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Recently in Charley Molnar Category

The Minutemen received tough news this week as Rob Blanchflower has been ruled inactive for the game at Ohio on Friday afternoon (2 PM) as announced by head coach Charley Molnar on Tuesday after practice.

Bud Light UMass Football Radio Show Podcast Now Available (11/22)

If you couldn't make it to the Bud Light UMass Football Radio Show last night at the Hangar Pub & Grill, check out the Podcast!

Host Cody Chrusciel spoke with head coach Charley Molnar along with player guests Vance Barton, Antoine Tharpe and Adam Richard.

ESPNBoston: UMass preparing for Central Michigan

Jack McCluskey of ESPNBoston.com has a preview of UMass' game on Saturday at Central Michigan. 

Join us tonight for the Bud Light UMass Football Show With Charley Molnar at the Hangar Pub & Grill on University Drive. The show will air tonight starting at 7 PM and can be heard live on 105.5 FM WEEI Springfield. 

If you can't make it in person, you can listen live at http://player.tritonmedia.com/entercom/WWEIFM or on your mobile device by downloading the TuneIn App and going to 105.5 FM WEEI. 

Tonight's special guests will be tight end Rob Blanchflower, safety Antoine Tharpe and linebacker Adam Richard. Send in a question to be answered on the air at http://www.umassathletics.com/ot/ask-coach.html or Tweet your question to @UMassSportsNet.
Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story today on Central Michigan running back Zurlon Tipton who returned to the field earlier this month after breaking his ankle in the season opener. Tipton was a key factor in the Chippewas win over UMass last season.

Coverage of UMass Football's Loss To Akron

Globe: UMass seniors helping to shape football program

Nancy Marrapese-Burrell of the Boston Globe has a preview on UMass' game against Akron on Saturday. The story also has quotes from senior Galen Clemons who organized a White Ribbon Campaign pledge for the UMass football program this week.

Bud Light UMass Football Radio Show Podcast Now Available (11/15)

If you couldn't make it to the Bud Light UMass Football Radio Show last night at the Hangar Pub & Grill, check out the Podcast!

Voice of the Minutemen Josh Maurer spoke with head coach Charley Molnar along with player guests Anthony Dima, Tom Brandt and Brandon Potvin.

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story today on A.J. Doyle's return to practice after missing time due to injury. While UMass will not name its starter until later this week, both Doyle and Mike Wegzyn will be healthy and available for Saturday's game.

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story today on A.J. Doyle return to practice this week after being sidelined for the Northern Illinois game due to injury.

Collegian: UMass football hosts Akron hoping for a win on Senior Day

Nick Canelas of the Daily Collegian has a preview of Saturday's game against Akron and what Senior Day means to Brandon Potvin, Galen Clemons and Justin Anderson.

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story today on how the Minutemen's second bye week this season has helped UMass recover from some injuries and prepare for the final three games of the season including Saturday's home finale against Akron.

Globe: UMass has a dual threat returning kickoffs

Jeff Wagenheim of the Boston Globe has a feature today on UMass' new dual threats in the kickoff return game. While Trey Dudley-Giles has been known as one of the MAC's top returners, it was Khary Bailey-Smith who had an electrifying 90-yard touchdown return last week against Western Michigan.

Bud Light UMass Football Podcast Now Available (10/31)

If you missed last night's Bud Light UMass Football Radio Show at the Hangar Pub & Grill, you can check out the podcast here. The featured player guests last night were Khary Bailey-Smith and Lorenzo Woodley.

ESPN Boston: Tough matchup looms for UMass

Jack McCluskey of ESPN Boston has a preview of this weekend's match-up between UMass and No. 21 Northern Illinois at Gillette Stadium.

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story on quarterback Mike Wegzyn who will likely start on Saturday against Northern Illinois as A.J. Doyle recovers from injury.

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story on the announcement on Wednesday that Jordan Broadnax, Steve Casali and Shakur Nesmith will all officially miss the remainder of the season due to injuries and are eligible to apply for medical redshirts. The trio joins John Robinson-Woodgett and Dalvin Battle as members of the program who are out for the season. Battle is still recovering from an injury suffered at Michigan in 2012.

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story today on Brendon Levengood who will handle field goals and PAT's this weekend for UMass.

Mark Chiarelli of the Daily Collegian has a preview of this weekend's match-up between UMass and No. 21 Northern Illinois. Chiarelli calls the game, "UMass' toughest game of the season."

