Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass looks to bounce back in home opener against Miami in Ohio

Minutemen to show new offseason additions to their home crowd for first time
Dylan Nguyen
Daily Collegian (2022)

The Massachusetts football team takes on Miami University in Ohio following its 59-14 loss to Auburn University. The Minutemen (1-1)  look to flush their previous game and focus on the future.

“The most important thing this week is to not let the Auburn loss turn into a second week,” head coach Don Brown said. “[Can’t] let it get [us] twice. We’re going to move on and get ready to play a good football game against Miami (0-1).”

Third-down defense has been a point of emphasis for UMass. Compared to 2022’s 32.8 percent conversion rate for opponents, Auburn going 6-of-10 in week one was not up to par.

“Sometimes you have to look at first and second down, and make sure you’re taking care of business there,” Brown said. “I think there’s a combination. We’ve got to do a better job on first and second down, which means we’re in third and longs on third down. [Those] third and longs usually promote success in getting off the field.”

Quarterback Taisun Phommachanh struggled with an injury suffered on the first drive against Auburn. He and Brown hope for a successful rehabilitation prior to week two.

“I think [Phommachanh’s] doing good,” Brown said. “[It’s] early in the week … but I think we’ll have him [available]. I feel good about it.”

Both teams come into Saturday’s contest not wanting to suffer their second loss of the season. The RedHawks struggled in their first game only putting together three points on the board offensively, but the team still showed promise and will be coming in with a chip on its shoulder.

“I feel really good about how we stack up with them,” Brown said. “But they’re a good football team. Let’s leave no mistake about that.”

The game against Miami is the home opener for the Minutemen who look to get back above .500 with a win. After back-to-back road games to begin 2023, UMass can finally show its fans what it’s all about.

“It’s really good when you have the chance to play at home,” Brown said. “We’ve been on the road for two weeks now. The [players] have been anxious about playing at home.”

Part of being home comes with the crowd aspect being added to the game. With a new-look team full of a multitude of transfers for the Minutemen, there is a lot of buzz around the 2023 squad. Fans and students have seen the team on national television throughout both of the first two games of the season but can finally come out and support in person.

“We’re excited to see how we do with our fanbase and with our students in general,” Brown said. “We really just want them to come on in, not stay outside the stadium, come on in and watch us play. I think they’ll feel really good about the product they see.”

The loss was one to learn from for UMass but not something to dwell on. The Minutemen look to right the ship against the RedHawks. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. at McGuirk Alumni Stadium in Amherst on Saturday, Sept. 9. The matchup can be watched on ESPN+.

“You only get 12 of these Saturday’s,” Brown said. “… There’s a lot of good football games left to be played. That’s really the message that’ll be conveyed for the next few days.”

Mike Maynard can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @mikecmaynard.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Massachusetts Daily Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *