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Game Day Coverage And Media Previews For @UMassFootball At Toledo

It's a beautiful day here in Toledo, Ohio as the Minutemen get ready to take on the Rockets at 2 PM (ESPN3). The Minutemen enter the game having won two straight, while Toledo is the only undefeated team in conference action with a 3-0 record.

 Massachusetts (2-6, 2-2 MAC) at Toledo (4-3, 3-0 MAC) 
 Date Saturday, Oct. 18 at 2:00 p.m. (ET)
 Location Toledo, Ohio | Glass Bowl (26,244)
 Tickets 866-UMASS-TIX |  Ticket Info
 TV ESPN3/ESPN Game Plan/BCSN
 Radio  105.5 FM WEEI (Springfield/Amherst), 1440 AM WVEI (Worcester), 95.9 FM WATD (South Shore), 1200 AM WXKS (Boston, Worcester, Manchester, Providence); Listen Online | Use the TuneIn App for Mobile Devices to listen
 Online Video watch www.espn3.com | WatchESPN (App)
 Live Stats gametracker Live Stats
 Social Media
  Twitter.com/UMassAthletics | Live Game Blog
 MAC Teleconference Whipple's Monday Conference Call Quotes (10/20)
 Game Notes Massachusetts Notes | Depth Chart | News Clips | 2014 Media Guide








Gazette: UMass puts win streak on the line against MAC leader Toledo

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a preview of Saturday's match-up at Toledo for the UMass football team. Vautour includes quotes from Toledo head coach Matt Campbell as he sees the Minutemen.

"Now we get ourselves into preparation for a really good UMass team that I've been thoroughly impressed with both offensively and defensively as we've been able to dig in and see the job Coach Whipple has done there," he said on Monday's MAC teleconference. "I think they're extremely well-coached, one of the best coached offenses and defenses that I've seen within our conference this year. You can see he does a great job of getting his really good players the ball and putting his players in situations to be extremely successful. You can tell the turnaround has a lot to do with their ability to get their good players the ball in space. Defensively they've had the ability to create havoc."






Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican takes a look at this weekend's match-up at Toledo for the UMass football team. Malone says this will be the most challenging game of the year for the Minutemen amongst MAC teams, but predicts a shootout on the scoreboard between UMass' high-powered pass game and the Rockets run game which is the best in the league.


Andrew MacDougall of the Boston Globe has a feature on Shadrach Abrokwah and his journey with UMass football from a walk-on to a starter. After joining UMass as a walk-on in 2013, Abrokwah started the final two games of the season turning in almost 100 yards a game. In the win over Eastern Michigan, the Worcester native had four rushing touchdowns and 135 yards to pace the Minutemen.

(Cade Belisle/The Massachusetts Daily Collegian)

Andrew Cyr of the Daily Collegian takes a look at Saturday's game at Toledo for the UMass football team with a specific focus on the Rockets' run game which is one of the best in the nation. The challenge he says will be for the UMass front seven to contend with a talented and experienced Toledo offensive line and a trio of running backs that all have different styles.

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story on the UMass offensive line and the recent play of Josh Bruns who played center in place of the injured Matt Sparks the last two games. Bruns, normally a guard, played well in the transition and the depth is seen as a good sign for the Minutemen as the season comes down the home stretch.



Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story focusing on UMass football's back-to-back wins and how close the Minutemen were to being bowl eligible this year. He says those close games bode well for UMass heading into the future as it only loses a handful of seniors and graduate students from this year's team.

Gazette: @UMassFootball defense shows signs of coming together in win

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a look at the defensive effort by the Minutemen in the win over Eastern Michigan on Saturday. Vautour said the effort was the best of the season as UMass was able to disrupt EMU quarterback Reggie Bell and pitch a second half shut out.

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story on how an improved running game and defensive play have helped the UMass football team over the last two weeks.

Recaps & Coverage Of @UMassFootball 36-14 Win Over Eastern Michigan

Game Coverage & Previews For @UMassFootball Vs. Eastern Michigan

It's game day at Gillette Stadium today as the UMass football team hosts Eastern Michigan for the ever-popular Band Day. Read below for today's previews of the game along with all the information on how to watch and where to listen if you can't be there.

 Massachusetts (1-6, 1-2 MAC) vs Eastern Michigan (2-4, 1-1 MAC) 
 Date Saturday, Oct. 18 at 3:00 p.m. (ET)
 Location Foxboro, Mass. | Gillette Stadium (68,756)
 Tickets 866-UMASS-TIX |  Ticket Info
 TV ESPN3
 Radio  105.5 FM WEEI (Springfield/Amherst), 1440 AM WVEI (Worcester), 95.9 FM WATD (South Shore), 1200 AM WXKS (Boston, Worcester, Manchester, Providence); Listen Online | Use the TuneIn App for Mobile Devices to listen
 Online Video watch www.espn3.com
 Live Stats gametracker Live Stats
 Promotions Band Day & Educators Day
 Social Media
  Twitter.com/UMassAthletics | Live Game Blog
 MAC Teleconference Whipple's Monday Conference Call Quotes (10/13)
 Game Notes Massachusetts Notes | Depth Chart | News Clips | 2014 Media Guide


Andrew MacDougall of the Boston Globe has a feature on UMass football quarterback Blake Frohnapfel and the year he has had so far for the Minutemen. Frohnapfel is one of the national passing leaders entering the weekend and has turned the UMass offense into one of the best in the Mid-American Conference.

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story today on how freshman QB Ross Comis helped the Minutemen prepare for dual-threat Eastern Michigan QB Reginald Bell during the week. Comis along with Elgin Long and Shaquille Harris all split time running the scout team offense this week to help prepare the Minutemen for the speed of Bell.

(Courtesy of Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian)

Andrew Cyr of the Daily Collegian takes a look at how dual-threat Reginald Bell, Jr., poses a threat for the UMass defense and what the keys are to contain the quarterback after he had a break out game against Buffalo last week.



Mark Chiarelli of the Daily Collegian has a feature story on Tajae Sharpe and his strong start to the 2014 campaign through seven games. Because of his play-making abilities, Sharpe is facing additional attention from opposing defenses such as last week against Kent State.

(Courtesy of Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian)




Boston Herald: @UMassFootball loves going to Ohio

John Connolly of the Boston Herald has a New England football recap today where he looks at some of the highlights of UMass football's win at Kent State on Saturday.

Saturday's road win snapped a 12-game losing streak, and marked the first time this season that the Minutemen held an opponent to fewer than 30 points. UMass (1-6, 1-2 Mid-American Conference) has now scored 40 or more points in three consecutive games, only the third time it has accomplished that feat in the 132-year history of the program.



Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has an injury update after Mark Whipple's Monday conference call with reporters saying Marken Michel and Matt Sparks could be able to play this weekend. Sparks missed the Kent State game with injury, while Michel was injured during the game.

Gazette: Tailback Lorenzo Woodley breaks through for @UMassFootball

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story on running back Lorenzo Woodley who played a huge factor in Saturday's win at Kent State with 160 yards rushing. Woodley was critical late in the game as the Minutemen were able to hold the ball to run the clock in the third and fourth quarters.



Boston Herald: @UMassFootball hopes to stay Sharpe

John Connolly of the Boston Herald has a preview of Saturday's UMass football at Kent State game which includes a look at the role Tajae Sharpe has played in the success of the Minutemen's offense this season. Sharpe is one of the top wide receivers in the MAC and one of the top 10 wideouts in the nation entering this weekend.






Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a preview of Saturday's game at Kent State and how the Minutemen prepare defensively when not knowing which quarterback will start. 



Julian Benbow of the Boston Globe has a feature story on Blake Frohnapel and his adjustment to working in Mark Whipple's offense. This story also touches on the decision to go for the game-winning touchdown at Miami (Ohio) with the clock set to restart, potentially under three seconds. 


Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story focusing on some tweaks the UMass football team made this week during practice to change up its routine heading into the Kent State game. Blake Frohnapfel and Daniel Maynes are quoted on some of their pre-game rituals.



