Nov. 19, 2013
University of Massachusetts football head coach Charley Molnar spoke with members of the media during the weekly MAC Teleconference on Monday morning. Molnar discussed the Akron game, the 2013 Senior Class and the importance of having players like Rob Blanchflower in the program.
On the loss to Akron
One of the take-aways from the Akron game was that our defense did a great job at bouncing back. The last time we were on the field, we didn't perform up to our standards. This game, I thought our defense played very well for most of the game and outstanding at other parts. The turnovers that we created were outstanding. Our guys played hard and they played together. Unfortunately we came out on the short end. When you're a young team in transition you have to look for other benchmarks and milestones to see improvement in your football program, not only on the inside, but for people on the outside to look at. I think some of the things that are really promising for the future are this: number one is that we set an all-time attendance record with our crowd of over ten thousand. That's vitally important for us as we forge ahead into (Division) 1-A football and into FBS football. The other things I think are really good is if you look at our offense, every guy who touched a football either rushing, passing, receiving, or returning a kick will all be back; some of them for two years and some of them for three years with the exception of our captain Rob Blanchflower. The future looks good for offense as our guys continue to develop.
On the quarterback injury
On Central Michigan
The quarterback situation is unresolved at this moment. We'll have to see when we get back on the practice field. I'm sure it won't be clear until mid-week exactly what direction we're going to go.
I'll start with their offense and I'm going to go back a year from now. We came away from that game feeling like Zurlon Tipton was the best running back in the mid American conference. He had a career day against us. He had 186 yards and 4 touchdowns, so I think the offense really revolves around his play. They've also got Titus Davis who is arguably one of the best wide receivers in the Mid-American Conference, so our defense is going to have their work cut out. Defensively, what really impresses me is their linebacker tandem of #26 and #41. To have two linebackers leading the Mid-American Conference in tackles is a unique feat. It tells you how good these two are and how their defensive line does a great job of keeping the linemen from climbing up to the second level and it allows those guys to make a lot of plays. Not only are they excellent tacklers, also their ability to get to the quarterback. They are Central's top-two tacklers, so in just about every statistic worth noting, those two young men are at the top of it. There are some outstanding players on both sides of the ball that we're going to have to work our game plan against.
On what he said to his seniors after the loss against Akron
What I said to them then is what I've said to the seniors what I've said to them every single week about how much we appreciate their effort and their loyalty. After all their contributions they've made to this program, unfortunately they're not leaving with a conference championship or a division championship, but I think they're all walking away knowing they've left a legacy behind of the foundation that they've helped put in for the UMass football program as it ventures into FBS football.
One what Rob Blanchflower means to the program during its transition to FBS
He's been such a great leader on the practice field, on the game field, in meetings, and in everything he does. He has set such a great example for our young players to look at to say "If you want to be recognized as one of the best players in the conference at your position, here's what it takes." If you want us to have a championship football team, we can't just have one guy like Rob Blanchflower. We need many of these young men to step up and do the same thing that Rob has done for us. Rob is a talented young man, but talent only takes you so far. His attitude is really what separates him from many other football players.