As a sophomore in 2013: Game-By-Game Statistics Started 11 of the 12 games he played this season ... Part of an offensive line group which excelled in pass protection allowing just 16 sacks compared to 32 sacks in 2012 ... UMass was tied for fifth in the league for fewest sacks allowed in 2013 ... Also helped the offense's run game improve in year two at the Football Bowl Subdivision ... UMass rushed for over 1,500 yards on the ground averaging 125.2 yards per game in 2013 compared to 1,075 yards rushing and an 89.6 yard per game average in 2012 ... Has started at center in nine of 10 games ... Was the starting center for the Minutemen in the season-opening contest at No. 23 Wisconsin (8/31) ... Appeared against Maine (9/7) and started at Kansas State (9/14) ... Added more starts at center against Vanderbilt (9/21) and Bowling Green (10/5) ... Was the center when UMass totaled 376 yards of offense in the win over Miami (Ohio) on Oct. 12 ... Continued as the starting center at Buffalo (10/19) and against Western Michigan (10/26) ... Helped Lorenzo Woodley rush for 163 yards and a touchdown over 38 carries as the center against #17/21 Northern Illinois (11/2).
As a freshman in 2012:Game-By-Game Statistics Played in six games, starting three on the offensive line ... First snaps with the Minutemen came at #17 Michigan (9/15) ... Also made appearances against Western Michigan (10/6), Bowling Green (10/20), Vanderbilt (10/27), Northern Illinois (11/3) and Buffalo (11/17).
Before UMass: Named to the 2011 ESPN High School All-Hawaii Football Team ... Earned First-Team All-Conference honors under head coach Kale Anae at The Punahou School.
Personal: Matthew Steven Sparks ... Born November 25, 1994 in Honolulu, Hawaii ... Son of Cary and Heidi Sparks ... Brother of Jacob and Rachael ... Majoring in Engineering.