Thursday Previews Of Saturday's @UMassFootball Game At Kent State

Today we have several previews of Saturday's match-up at Kent State along with an injury update on a couple of key players for the Minutemen. UMass takes on the Golden Flashes at Dix Stadium at 2 PM on Saturday. The game will be aired on the UMass Sports Network and streamed online via ESPN3/WatchESPN.

GAZETTE FILE PHOTO
UMass defensive back Trey Dudley-Giles (9) is expected to return from his injury and play Saturday at Kent State.







Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a notebook on UMass football which includes an update on Tajae Sharpe being named to the Biletnikoff Award Watch List on Tuesday morning.

"It's a great honor. It's real humbling and a great honor to be mentioned with those other guys," Sharpe said. "I wasn't thinking about it at all. I was just trying to go out every week and play the best I can. I didn't have any awards, especially an award as great as that, on my mind. When you work hard things like that happen."

YOSHITAKA HAMADA
UMass wide receiver Tajae Sharpe, left, was added to the watch list for the Biletnikoff Award.


Andrew Cyr of the Daily Collegian has a story on how the UMass football team is bouncing back after a tough loss at Miami on Saturday - the fourth game this season decided by less than a touchdown and the 3rd in which UMass led at halftime. Cyr says the Minutemen are just a few plays away from realistically being 4-2 overall instead of 0-6.

(Alec Zabrecky/Daily Collegian)



Recaps & Coverage Of @UMassFootball Loss At Miami

Miami rallied back from a 27-point deficit on Saturday to defeat UMass 42-41 at Yager Stadium in what was a tale of two halves for the Minutemen. UMass led 41-21 at the break, but a tough second half marred by turnovers opened the door for the RedHawks. The Minutemen were able to manage a last minute drive down to the six-yard line, but a play with three seconds left in overtime fell just short of the goal line.



Julian Benbow of the Boston Globe has a feature story on Tajae Sharpe who is having a breakout season for UMass football. The wide receiver has nearly matched his season total in receiving yardage from last season and is on pace for a 1,000 yard season. Additionally, Sharpe has begun moving into the all-time career top-10 list for receptions, receiving yardage and touchdowns at UMass.




Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a feature story on the relationship forged by UMass football quarterback Blake Frohnapfel and head coach Mark Whipple. That relationship has translated into an improved offense for the Minutemen.

"I've never had that kind of relationship with a coach before. That's been great. I wouldn't say that's what I was looking for, but it's been an added bonus," said Frohnapfel, who'll try to earn his first victory on Saturday when the Minutemen travel to Miami (Ohio) for a 2:30 p.m. game. "I've really enjoyed being here. Having a head coach, who is an offensive guy and a quarterback guy, has been great."

JERREY ROBERTS
UMass quarterback Blake Frohnapfel, center, listens to coach Mark Whipple during preseason at McGuirk Stadium.





Headlines & Previews Of @UMassFootball At Miami (Ohio)

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a feature on Tajae Sharpe's breakout season for the Minutemen which was highlighted by last weekend's 13 reception, 179 yard effort that included a pair of touchdowns. The junior is quickly closing in on the school's all-time top-10 career list for receiving yardage.

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a notebook today covering several UMass football news items including the health of Trey Dudley-Giles, Khary Bailey-Smith's ability to make big plays, and Blake Frohnapfel's honor as league player of the week.




Listen to the podcast of the September 29, 2014 edition of the Bud Light UMass Football Show featuring head coach Mark Whipple, sophomore offensive tackle Tyrell Smith, and junior defensive back Khary Bailey-Smith looking back at Bowling Green and previewing the first MAC road game of the season Saturday at Miami (Ohio).

Coverage and Recaps From @UMassFootball Loss To Bowling Green

It was a shootout at McGuirk Stadium on Saturday afternoon as Bowling Green narrowly defeated UMass 47-42 in the Minutemen's first game back on campus since 2011. Quarterback Blake Frohnapfel set school records with 589 yards through the air and five touchdowns, while Tajae Sharpe had 179 yards receiving and two touchdowns.






Friday is here and that means just one more day until the return to McGuirk Stadium for the UMass football team. Check out some of the coverage and previews of UMass' Homecoming game against Bowling Green (3 PM, ESPN3).




Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a notebook discussing Mark Whipple's thoughts after watching the Penn State film, how Sunday night's practice went, and what the return of Shadrach Abrokwah could mean for the Minutemen's run game.



Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story today on how head coach Mark Whipple thinks the home game at McGuirk Stadium - the first since construction of the new press box and team facility began in 2012 - will help energize the team and fan base.




Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has an update on Trey Dudley-Giles status to start the week after missing much of the second half of the Penn State game on Saturday. Coach Mark Whipple said Dudley-Giles was fine and the team was holding him out of the game for health reasons.

Coverage & Recaps From Football's Loss At Penn State

Friday's @UMassFootball Media Coverage Heading Into The Penn State Game

Preview Coverage Of @UMassFootball Vs. Penn State On Saturday

The podcast of the September 15, 2014 edition of the Bud Light UMass Football Show - Featuring head coach Mark Whipple, junior defensive back Trey Dudley-Giles, and junior fullback Rodney Mills with highlights of the Vanderbilt game and a preview of Penn State.

Tuesday Coverage Of @UMassFootball Game Week Vs Penn State

Coverage Of UMass Football's 34-31 Loss At Vanderbilt

Pregame Headlines As @UMassFootball Gets Ready To Face Vandy

Tons of headlines this week as UMass prepares for its first road game of the season on Saturday afternoon at Vanderbilt. The game will be aired by Fox Sports South and will also be available on ESPN3.com.

UMass fans can listen on the airwaves as the UMass Sports Network calls the action starting at 11:40 AM.



From The Vandy Press:


Highlights & Coverage Of @UMassFootball Narrow 41-38 Loss To Colorado

It was a grand welcome party for tight end Jean Sifrin whose two touchdown performance in his first game at UMass sparked the Minutemen against Colorado. The Buffs proved too much in the end, however, overcoming an 11-point UMass lead in the third quarter to take a 41-38 win over the Minutemen at Gillette Stadium on Saturday. Here's the full coverage of the game.

Postgame Interview:

Highlights:


COLORADO HEADLINES:


Play Video





Game Day Stories Preview @UMassFootball vs. Colorado (3 PM)

Boston Globe: @UMassFootball center Matt Sparks in for the long haul

Julian Benbow of the Boston Globe has a lengthy feature on UMass football center Matt Sparks who will play against several of his former high school teammates on Saturday against Colorado. The reunion is over 5,000 miles in the making as the trio are all from Hawaii.

Boston Globe: @UMassFootball center Matt Sparks in for the long haul

Julian Benbow of the Boston Globe has a lengthy feature on UMass football center Matt Sparks who will play against several of his former high school teammates on Saturday against Colorado. The reunion is over 5,000 miles in the making as the trio are all from Hawaii.

Friday's @UMassFootball Coverage Heading Into The Colorado Game

The Minutemen head to Gillette Stadium today to make the final preparations for Saturday's game against Colorado (3 PM, ESPN3). Here is a look at some of the newest headlines previewing the action.

(Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian)



From The Colorado Outlets:








Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has an in-depth look at Mark Whipple and his family in their return to UMass. Whipple is joined by his oldest son Spencer who is the tight ends coach and his youngest son Austin who is a back-up quarterback.

Postgame Coverage & Recaps From UMass-BC Game

In the first FBS meeting between UMass and Boston College, fans got a glimpse of what the rivalry could become. Despite the Eagles coming away with a 30-7 win, fans saw wall-to-wall coverage of the game leading up to kickoff and after the final moments ticked off the clock. Here's a sampling of the game recaps along with highlights.




Boston Herald: Trey Dudley-Giles does it all for @UMassFootball

John Connolly of the Boston Herald has a story focusing on Trey Dudley-Giles and this weekend's season-opener against Boston College. Connolly highlights TDG's ability to return punts, but also recognizes him as one of the top defensive players for the Minutemen.
Michael Vega of the Boston Globe has a feature story on the relationship between Mark Whipple and Don Brown. The pair worked together previously at UMass before Whipple left for the NFL and Brown left for Maryland.



