Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Notebook: Wrapping up UMass football’s loss to Boston College, former Minutemen receivers shine in NFL week one

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(Christina Yacono/ Daily Collegian)

(Christina Yacono/ Daily Collegian)

Massachusetts football coach Mark Whipple did not appear on his weekly coach’s conferences call Monday morning following UMass football’s 26-7 loss against Boston College Saturday afternoon at Gillette Stadium.

Whipple and other members of the Minutemen (0-2) will speak to the media for this first time since the Eagle’s game Tuesday afternoon.

Leftover quotes from Boston College

Here’s a series of leftover quotes from the postgame press conference that didn’t appear in stories:

Whipple on quarterback Ross Comis and his growing pains: Yeah, he’s a sophomore. He’s the best guy we’ve got. He competes. The other guys to help him around (him). We have to run the ball better. Marquis (Young) – he has a couple things but he has (to go up against) the quality of Florida and BC’s defense. Their second level runs really well. I’m hoping these next couple weeks they don’t run quite as well.”

Through the first two weeks of the season, UMass ranks 128th in the Football Bowl Subdivision in points per game (7.0) and total yards per game (155). During that span, Comis has completed 20-of-45 pass attempts (44.4 percent), thrown for 286 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

Whipple on Comis’ overall performance: “He lost the game. As a quarterback, you don’t want to lose. He only got one or two touchdowns in two games. A lot has to do with the people we’re playing. Their numbers speak for themselves. They got better as the game went on. That’s what was disappointing. Before the half gave them a lot more confidence. We lost some one-on-one matchups up front. I’m disappointed in today, but I’m not disappointed in what we have for the rest of the year.”

Fullback John Robinson-Woodgett on UMass’ running issues: “BC, they’re a good and disciplined defense. That’s why they were one of the top defenses in the country last year. They always had a man in. They would roll the safety down and bring an extra corner into the box so there was a free hitter. They were just making plays.”

Much of the Minutemen’s struggles on offense this year have been a result of their inability to run the football. UMass again ranks last in college football with only 23 total rushing yards through two games. Oregon State (89) and Kansas State (92) are the only other teams with less than 100 rushing yards in 2016, however both the Beavers and Wildcats have only played one game this year.

Former UMass receivers make statements in NFL week one

The day one former Minutemen was making his debut in the NFL, another made his triumphant return.

Tajae Sharpe (2012-2015) backed up his stellar preseason with an impressive performance against the Minnesota Vikings, as the fifth-round draft selection led the Titans in receptions (7), receiving yards (76) and targets (11). Sharpe also led all skill players in snaps, playing 64 of Tennessee’s 67 total offensive plays (95.5 percent).

After missing 26 consecutive games spanning over 700 days over the past two seasons, Victor Cruz (2007-2009) made his return to the New York Giants after undergoing a series of injuries that put his NFL career in jeopardy.

Cruz, who missed the final 10 games of 2014 with a torn patellar tendon and all of 2015 with a torn calf he suffered during training camp, caught the game-winning touchdown pass from Eli Manning to give the Giants a 20-19 win over the Dallas Cowboys Sunday afternoon.

“Just to overcome so much, just to be able to get this moment – a lot of people go through injuries and they don’t get this moment,” Cruz told the New York Daily News following the game. “They don’t get this opportunity to get back and reclaim what they once were and what they once had.”

Cruz finished the game with four receptions for 34 yards.

A look ahead

Much like last year, UMass hosts Florida International in search of the Minutemen’s first win of the season in their return to campus and McGuirk Stadium.

In 2015, UMass defeated the Golden Panthers 24-14 for its first win of the season behind a record-breaking performance from Sharpe. Sharpe set a new program record with 15 receptions, finishing the afternoon with 159 receiving yards and a touchdown.

FIU (0-2) enters Saturday’s coming off back-to-back losses against Big 10 opponents Indiana and Maryland by a combined scored of 75-27.

Kickoff from McGuirk is set for 3:30 p.m.

Andrew Cyr can be reached at [email protected], and followed on Twitter @Andrew_Cyr.

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