Minutemen Face Tough Task In NIU's Jordan Lynch

Both the Daily Collegian and the Springfield Republican have stories today on what the UMass defense must do against Northern Illinois' Heisman candidate quarterback Jordan Lynch who is as good running the ball as he is throwing it.

Republican: Khary Bailey-Smith impresses again

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story today on the progress the offense showed against Western Michigan last Saturday. He also mentions Khary Bailey-Smith and his versatility in making big plays on both defense and special teams.

Coverage Of UMass Football's Loss To Western Michigan

Globe: UMass isn't taking winless opponent lightly

Jeff Wagenheim has a feature today in the Boston Globe on the strides UMass has made since transitioning to the Football Bowl Subdivision.

Dan Malone has a story today in the Republican on the benefit of UMass having a three-game home stand starting with Saturday's Homecoming contest against Western Michigan.

"Our guys are excited over this homestretch coming up, number one," Molnar said. "Number two is, the way the crowd was at that last game. Our players talked about it, have been talking about it. It made a difference, and we believe that this game will be an even better turnout with our fans. At least, we're hoping that it will be. We'll feed off of that.

"It's very important to me that our fans support our program. But it's equally important that we give the fans a football team that they want to support," Molnar said. "So, I'm trying to do my end to put a football team out there that, win or lose, they'll be proud of."




Nick Canelas of the Daily Collegian has a preview of UMass' Homecoming game against Western Michigan on Saturday.

Collegian: Defense stepping up for UMass football

Cameron McDonough of the Daily Collegian has a story on the UMass defense and its improvement over the last four games.

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story on Trey Dudley-Giles and his explosive play-making ability on special teams as the Minutemen's kick-off and punt returner.

He's fearless with the ball in his hands," UMass coach Charley Molnar said. "And as I watch these kick returners across our schedule, I don't see many that are as fearless as Trey. He's got great vision, he's got a knack."  

That fearlessness, coupled with an impressive burst and innate ability to find wiggle room in the chaos that accompanies most return opportunities, has helped Dudley-Giles grow into a weapon for the Minutemen.

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story on how UMass punter Colter Johnson is still working to find his rhythm after having a minor surgery in the offseason. Overall, though, the punt coverage unit has been playing well according to head coach Charley Molnar.

"I know that Colter's disappointed at times with some of his punts. We expect great things from Colter," he said. "I believe, before this year is out, he'll get back into his rhythm and become the punter that Colter wants to be and we're expecting him to be."  

Molnar believed that Johnson's issues were his and his alone to correct.  

"I think our protection has been good, so that's really a high point right now in our special teams. He's had ample time to get the ball off," he said. "So, really, it's on Colter now to just take that next step forward, and I'm sure he will."

Join us tonight for the Bud Light UMass Football Show With Charley Molnar at the Hangar Pub & Grill on University Drive. The show will tonight starting at 7 PM and can be heard live on 105.5 FM WEEI Springfield. 

If you can't make it in person, you can listen live at http://player.tritonmedia.com/entercom/WWEIFM or on your mobile device by downloading the TuneIn App and going to 105.5 FM WEEI. 

Tonight's special guests will be kicker Brendan Levengood, punter Colter Johnson and defensive tackle Galen Clemons. Send in a question to be answered on the air at http://www.umassathletics.com/ot/ask-coach.html or Tweet your question to @UMassSportsNet.
Dan Malone has a story today highlighting UMass' improvement on defense over the course of the season and compared to 2012.

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story today previewing the week for UMass football against Western Michigan.

Recaps Of UMass Football's Loss At Buffalo

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story on the challenges that Buffalo will pose against UMass on Saturday.

Globe: Rob Blanchflower a big weapon for UMass at tight end

Jeff Wagenheim of the Boston Globe has a feature on UMass tight end Rob Blanchflower and the national attention he has received since returning to the Minutemen's line-up during the Vanderbilt game.

"It's all about the work ethic for me," said Blanchflower, who has 15 receptions in his shortened season for 156 yards, and whose 1,007 career yards are 146 shy of Milt Morin's school record for tight ends.  

"There's always room for improvement. I had a couple of plays that stood out last weekend, and the stats looked good, but I didn't have a great game. A couple of those dropped balls haunted me."  

