Oct. 8, 2012
In Monday morning's MAC Football Coaches Media Teleconference, UMass head coach Charley Molnar looks back at the Western Michigan game, speaks about the growth process for the underclassmen who have played this season, and talks about the advantages of having a bye week in the middle of the season.
On The Loss At Western Michigan:
I was a little disappointed after the game and after watching the film, but I'm not discouraged. Our team has a way to go. Western Michigan's front seven on defense, after Michigan, was the biggest, most physical that we have faced this year. Their offensive line was big and physical and that was tough for our guys to handle. We play a lot of young guys; we started two true freshmen linebackers and a true freshman at corner. Sometimes they showed their youth and inexperience, but all three of them also made some quality plays throughout the course of the afternoon.
On Taking Advantage Of The Bye Week:
The first thing is to make sure we get our team healthy. The other thing will be to do some drills that are specifically aimed at getting some of the younger guys more experience - guys that we depend on and guys who are going to have more of a role as we get into the second half of the season. For our upperclassmen, we are going to back off them a bit physically so they can get their legs back under them and heal up. The bye week has come at a great time, the midway point of the season, and hopefully we can use it and make some progress in the second half of the season.
On The Amount Of Experience Younger Players Have Received This Season:
On The Bye Week Schedule:
I don't know if I'd say pleased because you would want veterans who have done the job. All-in-all, in this transition year to play so many young guys and help them prepare for the future is going to bode well for us. Watching these guys grow up right before our eyes, it's been really fun. Some of these true freshmen they act and feel like veterans - the way they handle themselves on trips, the way they prepare, the way they communicate with coaches and other players. That wasn't the case two months ago. That maturation process is very critical for our football program. For where our program is and where we want it to go, playing these freshmen now will really end up being a blessing.
We will practice the first three days of the week so it will obviously be a bit less than normal. As the week goes on, we will have several coaches out on the road for recruiting purposes. We'll have three good days of practices along with some video work and conditioning and lifting of course. We'll let them get their legs back, freshen their minds, and get some focus put in on their academics.
On The Mental Benefit Of A Bye Week:
These guys have been here since basically early July and a lot of them have not been home up until this point. Some of them will have that chance this weekend for the first time and that will be good for them. Being at home will give them the ability to be away for a few days and then come back ready to get to work.