UMass releases 2008 football schedule

By Eli Rosenswaike, Collegian Staff

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If the Massachusetts football team hopes to continue its recent run of success, it will have to do so against some of the top teams in the Football Championship Subdivision – and against one in the FBS.

A very strong and difficult schedule awaits the 2008 version of the Minutemen led by Coach Don Brown and Liam Coen in his final season at quarterback. A matchup on Sept. 10 with Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas, is the marquee game on the slate. The Red Raiders captured the Gator Bowl in a 31-28 victory over No. 20 Virginia on New Years Day. They finished the season ranked No. 22 in the FBS poll.

“The schedule will once again be extremely competitive,” Brown said. “The game at Texas Tech will be very interesting as they feature one of the top offenses in FBS football.”

The Minutemen were knocked out of the playoffs in the second round last season, losing to Southern Illinois. That came one year after advancing all the way to the national championship in 2006, before falling to Appalachian State.

UMass will have to face more of the elite teams in the Colonial Athletic Association this time around. The Minutemen will take on perennially strong playoff contenders in James Madison, Richmond and Delaware (three teams they didn’t play in ’06), and once again rival New Hampshire. The other CAA opponents are Northeastern, Rhode Island, Maine and Hofstra.

“This season we flip to play the other side of the South Division so we will be taking on some of the strongest teams in the nation in Delaware, James Madison and Richmond,” Brown said. “Of course, we will continue to play our longtime regional rivals such New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Maine.”

UMass will play four non-conference games. The first is against Albany, to be played on Aug. 30 at McGuirk Stadium in the season opener. The following week they make the short road trip to Worcester to play Holy Cross. Conference play begins in a Week 3 road tilt against James Madison, a team that lost to eventual champion Appalachian State by just one point in last year’s playoffs. The Minutemen make the long trip to Virginia for the second consecutive season – last year was for a game against William ‘ Mary.

After playing the Dukes, UMass will head to Lubbock for the Red Raiders. Following that game, the Minutemen will get a week of rest for a home game against Delaware – which lost to the Mountaineers in the title game last season.

The next three games on the slate will also be played in Mass., with home games against Richmond and Bryant following a road game against Northeastern in Brookline. The Oct. 18 kickoff against the Spiders is homecoming and the game against Bryant a week later is Band Day.

The final four games of the season are all CAA games, alternating home and away. The first is a road matchup with Rhode Island, a trip the Minutemen also made last year. UMass plays Maine after that and end the season at bitter rival UNH and at home against Hofstra.


After the season opener at McGuirk Stadium on Aug. 30, the Minutemen won’t return home until Week 6 against Delaware on Oct. 4