So much so that on Sunday morning, while many teammates and UMass fans were still in bed dreaming the sweet dreams of victory, Blanchflower was back at work.  

"I woke up early and got together with my coach at 8 a.m. to watch film," he said. "I'm making strides every day, but there's always another ball you can catch, another play you can make."  

A year from now, he might be making those plays on Sundays.  

As Kiper said of Blanchflower in his draft analysis, "Big tight ends who can run and catch the ball like wide receivers? Yeah, the NFL is buying right now."


Bud Light UMass Football Radio Show Podcast Now Available (10/18)

If you missed the Bud Light UMass Football Show last night at the Hangar Pub & Grill, you can listen back to the podcast presented by the UMass Sports Network. In addition to Coach Charley Molnar, Josh Maurer and Matt Goldstein had fifth-year senior offensive tackle David Osei and redshirt junior linebacker Stanley Andre as the player guests.

Matt Stewart of the Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise has a feature story on UMass tight end Rob Blanchflower who was named to the Mackey Award Mid-Season Watch List this week and was the organizations national Tight End of the Week. The yearly award is presented to the nation's top collegiate tight end.

Join us an hour earlier for the Bud Light UMass Football Show With Charley Molnar at the Hangar Pub & Grill on University Drive. The show will begin at a special time of 6 PM and will be hear live on 105.5 FM WEEI Springfield. 

If you can make it in person, you can listen live at http://player.tritonmedia.com/entercom/WWEIFM or on your mobile device by downloading the TuneIn App and going to 105.5 FM WEEI.

Tonight's special guests will be linebacker Stanley Andre and offensive tackle David Osei.

Send in a question to be answered on the air at http://www.umassathletics.com/ot/ask-coach.html or Tweet your question to @UMassSportsNet.
On MassLive.com, Dan Malone re-publishes a story from Aug. 18 on how UMass and Buffalo are similar in how both Universities are working to forge new identities for their football programs as both made the transition from I-AA football to I-A football.

Collegian: UMass football puts win behind to focus on Buffalo

Nick Canelas of the Daily Collegian has a story today on how the UMass football team has re-focused its efforts to the Buffalo game this week after last Saturday's win over Miami.

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story today on how UMass will have to focus on Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack, while at the same time not giving opportunities to other defensive players.

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story on how UMass' experience and depth put the Minutemen in a better position to win more games this season as the balance of the MAC schedule plays out in the following weeks.

"Our team has more experience than it did a year ago," Molnar said. "We were new at that winning thing after that win over Akron. We didn't go out there thinking we had it figured out. We knew we had a lot of work to do. ... We didn't have the depth that we have today or the experience we have today. Those two things come as a matter of course as your team matures. We still have a ways to go from a maturity stand point and a depth standpoint, but we're in a better position today than we were in a year ago at this time."

Dan Malone has a story in the Springfield Republican today on the struggles this season for place kicker Blake Lucas. Lucas missed a pair of long-distance field goals in the Miami (Ohio) win, but was able to convert a 25-yard kick. This year, he has missed on four kicks of 44+ yards, however, he is a perfect 7-for-7 on PAT's (14-of-15 in two seasons).

"I have a lot of confidence in Blake," Molnar said during his weekly appearance on the Mid-American Conference coaches teleconference. "I think Blake has confidence in himself, and his teammates certainly have confidence in him."

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story on how this year's game with Buffalo is similar to the 2012 meeting in that the Minutemen were coming off wins on both occasions.

Coverage Of UMass Football's 17-10 Win Over Miami (Ohio)

A strong defensive effort with three interceptions alongside some timely offense lifted UMass to a 17-10 win over Miami (Ohio) on Saturday in front of 21,707 fans at Gillette Stadium. Check out the coverage of the win and highlights below.






More Coverage Of UMass Football Vs. Miami

Here's a look at some of the morning previews as the UMass football team hosts Miami (Ohio) today at 3:00 PM at Gillette Stadium.


Coverage Of Saturday's UMass Football Vs. Miami Game

Bud Light UMass Football Show Tonight (Thursday, Oct. 10)

Join us at The Hangar Pub and Grill tonight at 7 p.m. for the Bud Light UMass Football Show. Head coach Charley Molnar is joined by graduate student defensive lineman Justin Anderson and redshirt freshman running back Jamal Wilson. Submit questions for our guests via email or tweet your questions @UMassSportsNet. If you can't make it out to The Hangar, listen live on 105.5 WEEI Springfield.

