Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Tuesday--August 23rd, 2016

Hey, it's 48 degrees here in Jaffrey this morning! Feels like Fall. Feels like football! Video is UMass cadence. Turn your computer speakers all the way up.


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Let's do the bad news first, Austin Whipple was arrested for DWI Saturday night. Mike Traini of Fight Massachusetts reacts. Don't drink and drive. It's a tragedy waiting to happen. Not to mention the Globe will love something like this.

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Matty Vautour says JUCO transfer could make an impact with the UMass defense this fall. This is a smart move on the part of Whipple and staff. The UMass "D" got the short end of the recruiting numbers for the first couple of years in FBS. Not to mention of the six FBS games we've won, five were due to outstanding defensive efforts. The Minutemen need to fill deficiencies in the roster with JUCO's and transfers. That's just a fact of life for our program at this stage.

Ali Ali-Musa and Tedrick Lowery are sure starters. Linebackers Rod Jones and Colbert Calhoun should be in the rotation. Davone Hall at 6-2 330 gives UMass some much needed size on the DL. Jordan Hamilton was good enough to get an offer from Air Force.

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Dan Malone has a post on the rebuilt Minutemen offensive line. I thought the OL underperformed last year. With five Power Five teams on this year's schedule, a better running game would sure help.

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Tajae Sharpe has graded out as the top NFL rookie so far in camp.

Marcus Mariota says Sharpe makes it easy on the quarterback.

iSportsweb.com reports the Titans had a Sharpe take on their game with the Panthers.

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The Florida Gators open at #25 in the preseason AP poll.

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Austin Burton, a QB from Newton South, who had a UMass offer has flipped his commitment from Boston College to UCLA.

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Hawaii and Cal prepare for kickoff in Australia this Friday.

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Monday, August 22, 2016

Monday--August 22nd, 2016

Matty Vautour looks at competition to make the traveling squad among the UMass running backs.

The Minutemen went into Spring ball with only two scholarship RB's: Marquis Young and Sekai Lindsay. IMHO, that means at least one and possibly both freshmen RB's Bilal Ally and Peytton Picket are a virtual lock to see some significant carries in 2016. John Robinson-Woodget is the starting FB. Whipple likes to see the FB catch the ball out of the backfield, but rarely calls a running play that position. Andrew Libby will probably back up Robinson-Woodget at FB.

Peytton Pickett
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For some incoherent writing, read this write-up on UMass-South Carolina.

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The Orlando Sentinel says it'll be running backs by committee for the Gators.

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Matty Vautour report Tajae Sharpe is playing like a veteran for Tennessee.

CBS Sports says Sharpe is a phenomenal fantasy football late-round sleeper.

Yahoo Sports reports the Titans looked Sharpe against the Panthers.

The Nashville Post says Sharpe looks to redefine the rookie standards for the Titans.

247 Sports has a post that says Sharpe isn't playing like a rookie.

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Victor Cruz returns to practice today.

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Sunday, August 21, 2016

Sunday--August 21st, 2016

Watched the Ravens-Colts game last night. Vladimir Ducasse was playing RG for Baltimore.

Ducasse started 6 games for Chicago last year and the Bears won five of the six. Ducasse is in his seventh year in the NFL.

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Titans Online image
Inquisitr.com says Tajae Sharpe is one of the top-five fantasy football picks.

The Tennessean reports Marcus Mariota and Tajae Sharpe look like old pros.

Sharpe caught all six passes thrown to him against Panthers.

If you're only going to read one of these links, read Tajae Sharpe looks like a real gem for the Titans.

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Pilot Online says Old Dominion will have hustle to keep their sellout streak going for the UMass and FIU games on October 8th and November 26th respectively.

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Sports on Earth previews the FBS independents and predicts UMass will go 2-10.

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SEC Country reports analysts are saying Florida's D-line is the best in the SEC, but the Gators want to be the best in the nation.

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BC holds final scrimmage of fall camp and starts to prepare for Georgia Tech.

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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Saturday--August 20th, 2016

UMass has a practice at Gillette.

They then hit the beach for a cookout.

From the UMass Twitter feed
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How Luke Del Rio became the starting QB for the Gators.

Florida coach Jim McElwain embraces the chaos that has been the Gators training camp.


2016 Gators pump-up

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Fan Sided previews the 2016 Boston College Eagles.

BC WR Elijah Robinson hopes to add a vertical dimension to BC's offense.

Campus Insiders looks at every game of the Eagles' schedule and predicts a "blowout" win over the Minutemen.


Eagles 2016 hype video above.

