According to Brandon Collier, “The UMass defense is back” and he has warned the CAA. The Minutemen defense came up big with three interceptions and two fumbles recoveries as they beat the Great Danes 44-7 Saturday night.
UMass’ defense tries to force a turnover every time they step on the field, and Saturday night it almost seemed as if they did. Starting with Albany’s first offensive play, the Minutemen forced turnovers, giving way for Kyle Havens and the rest of the offense.
UMass broke the record for most fans to watch a UMass sporting event in 2008 when they played at Texas Tech, but that record will most likely be broken again in 2010 when the travel to Michigan Stadium where they have had crowds of over 100,000 since 1975.
Former Minuteman coach, Dick McPherson, is one of 18 to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2009. McPherson coached at UMass for seven years and led the Minutemen to four conference championships.
In UMass' 21-17 loss to Kansas State last Saturday, the Minutemen had no lack of effort as they nearly upset the FBS Wildcats. When they host Albany this Saturday in the teams home opener, coach Kevin Morris hopes to see some of the same effort.
Safety Jeromy Miles and running back Tony Nelson were among two UMass football players named to preseason accolades. Also named to preseason awards were tackle Vladimir Ducasse, wideout Victor Cruz, linebacker Josh Jennings and nose tackle Kyle Harrington.
In assuming the starting quarterback job, junior Kyle Havens replaces departed senior Liam Coen, whose numerous passing records still remain in the UMass record books. Returning seniors Vladimir Ducasse and Tony Nelson look to ease Havens in.
Despite shutting out Kansas State in the second half and strong special teams play, the Minutemen were unable to overcome the Wildcats 18-point lead. Kansas State built the lead on 21 unanswered points they scored in the second quarter.
After spending the past four seasons up stairs watching the UMass football team, Kevin Morris saw the Minutemen from a new angle when they played Kansas State. Morris took in the near upset from the sidelines, just one of the many changes for the new head coach.
The 2009 Minutemen are without Liam Coen as well as Don Brown, but new quarterback Kyle Havens and head coach Kevin Morris have a senior class full of experience to rely on. UMass’ returns 20 seniors to help ease the transition.