Football Radio Information

Recaps & Coverage Of UMass Football's Loss To Vanderbilt

Marc Bertrand of 98.5 The Sports Hub interviews UMass head coach Charley Molnar on the state of the Minutemen heading into week 4 and gives a preview of this weekend's action against Vanderbilt.

Boston Herald: UMass looks to Stacey Bedell

Adam Kurjian of the Boston Herald has a feature on UMass running back Stacey Bedell who is off to a great start this year after missing the bulk of last season due to an injury.

ESPNBoston: UMass, QB Doyle taking steps

Jack McCluskey of ESPNBoston.com has a preview of the Vanderbilt game and a feature story on sophomore quarterback A.J. Doyle. The story focuses on Doyle's recruitment by head coach Charley Molnar and the progression he's made since first coming to UMass.

Molnar likes to say the Minutemen are pounding at a rock as they continue to work in Year 2 of the transition, and that eventually that rock is going to break. 

"I honestly feel we're just a play away from this exploding where we're putting up 30, 35, 40 points a game," Doyle said. "When that rock explodes it's gonna be a scary thing and we're gonna be a scary team to play against." 



Nick Canelas of the Daily Collegian has a preview of Saturday's non-conference finale for UMass as Vanderbilt comes to Gillette Stadium.

Listen To Monday Night's Bud Light UMass Football Coaches Show Podcast

Check out the Bud Light UMass Football Show from Monday night with Voice of the Minutemen Josh Maurer and head coach Charley Molnar. The player guests were Ed Saint-Vil and Tajae Sharpe - both of whom are off to terrific starts this season.

Gazette: UMass TE Rob Blachflower eager, closer to return

University of Massachusetts tight end Rob Blanchflower carries the state flag as the team takes the field before a game in Foxborough last season. AP PHOTO

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story on Rob Blanchflower who has continued to practice this week after missing the first three games due to an injury. Blanchflower and head coach Charley Molnar both say they aren't sure about the time frame in which Blanchflower will return to game action, but both are eager to have him back in the lineup.

Molnar said whenever Blanchflower returns, it will give his struggling offense a big lift.  

"He exemplifies the toughness of a Minuteman. He's mentally tough. He's physically tough," Molnar said. "He'll play hurt. He stays in when he's tired. He never wants to come out of the game. We had some games last year that were decided well before the end of the game, but he played every snap like it was his last. His skill set is well above average. Super hands. Excellent blocker. His knowledge of the offense. He went out there Tuesday. He hasn't practiced in a long time and he's right up there with all the players who have been out there every day since the beginning of August. He's stayed very, very sharp mentally."

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican writes that A.J. Doyle will start against Vanderbilt on Saturday as announced by head coach Charley Molnar on Monday.

Republican: Joey Colton emerging as a leader on struggling UMass defense

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story on Joe Colton and how he has been making his presence felt on the defensive side of the ball.

"His actions really speak on the field," said coach Charley Molnar, who described Colton's performance against the Wildcats as "absolutely outstanding."

"I think the guys, whatever Joe says, they listen. I listen when he talks. He just has a real command about himself on the field."

You're probably familiar with Colton's inspirational story by now. A standout player at Westwood's Xaverian Brothers High School and Avon (Conn.) Old Farms, Colton received little attention after his senior year, due largely to his less-than-Football-Bowl-Subdivision stature (5-foot-8, 195 pounds).

Undeterred, he wound up walking on at UMass last season. And despite his perceived shortcomings, Colton appeared in 11 games (starting two), finished fifth on the team with 50 tackles and earned himself a full scholarship in the process.

He was the quintessential "Made in Massachusetts" player.

Joey Colton emerging as a leader on struggling UMass defense | masslive.com



Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican takes a look at the play of quarterback A.J. Doyle last Saturday at Kansas State writing that he handled adversity well against the Wildcats.

Doyle and UMass responded to adversity, and actually lifted their level of play because of it, taking a 7-6 lead and 138-33 yardage advantage into the second quarter. That, if nothing else, is reason for hope for this struggling team as it continues a difficult schedule.

"I thought our team fought - both sides of the ball fought to the end," coach Charley Molnar said. "I've been to this show before when the wheels have come off, and today, the wheels were loose, but they never came off. And I think that's progress. It's a small sign for me, but certainly something we can sink our teeth into and grow from."

