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Matt Stewart of the Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise has a piece on several Central Massachusetts locals who have played roles in the winning tradition of UMass football. Those players include Dave Palazzi, Jonathan Hernandez, John Griffin, Cliff Bolden, Matt Dawson, Jamie Holston, and Dan Schneider.

Recaps From Football's Loss At Old Dominion

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Steve Levine from The Daily Collegian has a sidebar on Jonathan Hernandez's career-high rushing effort in the win over Rhode Island. The Daily Collegian

Michael Wood of The Daily Collegian has a recap of football's 36-27 win over Rhode Island on Saturday. The Daily Collegian

Jeff Thomas of the Springfield Republican looks back at the win over Rhode Island focusing on quarterback Kellen Pagel and how he got better as the game progressed.

Recap From UMass' 36-27 Win Over Rhode Island

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Howard Herman of the Berkshire Eagle has a recap of the UMass football team's 24-16 win at Holy Cross last Thursday to open the season.

Jonathan Hernandez rushed for 151 net yards and sophomore quarterback Kellen Pagel threw two touchdown passes in his UMass debut as the Minutemen handled Holy Cross 24-16 Thursday night at Fitton Field.  

Emil Igwenagu's first-quarter touchdown run, his first varsity rushing TD, put the Minutemen up for keeps. They held a double-digit lead until Holy Cross scored a touchdown in the final minute of the game.  

"Now we've got a game under our belts," Morris said. "It's a win, so it'll make the meetings and the end result a whole lot happier when you're reviewing the tape because you got the win."  

UMass has until Sept. 17 to iron out the kinks and fix what needs fixing.

UMass Football Highlights From Holy Cross Win

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Recaps Of Football's Opening Win At Holy Cross

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Check out all of the stories on UMass' 24-16 season-opening win on Thursday night in the first ever night game at Holy Cross' Fitton Field.

  • Springfield Republican: UMass football rides Jonathan Hernandez to opening win at Holy Cross
  • Hampshire Gazette: Jonathan Hernandez strong for Minutemen in return home
  • Hampshire Gazette: Quarterback Kellen Pagel helps UMass beat Holy Cross in opener
  • Matt Vautour Blog: Three Stars - UMass-Holy Cross
  • Worcester Telegram: UMass' Hernandez crashes Holy Cross party
  • Worcester Telegram: 15,942 Fans Watch UMass Beat Holy Cross
  • SB Nation: Jonathan Hernandez carrie Minutemen in win
  • Boston Globe: UMass runs past Holy Cross
  • Boston Herald: UMass football shines bright
  • Washington Post: Hernandez helps Massachusetts to 24-16 win over Holy Cross
  • VIDEO: Highlights from Charter 3
  • Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette takes a look at the UMass offense and the role tailback Jonathan Hernandez will play in the upcoming season.

    Morris has pledged that Jonathan Hernandez will be the feature back this season after gaining 938 yards and nine touchdowns on 219 carries last year. UMass will try to use the ground game to take pressure off its inexperienced quarterback.

    Photo: UMass' plan of attack
    Kerri Fleming of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette has a story today on the mindset of the UMass football team going into its final season as a member of the Football Championship Subdivision and the CAA.

    "There's really nothing that needs to be said. Everybody's on the same page. We all know what this year means to the university. It's a big transition year. It's a big year to leave the CAA on a good note," said defensive lineman Brandon Potvin, a redshirt sophomore and former Holy Name star from Worcester.


    Kerri Fleming of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette has a feature story on Jonathan Hernandez and his role as the No. 1 tailback for the UMass football team this season.

    The word Jonathan Hernandez uses when he talks about playing for the University of Massachusetts football team is "honor."   

    Being recruited to UMass in 2007 after a stellar career at Leominster High was an honor. Becoming the latest in a long line of outstanding running backs for the Minutemen was an honor. And being scouted and recruited by then coach Don Brown and then running game coordinator Brian Picucci was an honor.   

    "He and Coach Brown recruited me, so that's an honor to me. I'm honored to play for him now," Hernandez said of fellow Leominster native Picucci. "We do connect because we're from the same town." 


    Fitchburg S&E: Minutemen Ready For Jump To FBS

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    Matt Stewart of the Fitchburg Sentinel and Enterprise has a feature on the UMass football team previewing the 2011 season while also looking ahead to next year's move to FBS and the Mid-American Conference.

    Senior tailback Jonathan Hernandez will have one of the team goals his senior season altered. Because of the move to the FBS, the 2011 season will be a transition period, in which the Minutemen will play a full FCS schedule, but will not be elligible for postseason play.  

    "I'm excited for the younger kids, because they are moving on to the MAC," Hernandez said. "I'm really excited for them, but I'm just excited to play this season. I don't think that affects any of us on the team at all. We like to compete and Coach Morris stresses that all the time. We're taking every game like its our last game."