Boston Globe: Blake Frohnapfel feeling his way for @UMassFootball

Julian Benbow of the Boston Globe has an extensive profile of UMass quarterback Blake Frohnapfel who will start this Saturday's season-opener against Boston College. The piece also references his twin brother Eric who is currently at Marshall.




Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story from earlier this week on how very few true freshmen are planned to be played early this year by Mark Whipple. On this weekend's two-deep, only freshman running back J.T. Blyden and linebacker Da'Sean Downey are listed.





Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story focusing on the relationship between UMass head coach Mark Whipple and Boston College defensive coordinator Don Brown. The pair worked together at UMass before Brown later returned as head coach after Whipple left for the NFL.




The first of nine episodes of the Bud Light UMass Football Show for 2014 airs tonight from 7-8 p.m. on the UMass Sports Network live from The Hangar Pub & Grill on University Drive in Amherst. Head coach Mark Whipple will be joined by transfer quarterback Blake Frohnapfel and redshirt junior defensive back Randall Jette for the hour-long program, which will preview Saturday's season opener against Boston College.

Fans can listen on WEEI 105.5 FM Springfield and 1440 AM in Worcester, online, or by downloading the TuneIn Radio app on their mobile devices. A podcast of the show will be available on UMassAthletics.com Friday morning.

Submit a question for Coach Whipple by tweeting @UMassSportsNet or clicking here. Selected questions will be used during tonight's show.

Listen Live | TuneIn Radio App | Show Schedule and Information
Rob Harms of the Boston Globe has a feature story on UMass football head coach Mark Whipple and his return to the Minutemen. The story looks at Whipple's past tenure with the Minutemen and how is experiences then and following his stint at UMass have prepared him to come back home.

Steve Buckley has a feature in Sunday's Boston Herald where he praises the return of head coach Mark Whipple and what it means to the program as it embarks on its third year at the Football Bowl Subdivision era.

Matt Vautour had a special edition story in the Worcester Telegram on Saturday focusing on UMass football and the impact Coach Mark Whipple and his staff will have on the program. Vautour also breaks down the roster focusing on several key players from Central Massachusetts.

Jack McCluskey of ESPNBoston.com was on hand Wednesday morning as the UMass football team held a light practice at Gillette Stadium in preparation for the season-opener against Boston College next Saturday. Coach Mark Whipple said the trip was more about getting the players used to being in the environment again while giving the new players a chance to see the facility for the first time before game day.




Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story on UMass football's situation at tight end as several players have either suffered injuries or are still awaiting clearance to be eligible. Brandon Howard is one who has battled injury, but is expected to start the season. Junior college Jon Denton has had a strong preseason camp and is expected to excel as a blocking tight end. Both players express praise for Mark Whipple's offense which makes use of the tight end position in its scheme.

Gazette: Coach Mark Whipple has brought fun back for UMass football

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story focusing on Mark Whipple and the change in culture around the UMass football program with his return. Several players are quoted in the story saying they have a renewed love of the game and feel more confident going into the season because of Coach Whipple and his staff.

Today we have tons of coverage of UMass Football's annual Media Day which gave reporters from around the state an opportunity to spend time with Coach Whipple and the Minutemen. It was also a first look for many at the new UMass Football Performance Center which was officially opened this summer for the team to use.






Daniel Malone writes about the progression of UMass football training camp from generalized practice to specific position-related work with his latest post for the Springfield Republican.

After using the first week of practice to, in-part, assess the development of each individual student-athlete, the UMass staff is advancing its teaching to include repetitions specific to certain on-field situations, such as goal-line plays and the two-minute drill.

Minutemen moving towards more situational work as season nears | Springfield Republican

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story on returning veteran center Matt Sparks who is a key figure in the Minutemen's transition to Mark Whipple's pro-style offense.




Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story focusing on head coach Mark Whipple and his thoughts on the first team scrimmage which was last Saturday night.

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Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire has a feature on the return of UMass wide receiver Marken Michel who is back with the team after spending the 2013 campaign away from the program.

"All slates are clean. I have to prove to them that I can play," Michel said. "But most importantly I want to prove to myself and the UMass nation that I can play. If I do that, everything else will take care of itself."  The year off gave him a new appreciation for playing football.  "I missed it," he said. "You're always going to miss something you love. Being back is amazing."




