwell went 4-1 in games he started in 2016.

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USF QB Quinton Flowers thrives in the face of tragedy.

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Saturday Down South predicts the UMass-Mississippi State game won't be as close as last year's game in Gillette.

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Maine thinks their CB tandem is one of the best in the CAA.

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Sunday, August 06, 2017

UMass Football News--July 6th, 2017

Tarringo Basile-Vaughan of "Chowder and Champions" looks at Andrew Ford and the chances of the 2017 Minutemen.

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Underdog Dynasty looks at the Middle of Appalachian State's 2017 schedule and predicts a 31-14
Mountaineers victory.

Appalachian State had its Media Day yesterday.

The Mountaineers want to go 13-0 in 2017.

Appalachian State is the consensus preseason Sun Belt Champion. In 2016 they were 10th nationally in rushing average (250.9 yards/game). They were also good at defense, ending 9th nationally in scoring defense (17.8 points/game). The Mountaineers return six starters on offense including Jalin Moore, the Sun Belt Offensive player-of-the-Year. Look for Appalachian State to run the rock again in 2017

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Analytics are spreading through college football.

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Georgia Southern got some big plays from their "back-to-the-future" triple option offense in the first scrimmage of training camp.

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Saturday, August 05, 2017

UMass Football Recruiting 2018-- Kameron Jones II

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Back on June 2nd, I blogged about Kameron Jones, a 6-5 280 pound OL from Starksville, MS.

He just posted his official offer from the Minutemen on Twitter.

Varsity Preps.com lists him as a "Fab 40" member of Mississippi players.

Jones has eleven offers with UMass as the only school from the Northeast.

UMass Football News--August 5th, 2017

Liberty announces the dates of a four game series with UMass. The series begins with two games at McGuirk starting on November 3rd, 2018 and concludes with two games in a row at Liberty.

Michael Traini of "Fight Massachusetts" has a post on the Flames-Minutemen series.

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The Greenfield Recorder reports John Sinnett has returned as UMass Sports Information Director and Molly O'Mara is out. Quote from the article:

"A 2004 UMass grad, O’Mara had previously worked in athletic offices at Arizona, Arkansas, and Texas Tech. From this vantage, it was her imperious attitude that helped wear out her welcome in Amherst."

That was certainly my interaction with her. Welcome back John!

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Hawaii moves its best receivers Dylan Collie and John Ursula from the slot to the outside.

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With a veteran team, Old Dominion is in no hurry to start Fall camp.

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A former BYU player discusses the Cougars "Missionary Advantage".

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The Maine Black Bears open Fall camp with three of their top players suspended.

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Friday, August 04, 2017

UMass Football News--August 4th, 2017

Matty Vautour has his first podcast of the Fall season. He interviews UMass QB Andrew Ford.

Matty also has a post about Ford in this article.

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Doesn't look like Syracuse transfer Jordan Fredericks will be playing for UMass this fall.

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BLAKE FROHNAPFEL HAS THE BEST ZINGER EVER.

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Hawaii's first practice in full pads. Lots of ominous music there.

Speaking of the Rainbow Warriors, they are tied for fourth in father-son players.

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USF makes Sports Illustrated preseason Top-25.

Sports Quotient previews the Bulls.

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A Tarheel site previews Old Dominion.

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Thursday, August 03, 2017

UMass Football News--July 3rd, 2017

Image by Gavin Young
Thanks to blog reader who pointed me to this story by Calgary Herald : Marken Michel flies under the radar no more.

Michel's Stamps bio.

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UMass is close to signing a TV package for UMass' home games at McGuirk. It also appears NESN will pick up Eleven Sports' feed.

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247Sports has Adam Breneman the #4 preseason TE in college football.

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Hero Sports lists McGuirk as a "new" stadium for UMass in 2017.

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WHY WOULD OFFENSIVE LINEMEN EVEN CONSIDER ANY OTHER TEAM?

UMass dining named #1 in the nation for the second consecutive year.

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For $50,000, Temple donors can sponsor a player's jersey. Sorta like Shamrock Meats on Rocky's robe.

Speaking of Temple, the Owls get nine returning medical redshirts for Fall practice.

Temple is also looking to replace a four-year starter at QB.

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Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Recruiting 2018--Dennis Osagiede verbals to UMass

247Sports image
UMass continues on a recruit roll as Mike Traini of "Fight Massachusetts" reports Denis Osagiede, a 6-1 272 pound DL has verbaled to UMass.

Traini's article here.

247Sports three-star player.

I blogged about Osagiede back on June 2nd.

Osagiede's Twitter post here.

Texas Football ranks Osagiede as a "Top 300" recruit out of Texas.

Osagiede held 20 offers.

UMass Football Recruiting 2018--Zidane Thomas II

Back on July 14th, I blogged about Zidane Thomas, a 5-10 205 pound RB from Peoria, AZ.

He verbaled to Boise State.

UMass Football News--August 2nd, 2017

Fan Sided site "Chowder and Champions" gives a generally positive review of the 2017 Minutemen and predicts four wins.

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KHON TV reports the Hawaii defense has been strong in practice so far.

Hawaii's 2017 hype video has a couple of plays against the Minutemen.

Hawaii football adds an All-American------Volleyball player.

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Coastal Carolina skill players are young, but talented.

The Chants are adjusting to being without their head coach.

Coastal Carolina is confident their $32 million stadium renovations will be completed in time for the UMass game.

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A decade ago the Appalachian State Mountaineers, fresh off a FCS National Championship win over UMass, shocked the football world with a win over Michigan.

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Tuesday, August 01, 2017

UMass Recruiting 2018--Shatar McClay III

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From the Leaf-Chronicle and the USA Today Network concerning Shatar McClay:

"The UMass commitment is probably the most gifted athlete in the city, and when motivated, McClay can dominate a game"

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UMass Football News--August 1st, 2017

CBS Miami previews college football's independents and predicts three wins for the Minutemen.

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When UMass and Hawaii meet, the Minutemen will have to deal with undersized, but relentless Kaimana Padello. His Hawaii bio.

Another Hawaii player the Minutemen will have to deal with is Warriors QB Drue Brown; he threw for 311 yards and five TD's against the UMass defense last year.

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Coastal Carolina RB Marcus Outlow is a transfer from Boston College. Started three games for the Eagles.

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Roll Alabama grades SEC schedules including UMass opponents Mississippi State and Tennessee.

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Matty Vautour reports via Twitter potential UMass starter Patrick Amara is no longer on the Minutemen roster.

This is a significant setback for the UMass defense. Most sources had Amara penciled in a starter at strong safety.

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Re: the QB competition between Ross Comis and Andrew Ford. I just re-watched the UMass-Tulane game from last year. You remember UMass scored on its first two possessions and then Tulane scored the next 24 points. Adam Breneman did not catch a pass until five minutes left in the third quarter.

Comis came in with about five minutes left in the game an engineered a scoring drive. However, Comis took a huge hit in the process. He got roughed up in every game he played except for Florida. That's why pocket passers in the NFL have long careers and running QB's last about three years.

Comis' legs add a dimension to the UMass offense, but I think he will be a situational QB in the Minutemen offense with Ford as the regular guy.

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