    "I came here to get a natinoal championship ring," Leominster native Rob Blanchflower said. "Now that we're moving up, I don't have that opportunity but I do have the opportunity to play in a bowl game. Being in a bowl game, playing in front of bigger crowds, that's pretty incredible."
    Matt Stewart of the Fitchburg Sentinel and Enterprise has a feature on Jonathan Hernandez entering the 2011 season as UMass' featured running back.

    Former Leominster High star tailback Jonathan Hernandez is expected to make a major impact in this his red-shirt senior season at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. With the departure of Oakmont Regional grad John Griffin to the NFL, Hernandez is expected to carry the brunt of the load of the Minutemen rushing attack in 2011.  

    Hernandez and the rest of the Minutemen participated in UMass Football Media Day Wednesday afternoon at McGuirk Stadium.  

    "I think Hernandez is going to be the feature back but we had a couple of other backs that stepped up this preseason," UMass head coach Kevin Morris said. "Jamar Smith whose been waiting in the wings. And also Alan Williams, those guys have had an outstanding preseason for us and they'll be able to take some of the load off of Jon.
    Jeff Thomas of the Springfield Republican has a piece on UMass football tailback Jonathan Hernandez and his importance as the feature running back this season.

    University of Massachusetts football fans know former Minuteman running back John Griffin is battling for a job with the Cincinnati Bengals. 

    They might not realize that the best UMass runner is still on campus. 

    Jonathan Hernandez, who led the Minutemen in rushing yards and touchdowns, is back for his senior year and ready to carry the load for the run game as UMass prepares for its final season of Football Championship Subdivision play.


    Sunday's UMass Football Training Camp Update

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    Jonathan Hernandez was a practice MVP for the third consecutive time on Saturday earning him the Green Jersey in Sunday's practice. Galen Clemons was also named an MVP after a great training camp effort on the defensive line. Head coach Kevin Morris updates you on the team's depth and progress following Sunday's practice and one week of training camp.

    Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette looks at the pivotal role tailback Jonathan Hernandez will play for the UMass offense this season.

    The University of Massachusetts coaches thought they had a potential recruiting steal when they signed the undersized, under-recruited running back from Leominster, a perennial central Massachusetts powerhouse. He was fast and he was strong.  

    But it wasn't until they saw him every day in practice that they realized just how tough Jonathan Hernandez is.  

    "He's a tough nut. There's no question about that. He brings it every play. He's got skills and speed. Add toughness on top and that's what you want from your tailback spots," UMass coach Kevin Morris said. "He was an under-recruited player. We knew he had potential, but there's a lot of potential out there. We haven't been disappointed."

    Photo: UMass counting tough running back

    As the 2011 season approaches, College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) will be releasing a preseason watch list each week. Four CAA running back's, including UMass' Jonathan Hernandez, were included. Eastern Washington's Taiwan Jones is the 2010 recipient.

    The other CAA RB's include Andrew Pierce (Delaware), Dontra Peters (UNH), Jonathan Grimes (William & Mary).

    Happy Birthday: March 18 - Jonathan Hernandez

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    Celebrating his 21st birthday on March 18 is football tailback Jonathan Hernandez

    Jonathan Hernandez

    Recaps From Football's 21-14 Win At JMU

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    Take a look back at the UMass' 21-14 win at James Madison as the Minutemen moved to 5-3 overall, 3-2 in the uber-tough CAA.

    • Boston Globe: Minutemen find time
    • Worcester Telegram: Hernandez, Krevis power Minutemen
    • Staunton News Leader: UMass sinks struggling JMU
    • Rockton Weekly: UMass Rallies Past Dukes
    • Washington Examiner: Seven weeks later, Dukes no longer up

    Republican: Gillette Game Will Be Cool

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    Ron Chimelis has this story in the Springfield Republican about UMass venture to Gillette Stadium.

    The University of Massachusetts football coach played a high school game at Giants Stadium more than 25 years ago.

    "The place holds 75,000 people. There were about 25,000 there. There might as well have been 10,'' Kevin Morris said. "But for a high school kid, it was fantastic. The thrill is in the experience.''

    On Saturday, UMass plays New Hampshire at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough. A great rivalry is about to be taken to another level.

    Collegian: RB Tandem Paying Off For Minutemen

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    The Daily Collegian has a piece on UMass' running back duo of John Griffin and Jonathan Hernandez.

    If there was any doubt before the start of the 2010 season that the No. 8 Massachusetts football team would rely heavily on the run, there is none now.

    The formula of being a run-first team with the ability to keep defenses honest with the play-action has fueled the Minutemen offense to an impressive start.

