Gazette: UMass Fullback's A Fan - UMass Athletics

Gazette: UMass Fullback's A Fan

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Scott Duggan became a fan of Michigan football for the same reasons lots of little kids pick a team to root for - his dad was a fan and he liked the helmets.

But for the first time in his life, Duggan will be rooting against his beloved Wolverines, as the senior fullback for the University of Massachusetts will line up against them Saturday.

"I've been a Michigan fan since I was three years old so it's pretty special to go out and play there," Duggan said. "I just remember every weekend they were one of the teams I had to watch on TV."

Read the full story in the Daily Hampshire Gazette.

UMass fullback's a fan - but this week, also a foe By mattyv424 Created 09/16/2010 - 05:00 local sports umass football umass sports AMHERST - Scott Duggan became a fan of Michigan football for the same reasons lots of little kids pick a team to root for - his dad was a fan and he liked the helmets. But for the first time in his life, Duggan will be rooting against his beloved Wolverines, as the senior fullback for the University of Massachusetts will line up against them Saturday. "I've been a Michigan fan since I was three years old so it's pretty special to go out and play there," Duggan said. "I just remember every weekend they were one of the teams I had to watch on TV." Duggan admitted he has plenty of Michigan gear. "I do. I've buried it away in my closet until after this game," said the Hudson native, whose parents, siblings and grandfather are headed west for the game. "As soon as I saw this on the schedule, it's been something I've looked forward to. I've tried to put it away until now and focus on one game at a time. But now that it's here, I'm definitely looking forward to getting out there and playing." Duggan hopes to get the most out of the experience without losing focus. "When I get out there, I don't know how I'll react, but I'll definitely try to soak it all in. It's something that's only going to happen once in a life time," he said. "But when the whistle blows I'll go out there and do my job." Even players that didn't grown up on Maize and Blue can appreciate the significance of playing at the Big House. A year ago at this time true freshman cornerback Antoine Tharpe was playing in high school stadiums in South Florida. At first he thought he was going to redshirt this season, which would have left him off the travel squad headed for Ann Arbor. When he learned he wasn't redshirting, one of the first things Tharpe realized was that he'd get to play in one of his sports' most famous venues. "I was hyped. I was extremely happy. It's a blessing," he said. "It's really exciting to get to go to the Big House." Senior cornerback Ke'Mon Bailey agreed. "I always wanted to play against a team like that. I saw Appalachian State play them a few years back and they beat them," he said. "When I saw that it was put on our schedule it made me excited." UMass senior quarterback Kyle Havens said he's not approaching this game any differently than the rest of the UMass schedule. "It's going to be a bigger stage, but we're going to work hard and prepare this week like we would for anything else," Havens said. "I know it sounds different because we'll be in front of a lot of people. But it really is just another football game. It's a good college football team and they happen to have a bigger stadium than anyone we play, but it really is just another football game." Michigan has a bigger stadium than anyone that anyone plays. The recently-completed expansion swelled the Big House's seating capacity to 109,901 making it the largest venue in all of college and professional football. Its listed attendance for its season opener against Connecticut was officially an NCAA record 113,090 making it larger than all but five cities in Michigan and three in Massachusetts. "As a little kid you dream of playing in a big stadium," said junior captain Tyler Holmes. "I don't think I've ever been around 100,000 people before. I'm really excited and curious to see how loud it can get. Michigan is one of the top-notch football programs in the world. It doesn't get much bigger than this. I'm very excited. It's going to be a great experience, something I can tell my grandkids about." There'd be more to tell if the Minutemen pull off an unlikely upset, a possibility Holmes isn't ruling out. "I'm a very competitive person. I'm not counting myself out of anything," he said. Michigan football has played 224 consecutive games in front of crowds of at least 100,000 at the Big House, a streak that's expected to continue Saturday. It will certainly break the record for the biggest crowd ever to see UMass play. If tickets sell well it could double the previous high of 53,190 set in 2008 against Texas Tech.

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