Mark Chiarelli of the Daily Collegian spoke with UMass quarterback A.J. Doyle on the change in culture surrounding the football program under head coach Mark Whipple.

"There is a lot more energy, it's a lot better energy too," Doyle said. "It's just a lot more fun to be right here. Obviously with the coaches, new systems, everyone is just excited to play football."

Maria Uminski/Daily Collegian




Daniel Malone of the Springfield Republican caught up with UMass football head coach Mark Whipple and junior wide receiver Tajae Sharpe recently to discuss the potential for a successful downfield passing game in 2014, something Malone sees as an aspect of the game the offense missed in 2013. Malone believes a corp of speedy wide receivers, such as current Minutemen Marken Michel, Alex Kenney and Sharpe, could make the difference for UMass football in 2014.

Minutemen expecting more opportunities to throw deep | masslive.com

Daniel Malone of the Springfield Republican spoke with UMass football head coach Mark Whipple following a Tuesday, Aug. 5 team practice and wrote that the Minutemen will not wear the black uniforms used during some games over the previous two seasons in 2014. Instead, according to Whipple, Massachusetts will mix and match its maroon and white gear each week.

UMass football training camp 2014: Back in black (uniforms)? Not this year, says coach Mark Whipple | masslive.com

The UMass Sports Network put together this recap of Monday's preseason camp opener for the UMass football team. Bernard Davis, Kassan Messiah and Coach Whipple each talk about how it felt to get back on the field to prep for the season.

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican takes a look at the UMass football team wide receivers and the impact the addition of Jalen Williams and Alex Kenney will make to the group. Williams impressed during the spring, while Kenney adds raw speed and experience after playing four years at Penn State.

jalen-williams.JPG



Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a story on wide receiver Jalen Williams, who joined the program this spring after transferring from Dean College, is looking to continue his impressive play. Williams adds to a mix of what looks to be a highly talented receiving corps.



The Minutemen took to Gladchuck Field on Monday afternoon for a highly spirited 2 hour, 30 minute opening practice as preseason camp officially got underway. Check out the gallery below to see the sights of Mark Whipple's first official fall practice.
Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette looks at the start of this season's preseason football camp and how the change to NCAA rules has benefited returning head coach Mark Whipple and his staff. The change allowed coaches time to meet with players and to study film allowing both groups a chance to get to know each other along with preparing for the season.

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican caught up with head coach Mark Whipple during the weekend to get his thoughts on starting his first preseason camp as a head coach since his last stint at UMass in 2003. Whipple says many of his experiences in the NFL and at Miami will craft his approach to the days leading up to the Boston College game.

Martin Rickman of SportsIllustrated.com sat down with UMass football head coach Mark Whipple to discuss why he came back to coach the Minutemen, what he is bringing with him from the NFL, and who he thinks will be impact players for the upcoming season.




Here is a look at Saturday's alumni tour of the new UMass Football Performance Center which was part of the program's "We Built Weekend".

Coverage Of @UMassFootball At MAC Media Day

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican comments on a video produced by the UMass Sports Network which shows coach Mark Whipple introducing the team to its new locker room in the UMass Football Performance Center.

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story on how having a trio of coaches from Charley Molnar's staff - Ted Daisher, Dave Sollazzo, and Shane Waldron - has helped make Mark Whipple's transition smooth since he took over the hiring. The veteran trio are praised for their coaching ability, but it's also pointed out that the group has helped keep recruiting strong while also keeping relationships strong with the current players.

Saba Aziz has a feature on Mark Whipple's return to the sidelines of the UMass football program with quotes from Tajae Sharpe and Trey Dudley-Giles on their expectations for the 2014 season.

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story this afternoon on how the first day of July officially kicks-off preseason coverage of the Minutemen. Malone describes several interesting story lines for the season and gives fans an update as to what to expect coverage-wise as we get closer to the start of the season.

Caleb Calhoun of SaturdayBlitz.com has a top 10 list of coaching hires in college football this past season. At No. 10, he has Mark Whipple's return to UMass which he says could have the Minutemen back on the winning side of the ledger very soon.

