UMass releases 2012 football schedule

By Stephen Hewitt

The Massachusetts football team announced its 2012 schedule on Thursday afternoon, its first as it shifts from the Football Championship Subdivision into the Football Bowl Subdivision, while playing in the Mid-American Conference and under new head coach Charley Molnar.

Maria Uminski/Collegian
Maria Uminski/Collegian

The schedule consists of 12 games, including nine meetings with schools UMass will play for the first time.

The Minutemen will kick off 2012 on Aug. 30 when they travel to East Hartford, Conn., to take on Connecticut. It will be the first meeting between the two teams since 1999 – a season before UConn moved from FCS to FBS – when the Minutemen won 62-20 behind 142 yards and two touchdowns from running back Marcel Shipp.

UMass will then play its first home game of the year at Gillette Stadium when it hosts Indiana, before hitting the road to play Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich. The two schools met in 2010 when UMass fell just short to the Wolverines, 42-37, at Michigan Stadium.

The Minutemen will stay on the road the following week when they play their first MAC game against Miami (OH). UMass will then return home to face Ohio before going away to Western Michigan.

Following a bye week, UMass will host Bowling Green at Gillette before making a three-game road trip. The Minutemen will play at Vanderbilt, Northern Illinois and Akron during that stretch.

For its final two weeks, UMass will play at home, first against Buffalo before concluding the regular season on Nov. 23 against Central Michigan, a game that will be televised on ESPNU.

The Minutemen will not be eligible to play in the MAC championship game or participate in any bowls in 2012 as part of their transition process from the FCS to FBS. UMass will be eligible for postseason play starting in 2013.

Stephen Hewitt can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @MDC_Hewitt.