Molnar said Doyle, who finished with 186 yards and two interceptions on 21-of-31 passing, "never flinched" after tossing the pick-6.


Herald: UMass offense shows spark in loss

John Connolly of the Boston Herald writes on Monday that positive signs were shown by UMass in the loss at Kansas State especially on the offensive side of the ball.

Charley Molnar highlights the play of Joe Colton on the defensive side of the ball and says it was a bad quarter that really impacted the game. The defense didn't allow any first quarter points and held KSU to just 10 points in the second half.

Gazette: UMass quarterback A.J. Doyle gives offense a lift

Mark Chiarelli of the Daily Hampshire Gazette writes that the move to A.J. Doyle at quarterback gave the Minutemen some momentum for the Kansas State game. Although the offense was improved, Doyle and head coach Charley Molnar state that there are many things which need to improve during the next week of practice.

Collegian: A.J. Doyle was strong, but still has plenty to prove

Nick Canelas of the Daily Collegian examines A.J. Doyle's start at quarterback at Kansas State saying that despite an early mistake against the Wildcats, the sophomore was able to regroup and remain poised throughout the game.

UMass vs. Vanderbilt To Be Televised On ESPNews

UMass' home game at Gillette Stadium against Vanderbilt this Saturday, Sept. 21 will be televised on ESPNews as announced on Sunday morning. 

Tickets are on sale now through http://www.umassathletics.com/tickets/.

Also, be sure to join us at the Hangar Pub & Grill on University Drive on Monday for a special edition of the Bud Light UMass Football Radio Show starting at 7 PM. 

A complete listing of show dates can be found at http://www.umassathletics.com/radio-football.html. You can also submit a question to have answered on the air at http://www.umassathletics.com/ot/ask-coach.html

Game Recaps & Highlights From Football's Loss At Kansas State

Gazette: UMass' Tajae Sharpe wants role of No. 1 receiver

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story on Tajae Sharpe and the extra attention the wide receiver will get from the Kansas State defense after his performance against Maine.

A.J. Doyle named UMass starting quarterback vs. Kansas State



Several news outlets reported yesterday that sophomore A.J. Doyle will start at quarterback against Kansas State on Saturday (7 PM, UMass Sports Network) as announced by head coach Charley Molnar after practice.

For Doyle, this will be the second career start after getting the nod in last year's season-finale against Central Michigan.

Doyle battled an injury during the the bulk of spring practices and summer workouts that Molnar said hampered his ability to compete with Wegzyn for the starting job when training camp rolled around. Now that he's gotten healthy, Doyle's performance at practice has picked up.

"It's not that Mike's has gone down, it's just that A.J.s has improved," Molnar said.

In two years, Doyle has thrown for 516 yards, four touchdowns and eight interceptions on 67-of-121 attempts. His only other career start came in the Minutemen's 42-21 loss to Central Michigan in the season finale last year.

Cameron McDonough of the Daily Collegian has a preview of the Kansas State game which kicks off on Saturday at 7 PM. UMass head coach Charley Molnar says that while the loss was tough on all, the team has regrouped and are focused on the upcoming weekend.

Nick Canelas of the Daily Collegian has a feature story on sophomore wide receiver Tajae Sharpe who had a career-best 11 catches, 85 yards and a touchdown last weekend vs. Maine. 

"I think (my role) has been a lot bigger," Sharpe said. "We've had a lot of key guys that either graduated or didn't come back for this upcoming season, so I think I had to jump into that leadership role where I just try to embrace each and every day for my receiving corps and my teammates in general."

Republican: Wildcats' speed presents matchup problems on defense

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican looks at Saturday's match-up with Kansas State and the speed the Wildcats have as a team - particularly on offense. He says UMass will have to find a way to contend with that schematically in order to be successful.

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story on the competition and strong relationship between quarterbacks A.J. Doyle and Mike Wegzyn.

Both Doyle and Wegzyn have described their relationship on and off the field as strong. But Doyle admitted the large amount of time they spend together during the week - they also share a hotel room for every road game - tends to make things "a little awkward" when it comes to the fierce battle for the QB job.

"We both understand it's a competition and we both understand only one quarterback can play," Doyle said. "We both have a very good understanding that one of us is gonna play and one of us is gonna sit."




