Location: Amherst, MA
Coach: Mark Whipple (61-62) 11th Season Overall (2 stints)
Stadium: McGuirk Alumni Stadium (Capacity: 17,000)
134th: Division I
2017 In A Sentence: The season was a tail of two halves for the Minutemen—started 0-6 and then won four its last six, including wins over BYU and Sun Belt co-champion Appalachian State, to finish 4-8 overall.
Biggest Shoes to Fill: DE Da’Sean Downey was an offense’s worst nightmare. He registered a whopping 20 tackles for a loss, which were the second most in program history and his 1.82 tackles per game for a loss were sixth in all of the FBS. He received an NFL chance with the Baltimore Ravens but has since been waived.
Key Players: QB Andrew Ford was an center force for the UMass turnaround in the second half of the season last year. He finished the season with 22 touchdowns and just four interceptions. The now-senior led the offense to an average of 30.6 points per game—47th amongst all FBS squads.
Fearless Prediction: UMass from the second half of last season is on an upward swing. The Minutemen also will only play two Power Five conference teams (Boston College & Georgia) so it looks like the Minutemen could get off to a good start. UMass has never made a bowl game since moving up to the FBS level in 2011 but 2018 very well could be the first time.
Originally from LaMoure, North Dakota, Kent is a 1996 graduate of North Dakota State University. His prior writing experience is over 15 years having previously worked with D2football.com, I-AA.org, and College Sporting News before coming to College Sports Journal in 2016. His main focus is college football is the Missouri Valley Football Conference within the Division I FCS. And in 2017, he began also to look at the FBS Group of Five conferences of the American Athletic, Conference USA, Mid-American, Mountain West, and Sun Belt.
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