Republican: Havens Says Michigan Just Like Any Other Game - UMass Athletics

Republican: Havens Says Michigan Just Like Any Other Game

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Kyle Havens not only has the predictable line down pat, he says it with conviction. The University of Massachusetts quarterback sounds like he really believes it, whether anyone else does or not.

"This game is not that different at all. It's just another game, in a bigger stadium,'' said Havens, whose team will play at Michigan Saturday.

Read the entire story in the Springfield Republican.

UMass quarterback Kyle Havens says the Michigan game is like any other. Really.

Published: Monday, September 13, 2010, 4:18 PM     Updated: Monday, September 13, 2010, 4:29 PM
Ron Chimelis, The Republican Ron Chimelis, The Republican 
Kyle HavensUMass quarterback Kyle Havens is excited to play at Michigan, but says he is not awed.

AMHERST - Kyle Havens not only has the predictable line down pat, he says it with conviction.

The University of Massachusetts quarterback sounds like he really believes it, whether anyone else does or not.

"This game is not that different at all. It's just another game, in a bigger stadium,'' said Havens, whose team will play at Michigan Saturday.

Just another game? In a stadium where crowds tend to exceed the listed capacity, which this year is 109,901?

Yes, he insists. Just another game.

"We're playing another college team. A very good college team,'' Havens said.

"But it's not like we're playing, well, the New England Patriots.''

Havens' words were said with respect but not awe. If UMass is to survive at cavernous Michigan Stadium, that will have to be the team's mantra as well.

"We're excited to go out there and represent UMass,'' Minutemen coach Kevin Morris said.

"We're facing a storied program, and we know that, but we're going out there to win. We're putting everything on the table, like we always do.''

UMass rose two spots to No. 16 in the weekly national Football Championship Subdivision poll.

Michigan is 20th, but in the bigger, Football Bowl Subdivision ranking.

Havens need not be told that in some eyes, this game matches a major league team against a Triple A outfit.

He doesn't buy it.

"Michigan has a really fast secondary. Its entire defense is fast,'' he said.

"But we know we can compete against anybody. Outsiders may have a different opinion, but we feel confident.''

Havens has already been correct once. In preseason, he predicted the Minutemen would be much better than the pollsters were saying.

UMass (2-0) has backed up his words. Now comes Michigan (2-0), a storied program in an incomparable setting.

"This is incredibly exciting. I'm pretty sure just about any kid grows up, dreaming of playing at Michigan,'' he said.

Havens knows a lot of players, including teammates, who grew up as Michigan fans.

He was not one of them.

"My team was the California Bears,'' the San Francisco Bay area native said.

Havens' first college game came against an FBS team. He was 10-for-34 in last year's 21-17 loss at Kansas State.

His 2010 start has been much more impressive, mostly for its consistency.

"I think my strength is to make positives out of negatives, to make something happen when nothing is there,'' Havens said.

"Sometimes I take it too far, but I've been working on that,'' he said.

Only once this season has Havens hurt himself by taking it too far. An unnecessary, incomplete fourth-down pass cost UMass a touchdown in the opener against William & Mary.

Otherwise, he has been a model of efficiency, completing 40 of 62 passes for 516 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.

Havens and Morris think the Kansas State experience is of more help than games won by other FCS teams, notably James Madison, which upset No. 13-ranked Virginia Tech Saturday.

"Unfortunately, that James Madison game has no bearing on our game or our business,'' Morris said.

"Our (2009) game at Kansas State adds a little more. We have players who played in that game.

"We had an opportunity to win and just came up short, but we competed well, 11-on-11. That's what we have to do.''

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