Gazette: Quarterback competition heats up at UMass practice

Mark Chiarelli of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story on UMass' quarterback competition as both A.J. Doyle and Mike Wegzyn are pushing to be this week's starter at Kansas State.

UMass Football Radio Show To Air From The Hangar On Monday

The weekly Bud Light UMass Football Radio Show, hosted at the Hangar Pub and Grill (55 University Drive) in Amherst, Mass., will occur tonight, Monday, Sept. 9, beginning at 7 p.m. In addition to head coach Charley Molnar, redshirt-senior offensive lineman Vincent Westcarr and sophomore defensive back Joe Colton will appear as the weekly player guests.

Questions for the 'Ask The Coach' portion of the show can be submitted online here.

Fans who are unable to be present for the show can listen in through through their mobile devices using the TuneIn App or online with WEEI 105.5 FM website. More information on this and all upcoming UMass Football Radio Shows is available on UMassAthletics.com and through the UMass Sports Network Twitter account.

Coverage and Highlights From UMass Football's Loss To Maine

Marc Bertrand of CBS Boston interviews UMass football head coach as part of their weekly chat. 

UMass fell to the Wisconsin Badgers 45-0 in their season opener last weekend, but head coach Charley Molnar was pleased with strides his team has made following their first season in FBS play last year.

"The biggest thing was our guys have improved quite a bit form last season. The score didn't indicate it, but we played fairly clean," Molnar told 98.5 The Sports Hub's Marc Bertrand for their weekly chat. "We had some errors and some penalties I wish we could have had back, but our offensive line has improved tremendously from a year ago. We were able to manage a run game and protect the quarterback. We had no sacks of TFL, just a couple pressures and really that was due to the coverage than anything else."

"On defense we had 54 plays where we held Wisconsin to under 150 yards on offense, and then we had a dozen plays where the roof caved in. If we can eliminate half those plays against an opponent like Wisconsin, who knows how the game can end up," he said. "We've made great strides and really have improved in all areas."

You can listen to the full interview on CBSBoston.com


Boston Globe: UMass to take on Maine in home opener

Julian Benbow of the Boston Globe has a preview of Saturday's game vs. Maine at Gillette Stadium (2 PM, ESPN3) with a focus on running back Stacey Bedell and his return from last season's season-ending injury against Indiana.

It had been practically two years since Bedell had seen real action. A broken collarbone put an end to his freshman season in 2012 after just two games and three carries, forcing him to redshirt.

But Bedell was bursting at the seams to get back on the field, looking for ways to leapfrog returning starter Jordan Broadnax on the depth chart.

"He definitely showed that he was ready," Molnar said. "He was competing like crazy to be the starting running back. He wasn't going to be happy to be the first man off the bench."

Nick Canelas of the Daily Collegian has a story on the improvements UMass fans saw in the Wisconsin game from the football team and how those should translate this weekend for the Maine game at Gillette Stadium.

Collegian: UMass offensive line improved over offseason

Cameron McDonough of the Daily Collegian has a story focusing on the offensive line and its improvement, despite several new starters in the group, from a year ago. This was evident against Wisconsin as stated by coach Charley Molnar.

"It was a cleaner game by our offensive line. The penalties were very, very disappointing because we felt like we had more poise and that we had demonstrated that during camp," he said. "But the upside of it is though the quarterback was pressured at times, there weren't any sacks and we didn't have any TFLs, we had no TFLs in that game. So every play was zero or better, which is an improvement from where we were a year ago."

Cameron McDonough has a story in Thursday's Daily Collegian featuring the expectations for the UMass football team in its second year as an FBS program. 

Molnar sees an improved team from a year ago.

"(Last year felt) different because I knew we had a long ways to go," Molnar said. "I thought that maybe some of the guys from our football team would just step up and be able to carry the day. Once we got through the first game when I saw that wasn't going to be the case, I tempered my enthusiasm to understand where we're at as a football team developmentally and we were really on the ground floor.

"We've taken a step up. I can't tell you if we're on the second floor or the third floor yet. Let us play a couple of games. But we are definitely better than we were a year ago."


Republican: Broadnax out, Blanchflower game-time decision vs. Maine

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story on Jordan Broadnax being listed as out and Rob Blanchflower being a game-time decision for the game against Maine on Saturday at Gillette Stadium (2 PM).

He also writes that Stacey Bedell and Derek Beck, who replaced Broadnax and Blanchflower respectively at Wisconsin, performed well in place of the two veterans.



Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story focusing on UMass' pass protection against Wisconsin as a positive the offensive line can build from. The Minutemen gave up no sacks in the game and gained positive yardage on every play from scrimmage.



steve-casali.jpg

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a look at the collegiate debut of freshman linebacker Steve Casali who made his first career tackle last Saturday on the opening kick-off.

"That was just my goal - to go down there and get the first tackle of the season," said Casali, who was one of 10 true freshmen making their debuts. "I was so pumped and the crowd was going crazy."

The tackle was one of three for the 6-foot-2, 225-pounder out of Sachem East High School on Long Island. On top of special-teams duties, Casali also saw extended playing time at inside linebacker, where he looked considerably well-adjusted given his lack of collegiate experience.


Gazette: Charley Molnar, UMass upbeat following loss to Wisconsin

Mark Chiarelli of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story highlighting the positive aspects from Saturday's loss at Wisconsin as noted by Coach Charley Molnar today following practice.

One of the notable positives to come from the loss was the emergence of some of the younger players of the roster. Among the standouts were sophomore center Matt Sparks and redshirt freshman running back Stacey Bedell, who made his first career start.

"Matt Sparks was up against, in my opinion, maybe the best nose guard in the country and he fought through the whole game," Molnar said. "It wasn't a bloodbath; he didn't take over the game. We were prepared to help our center out any way possible and never had to use those strategies."

Bedell amassed 70 yards on 19 carries in his first collegiate game.

Boston Herald: UMass' focus moves on to Maine

Bob McGovern of the Boston Herald has a look at how UMass will bounce back this week in preparation for Maine on Saturday at Gillette Stadium. This will be the first time the two teams have met since UMass made the transition to the Football Bowl Subdivision.

Coverage Of UMass' Season Opening Loss At Wisconsin

It was a tough day for the Minutemen as No. 23 Wisconsin defeated the Minutemen 45-0 at Camp Randall Stadium on Saturday in the season-opener for both teams. Big plays set the tone for the Badgers as they posted eight over 20 yards including four 50+ yard touchdown plays.

UMass will return to action next Saturday in its home opener at Gillette Stadium against long-time rival Maine. Kick-off is at 2:00 PM and the game will be shown on ESPN3 and on mobile devices via WatchESPN.




Previews Of UMass At No. 23 Wisconsin

Here's a look at several previews of tomorrow's game between UMass and No. 23 Wisconsin. 

Kick-off is set for 12 PM EST and the game will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network. Fans can also listen on 105.5 FM WEEI in Springfield or follow along on the live blog at UMassAthletics.com


Telegram: Molnar hopes for major improvement

Jackson Alexander of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette has a look at the improvement of the UMass football program through preseason camp and what areas coach Charley Molnar hopes to see progress in.

Republican: UMass football vs. Wisconsin - Where to catch the game

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a breakdown of where you can watch and listen to Saturday's game at Wisconsin.

Gazette: UMass set for Wisconsin, 80,000 in attendance

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a preview of the season-opener at Wisconsin and how playing at Michigan last year will prepare the team for the rowdy crowd of 80,000 at Camp Randall.

Gazette: Molnar excited for Camp Randall

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story on the excitement of UMass' season-opener at Wisconsin and the personal excitement of head coach Charley Molnar on playing at Camp Randall Stadium.

Marc Bertrand of 98.5 FM The Sports Hub begin his first weekly interview of the season with UMass football coach Charley Molnar.

"We are so much better right now; hopefully internally and externally you'll be able to see the difference on the field," Molnar told 98.5 The Sports Hub's Marc Bertrand in the first of their weekly chats this season. "I can't say we'll go undefeated or play in a major bowl, but its going to be a much-improved performance by the Minutemen this year. Guys are bigger, faster, stronger and know their assignments better. It's a tough group of guys and we're really anxious to get out there and show what we can do."

Boston Globe: With transfers, UMass football hoping to go places

Emily Kaplan of the Boston Globe has a feature on UMass' three fifth-year transfers in Ricardo Miller, David Osei, and Justin Anderson. The trio joined the Minutemen during the offseason and will make a big impact on the team this season. Last year, UMass also had three transfers in Michael Cox, Hafis Williams and Deion Walker. Cox was drafted following the season by the New York Giants.

[Charley] Molnar is trying to build a culture. It's a culture Miller, Osei, and Anderson are already familiar with.

