Sunday, August 03, 2014

Sunday--August 3rd, 2014

With Fall camp opening tomorrow, I guess it's time to do the the blog on Sundays too.

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Dan Malone previews the 2014 UMass defense.

The Minutemen have won two games in FBS and the UMass defense won them both. That's despite getting much less recruits and transfers than the offense. That trend continued this year with the offense receiving two graduate transfers and six JUCO's. The 2013 defense gave up almost 7 points less per game than in 2012 going from 40.16 points/game to the 33.0. Most of the improvement came against the BCS portion of the schedule with UMass allowing 35.3 points per game to Wisconsin, Vanderbilt and Kansas State. UMass threw five INT's for a TD, so actually the defense only gave up 30.0 points per game.

The UMass defense played some stout games against Vanderbilt, Miami and Akron. We also had some games where we were not competitive. For the second year in a row, NIU scored at will. The Minutemen were outscored 88-23 in our last two games of the 2013 season. Perhaps the most depressing game was Maine. The Black Bears rang up 514 total yards of offense and averaged 5.5 yards per rush.

The new 3-4 should give UMass some room to make plays. In 2013 the Minutemen were 12th in the MAC in INT's and 12th in sacks. We were 10th in turnover margin, but most of that was the fault of the offense, who threw 18 INT's.

I think the defensive secondary could be one of the best units in the MAC. The UMass linebacker corps should be deeper and more athletic. Our d-line is both young and light. Expect opponents to run right at the Minutemen.

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Matty Vautour says James Ihedigbo is providing leadership for the Lions secondary.

Detroit Jock City says Ihedigbo embraces a mentor role.

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NY Daily News image
Michael Cox and Julian Talley should get some reps in tonight's NFL Hall-of-Fame game.

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The Buffalo News says the Bulls are aiming high despite losing six all-conference players.

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Dan Rubin of BC Interruption wants to "decimate" UMass. It's another sign that a UMass-BC annual series would be good for both teams. Because basically, except for perhaps a few Syracuse fans, nobody in the ACC cares a fig about Boston College. No Florida State or Clemson blogger wants to decimate the Eagles. Over the last five years BC has gone 28-35. That's only one more win than Duke. The center of gravity in the ACC is in the big southern state schools. Lindy's picks BC 6th in the ACC East. Sporting News has them 4th. Most pundits think anything more than six wins would be a great season for the Eagles. Boston College averaged 33,712 in home attendance in 2013. The ACC average was 49,987.

The fact is Boston College is a private school with high academic standards. That's a mismatch with the big southern state schools of the ACC. It appears the Eagles are remorselessly heading for a rivalry with Wake Forest and Duke for the annual ACC basement.

A loss to UMass would fire up their fan base and that could in turn could light a fire under their athletic administrators.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Don't think too much of what Rubin writes. He appears to have been rejected by UMASS admissions, went to SMU/Dartmouth,now lives in Mom's basement, makeing 15k a year writing a blog for fans who want to hear how great they are. Almost as bad as UConn fans who keep expecting to be picked up by the Big10.