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2021 Football Season Thread
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Steve1981 Offline
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2021 Football Season Thread
Starting a 2021 Football thread with ab article from Underdog Dynasty by Dan Morrison.

UMass is Positioned for Its Best Season Ever

Quote:UMass is Positioned for Its Best Season Ever
UMass has had the worst FBS team for the past two seasons. Now they’re in position for their best season since they were in the FCS.

By Dan Morrison May 6, 2021, 9:00am EDT
Since UMass made the jump to FBS, they have done everything wrong. From initially playing games hours away from campus at Gillette Stadium, to struggling to find a conference, to multiple bad coaching hires, and the list goes on, the Minutemen have been a bottom feeder annually since 2012. In nine seasons at the FBS level, UMass has a 19-81 record. Current head coach Walt Bell feels scarily like Charley Molnar, holding a 1-15 record after one full season plus four games during 2020.

But, we could go forever on why UMass is terrible and how long they’ve been terrible. It’s kind of beating a dead horse at some point. It’s certainly not breaking news. So, hear me out. There is a good chance that this program isn’t just improving and being built up, but that they could be headed for their best FBS season ever.

It starts with pressure growing around the program...
Athletic director Ryan Bamford hears you saying that UMass should drop back down to FCS, and he wants nothing to do with it. He truly believes, for better or worse, that the football team can win as an FBS Independent. It’s easy enough to see why. After all, the hockey team at UMass has gone from a doormat team that had recently resurrected their program to National Champions with back-to-back Frozen Four appearances. That seemed impossible, but it happened under Bamford.

It didn’t just happen, but it saw students lining up hours before games, at night, in the cold Massachusetts winter to get into games. This, on a campus of nearly 30,000 students proved that there is still an appetite for great sports on campus. So, why don’t students jump over from tailgates to McGuirk Alumni Stadium on Saturdays? Again, according to Bamford, it’s just that they don’t win.

Students and alumni are desperate for them to win again. They want these games to be fun, like they used to be when UMass was making FCS playoff runs and the way hockey games are now. This is a school that still proudly counts John Calipari’s Final Four, even if the NCAA doesn’t. There is pressure here, even if outsiders don’t see it.

It’s just hard to physically go into the stadium and watch a team lose by multiple scores every game. Walt Bell and company feel this pressure too. They know that it’s time to win.

The article is a bit rosy but being well below the scholarship limit and playing some many freshmen, we are all hoping they make a big step up this year along with some transfers, including quarterback, Colorado transfer Tyler Lytle. Will see how the OL improves with a new former UMass player OL coach Alex Miller coming over from Maine. The all CUSA OT transfers Willie Allen should help.

Willie Allen Article
05-20-2021 12:36 PM
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Steve1981 Offline
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RE: 2021 Football Season Thread
56 minute interview with New England Football Journal and Coach Walt Bell. There was talk about the past, the extra year, changing the 25 limit rule, a few years away, transfer portal, positions, style of offense and questions regarding strength etc. The later you do have some past cause to take with a grain of salt.

From Frank's blog http://umass74.blogspot.com/
  • Coach Bell was asked his expectations for the 2021 season and he responded "be bowl eligible". That would imply 5 or 6 wins, which would be the most wins of the FBS era. Five wins would make most UMass fans very happy after what we've been through.
  • Bell said Tyler Lytle was expected to win the battle to start at Colorado, but he tested positive for COVID and had to sit out 21 days of fall camp. Bell thinks he will do well at UMass.
  • He said the fact UMass had to quarantine after every game in 2020 did not did not allow freshmen like QB Garrett Dzuro to show what they can do.
  • Bell said what I've said here, that the UMass defensive backfield could be the deepest unit on the team. He also said the depth on the O-line is much improved.
  • He said linebacker and running backs are probably the thinnest rooms right now.
  • Bell confirmed he's hired Coach Jimmie Reid to work with defense. I think Reid will be an impact coach on the Minutemen defense. Reid has been defensive coordinator at five different teams including Virginia and Boston College. The UMass defensive line and secondary could lead the way to a resurrected Minutemen "D".



https://twitter.com/newftbj/status/1402053409872613387
06-09-2021 07:16 AM
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