"The guys on our team right now only have one year of 1-A experience under their belt," Molnar said. "The transfers have four years of experience. They've been there, done that."

They've played meaningful games in big stadiums. They've also all earned degrees.

"The three are leaders," Molnar said. "And add a maturity level to our team as we continue to grow."


Blanchflower To Miss Season-Opener At Wisconsin

Charley Molnar said Monday after practice that tight end Rob Blanchflower will miss the season-opener at Wisconsin. Michigan transfer Ricardo Miller is expected to make his first collegiate start in place of Blanchflower.

Gazette: Center Matt Sparks hoping to help lead the UMass offense

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a feature on center Matt Sparks and how he has improved from last season to now. After playing as a guard in 2012, Sparks will start at center for the Minutemen.

Republican: Minutemen shift their focus to game week

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Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a look at how UMass has transitioned from preseason camp to official game week preparations for the trip to Wisconsin next Saturday.

Republican: Charley Molnar offers a rough preseason depth chart

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Dan Malone has a notebook on who to expect on the field next Saturday when UMass takes the field at Wisconsin. The rough depth chart gives fans a chance to see which names will be making an impact in the game.

Herald: Randall Jette can't wait to soar higher at UMass

John Connolly of the Boston Herald has a feature story on UMass sophomore cornerback Randall Jette and how he felt he has improved along with the rest of the Minutemen since last season.

"As a team, we're still young. We're still recruiting. We still have young guys coming in and trying to make an impact on the team somewhat like (last year's freshmen) did. That experience of me, Trey Dudley-Giles, Khary Bailey-Smith, D'Metrius (Williams), all playing as true freshmen, that can only help us for this year. I mean, we're all coming back. We're all healthy. We definitely learned from our experiences, whether it was at Michigan, at Vanderbilt. We're ready for it. We know what to expect and that helps our practice habits."
 
Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a feature on UMass long-snapper Vance Barton who is one of the key's to the Minutemen's strong special team's play.

"With my job, I know I'm doing good when I don't get noticed," Barton said Tuesday at UMass' 2013 football media day. "When I get noticed, it's either because I had a tackle or messed up on a snap."

Fortunately for UMass, it's been rarely the latter with the redshirt senior.

While punter Colter Johnson and kicker Blake Lucas have, deservedly, garnered most of the praise on a special teams unit that has quickly become one of the team's strongest, Barton is the spark plug that drives the kicking game. Without his laser snaps to Johnson or perfect placement on PAT and field goal snaps to holder Jeff Strait, none of those kicks would get off the ground.

Nick O'Malley of the Springfield Republican has a story on the UMass football program and how Charley Molnar and his staff are working to build a strong foundation in the beginning of the FBS transition to ensure a prosperous future.

"When I'm practicing, I look at that building," sophomore cornerback Randall Jette said, pointing towards the construction. "You know you're working hard for something. You know there's a bright future. You see the stadium under construction every day when you're out here working, so it's a little motivation every day."

Matt Stewart of the Sentinel & Enterprise has a story on Rob Blanchflower who is being held out of practice for the remainder of training camp due to injury. It is still possible for him to play in the Wisconsin game.

"I hope to perform greater than I did last year," Blanchflower said. "It was sort of a breakthrough season for me, but I know I can perform at the level of the Central Michigan game every week. Last year I wasn't consistent every week, and I'd like to be more consistent this year."

Telegram: Rob Blanchflower has Gronk-like production

Jackson Alexander has a look at Rob Blanchflower and his popular nickname and comparison to New England Patriots' tight end Rob Gronkowski.
Matt Stewart of the Sentinel & Enterprise has a feature on Leominster native Rob Blanchflower and his development into one of the top tight ends in the Mid-American Conference. Blanchflower was also surprised at Media Day to find his jersey will have the letter 'C' on it to denote his status as team captain.

Boston Herald: Charley Molnar spreads the word

Adam Kurkjian of the Boston Herald looks at the summer promotional activities of football head coach Charley Molnar as he toured the state and headed up various initiatives to energize the UMass fan base.

"So we really tried to spread the message to as many people as we could," Molnar said. "I'm a firm believer that you don't have to be a UMass grad to be a UMass football fan. I liken it very similar to Ohio State or to Penn State, where they've got some rabid fans who never attended college. There's no reason why we can't be the college football team for the state of Massachusetts."

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