    Through four games, UMass (3-1, 1-0 Colonial Athletic Association) has averaged 212.8 rushing yards per contest, ranking third in the CAA behind Delaware and Villanova. The duo of John Griffin and Jonathan Hernandez has bolstered the backfield, allowing the Minutemen to use fresh legs late in games.

    Republican: Tailbacks Paying Dividends

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    After watching his football team squeeze out a hairy 26-21 victory at Stony Brook Saturday, University of Massachusetts coach Kevin Morris was asked about the luxury of using two top-shelf running backs in his offense.

    "With us, it's not a luxury. It's a necessity,'' Morris said.

    In a surprisingly difficult victory, No. 11-ranked UMass leaned heavily on Northeastern transfer John Griffin, who rushed 23 times for 132 yards and scored the deciding touchdown in the fourth quarter.

    Read the full story in the Springfield Republican.

    Tune in a 7 p.m. on Thursday night for the Bud Light UMass Radio Show with Kevin Morris. The show will air on WRNX 100.9 FM in Western Mass and 1510 AM in Eastern Mass and be available on Host Josh Maurer will talk football with the coach as well as stars from the UMass win over William & Mary: junior tailback Jonathan Hernandez and senior defensive lineman Brandon Flanagan. If you have a question or comment for the show, please send it via twitter @UMassAthletics or send it to Ask The Coach.

    Sports Luncheon Today At 12:15 p.m.

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    Join us at 12:15 p.m. on Wednesday for the UMass Sports Luncheon at the Campus Center's Massachusetts Room 1009. The guest speakers today are Athletic Director John McCutcheon, football coach Kevin Morris and men's soccer coach Sam Koch.

    Also, the Co-Athletes of the Week from the football team, Tyler Holmes and Jonathan Hernandez will be honored for their big games in the 27-23 win over William & Mary on Saturday.

    Collegian Stories On Football Team

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    Republican: Johns Give UMass 1-2 Punch

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    "They're not a couple of your average Joes. They're a couple of high-level Johns,'' coach Kevin Morris said after Saturday's 27-23 victory over William & Mary. Or Jons. He was talking about John Griffin and Jonathan Hernandez, who combined for 46 carries, 212 yards and three touchdowns.

    Check out the Springfield Republican sidebar on UMass' rushing tandem.

    Recaps On UMass' 27-23 Win Over No. 4 William & Mary

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    Here's a rundown of the recaps and stories on UMass' 27-23 upset win over No. 4 William & Mary.

  • Boston Globe: UMass rallies for upset
  • Springfield Republican: UMass football team refuses to be denied in opening victory
  • Worcester Telegram & Gazette: Locals aid UMass upset of W&M
  • Boston Herald: Minutemen begin run
  • Daily Hampshire Gazette: Minutemen upset William & Mary
  • The Examiner: Minutemen upset #4 William and Mary 27-23
  • Worcester Telegram & Gazette: Griffin, Hernandez Lead UMass
  • WWLP NBC 22: UMass Upsets #4 William & Mary
  • Daily Press: W&M Loses Opener 27-23 At UMass
  • Herald: 5 Questions For UMass Football

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    John Connolly of the Boston Herald has his preview of the UMass football season. He has his 5 Questions for 2010. Check it out.

    UMass tailback John Griffin takes a...

    Gazette: Preview Of Football's Offense

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    In the Daily Hampshire Gazette, Matt Vautour takes a look at the Minutemen on offense with a breakdown of each position.

    Sentinel Feature: Double Trouble - Griffin & Hernandez

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    Here is another story on UMass football and the talented backfield featuring Central Mass natives John Griffin and Jonathan Hernandez. Read about them in the Sentinel and Enterprise. Oakmont Regional product Griffin will pair with junior Hernandez, a former Leominster High School star, to share the responsibilities of leading the Minutemen ground attack.

    Two Feature Stories From Sentinel-Enterprise

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    Here are two great features from UMass Football Media Day from the Fitchburg Sentinel-Enterprise by Nick Mallard.

  • Local Talent Fuels UMass. It has quotes from John Griffin, Rob Blanchflower, Jesse Hunt and Jonathan Hernandez.

  • Also, check this sidebar, Former Oakmont stars reunite on UMass gridiron about Griffin and Hunt being teammates again.

  • Coverage and Links From Football Media Day

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    Look back at the UMass Football Media Day with these links.

  • Complete coverage with videos and photos from

  • Ke'TV: Ke'Mon Bailey's Video Feature on Media Day.

  • Jumbo Photo Gallery.

  • Springfield Republican with a story leading with Kyle Havens being named the starting QB.

  • CBS3 Springfield had this report on the day.

  • NBC22's feature on the event

  • Coach Morris' Press Conference.