10. Mark Whipple: Massachusetts   
Mark Whipple's return to the Minutemen after 11 years is obviously highlighted by a drastic change in the dynamics of the program since he left it in 2003: They're in FBS now. And they have been 1-11 each of the past two seasons, they're first two in Division 1A. But when Whipple took over in 1998 the program had gone 2-9 the year before, and he turned it around immediately to go 12-3. Whipple also comes back to UMASS with more NFL experience working with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Philadelphia Eagles, and Cleveland Browns. For UMASS's level, there may be some growing pains, but he could have them back to winning again very soon.

Dan Malone has a second story on UMass football head coach Mark Whipple from his guest appearance on the SiriusXM show College Football Playbook on Wednesday afternoon. Whipple talks about the excitement in the Western Mass community and among the players and staff as games will return to McGuirk Stadium this season as construction of the new press box and football performance center will be complete.

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a feature today on Mark Whipple who was a guest on SiriusXM's College Football Playbook on Wednesday afternoon. Malone writes about some of the major improvements around the UMass campus, not just in athletics, that made returning as head coach very appealing to him.

Over the last several days, UMass Director of Athletics John McCutcheon has spoken to several reporters on the conference search for UMass football, how the transition has been progressing over the last several years, and his overall assessment of the program.

In a lengthy interview with Ron Chimelis of the Springfield Republican on Wednesday, McCutcheon said he sees many aspects of growth to remain positive about including attendance growth and having games back at McGuirk Stadium this year.



Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story on freshman linebacker Da'Sean Downey and his impressive performance during the Spring Game to cap off spring practice. An early enrollee, Malone writes that being able to take advantage of an early semester with the program has been beneficial for Downey's development.

Republican: A.J. Doyle ready to turn attention to summer

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story featuring UMass football quarterback A.J. Doyle and how he feels now that spring camp is finished. Doyle says he is confident in where the offense is and that he plans to take a big leadership role in the offseason workouts leading up to preseason camp.

BOSTON HERALD: Mark Whipple helps UMass Football get better

Featured columnist Ron Borges of the Boston Herald spent a day recently with UMass football head coach Mark Whipple to see exactly how things were going with the program. Borges was alongside Whipple from a 7:30 AM meeting all the way through an evening practice at McGuirk Stadium to see what made him tick, how the team was responding, and to get a feel for what the future will be like for the Minutemen.

Highlights & Coverage Of UMass Football Spring Game

The defense looked impressive throughout the night turning in several highlight plays, but wide receivers Jalen Williams and Shakur Nesmith each put on displays for the offense with several outstanding plays of their own as Team Minutemen defeated Team UMass in the annual Spring Game on Wednesday night at McGuirk Stadium.





Herald: Doyle, UMass Football In Transition

Rich Thompson of the Boston Herald has a story on the transition UMass football has undergone with Mark Whipple back as head coach. At not other position is the transition more evident than at quarterback with the switch from a spread, shot gun offense to a pro-style scheme.

Gazette: Mark Whipple, UMass set for spring football game

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a preview of Wednesday night's UMass Football Spring Game which kicks off at 7 PM. The format of the game will be the first string offense vs. the first string defense followed by the second team units.

Following a strong end to his 2012 season as a freshman, kicker Blake Lucas experienced some disappointed on the field last season. With renewed confidence this spring, the rising junior is looking forward to making a strong comeback according to Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican.

Gazette: Kassan Messiah, UMass linebackers get fresh start

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette has a feature story today looking at the UMass football linebackers. The group may be one of the more athletic groups on the roster and with the switch to a 3-4 defense will have a chance to make a big impact in 2014.

Dan Malone of the Springfield Republican has a story on Marken Michel who has rejoined the Minutemen after spending the 2013 season out of football. Michel figures to add depth to a wide receiving corps which was hurt by injury last year.

Matt Vautour of the Daily Hampshire Gazette had a story on Saturday about incoming transfer quarterback Blake Frohnapfel and how he is preparing for next season while still in school at Marshall. Frohnapfel is able to study the UMass play book, watch practice film online and has been working on his own.

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