Scrolling Headlines:

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 softball prepares for a long, busy season in 2017 -

February 23, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse defenseman Tyler Weeks makes his way back from ACL injury -

February 23, 2017

UMass football continues search for first win at Western Michigan


Maria Uminski/Collegian

Last time the Massachusetts football team traveled out to the state of Michigan, it left with a bitter taste in its mouth.

The team is hoping that won’t happen again.

Three weeks after the Minutemen (0-5, 0-2 Mid-American Conference) suffered a 50-point loss to Michigan, the team will head back to the “Great Lakes State” to face Western Michigan on Saturday.

Despite the winless record and, once again, being decisive underdogs against the Broncos (2-3), the general attitude in the Minutemen locker room is hopeful.

“I think the guys really feel good about where they’re headed and they know they’re just a few short steps away from being a winning football team,” UMass coach Charley Molnar said. “And each and every day we try to take as many of those steps as we can.”

The Minutemen had arguably their best performance of the season last week in a 37-34 loss to the Bobcats at Gillette Stadium as redshirt freshman quarterback Mike Wegzyn threw for a career-high 373 yards and the first four passing touchdowns of his career.

UMass took its first lead of the season and bounced back several times to regain leads throughout the game. It even led by touchdown late in the third quarter with multiple chances to put the game away, but penalties and missed opportunities down the stretch, as well as a career game from Ohio running back Beau Blankenship ultimately sealed the Minutemen’s fate.

Wegzyn said his team still has some work to do as it tries to maintain the numbers it put up last week.

“You don’t want to go back to doing anything else, so I think as a mindset, that’s what we are going into with,” Wegzyn said. “I mean, we’re looking to do the exact same thing, and actually do better than we did last week.”

WMU senior quarterback Alex Carder will miss his second straight game on Saturday as he attempts to come back from a finger injury on his throwing hand that he suffered in the Broncos’ 30-24 victory over Connecticut on Sept. 22.

In his four games as the starter, Carder threw for 1,049 yards and eight touchdowns, including a 364-yard, five-touchdown performance against Eastern Illinois. Carder led WMU to a 2-2 record in that span.

But without him under center, the Broncos sorely missed his production as they lost decisively last week in its MAC opener, 37-17, to Toledo. Backup quarterback Tyler Van Tubbergen threw for 232 yards, but tossed three interceptions, including one that was returned for a touchdown.

The UMass defense will be watching wide receiver Jaime Wilson, who ranks third in the nation in receptions (47) to go along with his 533 receiving yards and five touchdowns.

The Broncos also boast a two-headed rushing attack of Dareyon Chance and Brian Fields, who have combined for over 500 yards in five games. And as a collective unit, the WMU running game has accounted for seven touchdowns this year.

“They’re so diverse with all of their different personnel groups that they use, so they really keep you on your toes throughout the course of the afternoon,” Molnar said.

Wegzyn is hoping his team can finally put everything together to gain a long-awaited victory.

“I was looking to get it every other weekend as well, but I think this week, it’s really looking promising for us,” Wegzyn said. “Last week we really showed what we can do as an offense, and I’m hoping to make yet another stride forward and improve even off of last week.”

Stephen Hewitt can be reached at shewitt@student.umass.edu and followed on Twitter @steve_hewitt.

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