Aug 26, 2013
AMHERST, Mass. -
UMass football head coach Charley Molnar spoke with media members on Monday morning as the MAC Coaches Teleconference kicked off the first week of the season. Molnar spoke about the differences in the program between year one and year two of the FBS era along with the progression of quarterback Mike Wegzyn and the upcoming game at Wisconsin.
On What The Team Accomplished During Training Camp And In Preparation For Wisconsin:
Our team has come a long way in a short period of time. I think our guys have worked really hard. We had our normal bumps and bruises that every team has during camp but I think we are able to bring every guy out to Madison for the game. Our overall health is pretty good for this point in summer camp.
Going into our first game, we are a more confident team than we were a year ago. We are playing harder and playing together. We are still young in several spots and will play a lot of true freshmen again this year just like last season, but I see good things coming up.
On The Difference Between Year One And Year Two As Head Coach At UMass:
I think the biggest thing is that the players know what to expect from the coaches on a daily basis. They have been through the grind with us for a whole calendar year; they know the pace of how we run practice and how we go about and do our business. They really understand that and have bought into it now.
On Playing At Wisconsin:
On Mike Wegzyn At Quarterback And His Progression:
Any time you have the chance to play a Big Ten team, it's awfully exciting for the young men. I think our team is going to be better prepared to go into that type of environment than they were a year ago. I think playing at Michigan was a great experience for our guys; playing in front of a crowd of that size and are now perhaps more used to that. I know it's going to get loud and we will be playing a good football team, but that's what we are trying to do - measure ourselves against the best teams in the country.
He is definitely a better quarterback now than a year ago. In fact, he's better now than he even was in the Spring. He's just like every other player on our team - more confident, a little bit bigger, and a little bit stronger. His fundamentals have improved dramatically over the course of the year and I think he is just better overall as a quarterback. He still has a way to go; he's still young as a sophomore. I feel much better going into game one this year than I did a year for sure.
On Expectations In Year Two For The Program At The FBS Level:
I don't set expectations right now in terms of wins and losses. I have a number in my mind that I think we can attain if everything goes right, but really we just want to continue to build our foundation and take that process another step. When we walk off the field, we want the other team to know they just played a team that was tremendously tough physically and mentally. I think as you watch our games unfold, that's what you will see along with being a well disciplined football team. As our talent grows with that, then you will see more and more wins.
On The Health Of Rob Blanchflower:
The next couple of days will give us a better feel. I certainly don't want to rush him back. We have a long season ahead of us. If he is ready to play, everyone will know by mid-week. I'm still optimistic but it remains to be seen. He'll go out there today and we'll see what he can do.
On The Mindset Of Playing At Wisconsin:
It's to go out there to win a football game. We're certainly not going out there with any other thought in mind. We are going out there to play our very best and play as close to perfect football as we can. They are awfully good - they been to the last three Rose Bowls so it's certainly a great program. We're going to give them our best shot and I certainly think that our guys are going to step up to that challenge.