UMASS SET FOR SEASON-OPENER AT NO. 23 WISCONSIN
• Year two of the FBS era kicks off on Saturday afternoon as the UMass Minutemen head to No. 23 Wisconsin at Camp Randall Stadium. The game will feature the first meeting between the two teams and the third time UMass has faced a Big Ten team in the last five years.
• The game will be televised live on the Big Ten Network with Wayne Larrivee (play-by-play) and Jon Jansen (color) calling the action.
• The UMass Sports Network will once again feature Voice of the Mintuemen Josh Maurer handling play-by-play duties alongside analyst Matt Goldstein and sideline reporter Cody Chrusciel. The game can be heard live starting at 11:40 AM (EST) on 105.5 FM WEEI (Springfield), 1440 AM WVEI (Worcester) and 95.9 FM WATD (South Shore). The broadcast is also available online through www.UMassAthletics.com and on smart phones and tablets through the TuneIn app.
• In its second season at the FBS level, the Minutemen look to be much improved from last year. With a year in the system of head coach Charley Molnar, a new dedicated strength and conditioning coach along with an entire offseason of work, the Minutemen look bigger, faster, and stronger than last season. Also of benefit for the Minutemen, the nation’s youngest squad in 2012 got a year older and a bit wiser after 30 true and redshirt freshmen saw game action last year including the 18 who started games.
• Saturday’s game will also be a homecoming of sorts for Phil Elmassian who coached at Wisconsin from 1997-1999 helping the Badgers reach the Outback Bowl in 1997 and the Rose Bowl in 1998 and 1999. All four of the Badgers’ defensive backs under Elmassian’s tutelege earned first team, second team or honorable mention all-conference honors in 1999. Cornerback Jamar Fletcher led the nation in interceptions in 1998 with seven and went on to be named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, earn consensus All-America honors and win the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation’s outstanding defensive back in 2000.
• The game will also mark the first game for three transfers at UMass as Justin Anderson, Ricardo Miller and David Osei put on the Maroon & White for the first time after transferring in over the summer. Each is a fifth-year transfer
who earned their degrees at their previous schools in the spring (Anderson-Maryland, Miller-Michigan, Osei-Rutgers).
• UMass will be playing without two of its top players on offense as tailback Jordan Broadnax is ruled out for the game as is tight end and team captain Rob Blanchflower. Stacey Bedell will make the start for Broadnax marking his first game back since Indiana last year, while Miller will start at tight end for Blanchflower.
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