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Iowa State's president says the Big 12's expansion decision may take longer than anticipated.

CBS Sports ranks the top-ten suitors for Big 10 membership.

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Friday, August 19, 2016

Friday--August 19th, 2016

Dan Malone has a post on UMass kickers Logan Laurant and Mike Caggino. Laurant and Caggiano's bios here and here.

Kicking is another facet of UMass football that Minutemen fans hope has turned the corner in 2016. We would have won at least four more games in our FBS era with better kicking. Look at last year. UMass had top-25 Temple on the ropes and ended up losing. That would have been a huge win for the program. Let's hope those days are behind us.

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Matty Vautour has a report on changes to the Minutemen offensive line. Tyshon Henderson has left the program and Lucas Kotler will have foot surgery, which will sideline Kotler for the season.

I think the 2016 line will be:

Elijah Wilkinson LT 6-5 329
Mike Yerardi LG 6-4 306
Fabian Hoeller C 6-3 295
Michael Boland RG 6-6 318
Jack Driscoll RT 6-5 294

Also available are Derek Dumais, Joe Parsons, Dan DiNicola and Jake Largay.

Whipple mentioned Driscoll as a starter during the Town Meeting last week. He also said freshman Raquan Thomas (6-5 392) was so big they haven't been able to find knee braces large enough to fit him. Whipple said they would like Thomas to lose about 25 pounds, which would bring him down to a svelte 360 or so.

Raquan Thomas #57

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The Florida Gators name Jack Del Rio as starting QB for the UMass game.

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A Daily Herald writer predicts the UMass-BYU game as Cougars 48 UMass 9.

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Whipple, when asked how summer training camp was going responded, with 100+ players on camp, there was always a brush fire somewhere. I think if you compared the behavior of the football players to 100+ random UMass male students, I believe the football players would compare favorably.

However, it's truly amazin' how creative some people manage to be in screwing up. South Carolina punter Sean Kelly was arrested for "malicious destruction of a tree".

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OT, but Dennis Eckersley should come with sub-titles.

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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Thursday--August 18th, 2016

New McGuirk football banners.

Some Media Day images from the Athletic Dept.

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Mic'd up with coach Walker. Coach Walker's UMass bio

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Dan Malone has a quartet of articles:

Mark Whipple proud of Tajae  Sharpe's transition to the NFL.

Dan reports Marquis Young is ready to lead the UMass RB contingent.

He says UMass wants JUCO transfer Rod Jones to rush the passer.

Dan also reports Infinite Tucker will not attend UMass as he has switched to track. Patrick Volcy and Antoine Webster will grayshirt. T.J. Rayam and Tyler Thompson will attend prep school. That breaks their verbal and they can sign with another school.

Thompson and Tucker were three-star recruits. T.J. Rayam was two star.

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Las Vegas has UMass over/under wins at 2.5

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Matty Vautour has a post on Logan Laurent competition with Mike Caggiano to be starting kicker.

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Florida HC Jim McElwain has suspended two starters for the UMass game due to a training camp fight. Teez Tabor's Florida bio. C'Yontai Lewis' bio.

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BC football and QB transfer Patrick Towles try to put the 2015 season behind them.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Recruiting 2017---Pat Freiermuth IV

I've blogged about Pat Freiermuth, a 6-5 225 pound TE from North Andover a number of times before.

He recently verbaled to Penn State.

Freiermuth had offers from UMass, BC, Syracuse and other Northeast schools. UMass OL Coach Mike Foley is his uncle.

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Wednesday--August 17th, 2016


Ali Ali-Musa has fun with UMass Media Day.

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Matty Vautour has a story about Khary Baily-Smith and his return from last year's knee injury.

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Kevin Dillon of MassLive has a post on the Titans trading Dorial Green-Beckham to the Eagles, a move that certainly opens a spot for Tajae Sharpe.

CBS Sports says Tajae Sharpe is expected to start immediately.

Eagles' fans are not thrilled.

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Old Dominion announces a 6:00 PM start time for the UMass game. TV coverage by C-CUSA TV. UMass fans can subscribe for a one-day pass to C-USA TV for $6.95.

The President of Old Dominion announces the approval of a $55 million upgrade to the Monarchs' stadium.

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The Florida Gators may announce their starting QB this Friday.

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The BYU offense has been practicing a number of offense sets.

Sporting News says the Big 12 expansion begins with BYU, Cincinnati and Houston.

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Promoters expect 65,000 at Olympic Stadium in Sydney, Australia for an american football game between Hawaii and Cal.

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