Scrolling Headlines:

Providence power play haunts UMass hockey in 6-2 loss -

February 25, 2017

UMass hockey falls to No. 10 Providence on Senior Night at the Mullins center -

February 25, 2017

UMass men’s basketball falters in the second half, falling to George Washington 83-67 Thursday -

February 24, 2017

UPDATE: SGA announces second and third artist for ‘Mullins Live!’ -

February 23, 2017

Divest UMass and STPEC host panel on building ‘solidarity economies’ in the Trump era -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s basketball losing streak extends to 10 games after loss to URI -

February 23, 2017

Sixth annual Advocacy Day set to take place March 1 -

February 23, 2017

Panel discusses racial, sexual and psychological violence in response to art exhibit -

February 23, 2017

Judy Dixon enters final season with UMass tennis with simple message: One match at a time -

February 23, 2017

UMass baseball enduring early-season limitation in playing in New England -

February 23, 2017

Minutewomen softball begins season with cross-country travel, string of tournaments -

February 23, 2017

UMass baseball looks to bounce back from disappointing 2016 season -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse senior Hannah Murphy is Angela McMahon’s latest legend in the making -

February 23, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse senior defenders accept leadership roles in quest for ninth consecutive Atlantic 10 Championship -

February 23, 2017

Kelsey McGovern rejoins UMass women’s lacrosse as an assistant coach after starring for Minutewomen -

February 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse looks to continue improving throughout 2017 season -

February 23, 2017

Spring Sports Special Issue 2017 -

February 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse defense relying on senior leadership with new faces in starting lineup -

February 23, 2017

UMass softball fills holes left by seniors with freshmen for 2017 -

February 23, 2017

The Hart of the Lineup -

February 23, 2017

UMass jumps 4 spots in ranking

The Massachusetts football team moved up four spots to No. 21 in the national Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) rankings this week after defeating Holy Cross in its season opener, 24-16, on Sept. 1.

Jeff Bernstein/Collegian

Jeff Bernstein/Collegian

“[It was] certainly an excellent win on the road,” UMass head coach Kevin Morris said in a UmassAthletics.com interview. “We started off a little slow at the quarterback position with Brandon Hill and Kellen Pagel trying to get their legs under them. But, we played well defensively throughout and we really won the game through field position, I think.”

Starting tailback Jonathan Hernandez played the biggest offensive role for the Maroon and White in their victory. The senior racked-up 151 rushing yards on 29 carries, the second-highest total in his career, and was vital to the offensive attack.

“We’re going to run our offense through Jon,” Morris said. “He’s such a cog in our wheel, he’s the guy we have to go to. He does it through taking a 3-yard run and making it 12 and a 12-yard run and making it 20. That’s just who he is and how he plays and I can’t be more excited about Jon and his production [in the first game].”

The Minutemen have plenty of company in the Top 25, as there are five teams on their schedule ranked 20th or higher. Beginning with a matchup against Delaware in October, UMass will play ranked opponents in five of its last six games. The only team that isn’t ranked in that span, Maine, is also receiving votes as a Top 25 team, and easily could be ranked by November when the Minutemen visit Orono.

Also highlighting the end of the season are games against New Hampshire, Richmond, Villanova and James Madison. Just like a season ago, UMass will once again travel to Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. to play UNH in what many people are considering a preview of 2012, when UMass will play every home game there.

UMass isn’t letting its new ranking go to its head, as it knows it still has a lot of work to do to keep improving and move up even further in the national rankings.

Due to an early bye in week two of the season, the Minutemen were off this weekend, and will open up their home schedule on Saturday against Rhode Island at McGuirk Alumni Stadium. The game is slated for a 6:30 p.m. kickoff. Morris said it was particularly difficult to have a bye week so early in the season, but that the team has put it to good use.

“This is the first time we’ve ever had an off-week this early on,” Morris said. “Then, put that on top of the fact that we played Thursday night [last week], so we had Thursday through Saturday off and then the bye week after that.”

Morris also pointed out that since URI had a bye week in week one, there isn’t any game tape on them for him and his staff to watch prior to Saturday’s matchup. Collegiate programs prepare for upcoming games by watching film of other teams before playing against them. Since there is no film of URI, UMass is at a significant disadvantage.

Michael Wood can be reached at mcwood@student.umass.edu.

 

 

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