Location: Amherst, Massachusetts
2017 record: 4-8
Head Coach: Mark Whipple (11th season, 61-62 overall, 12-36 current stint)
After a rough start to their 2017 campaign, losing the first six games of the season, the Massachusetts Minutemen finished strong with a 4-2 record to close out the campaign and provide a springboard for the 2018 season and a potential conference invitation.
Head coach Mark Whipple must like his chances of getting the Minutemen bowl eligible in 2018. He returns sophomore quarterback Andrew Ford, who threw for 22 touchdowns and just 4 interceptions as a freshman starter in 2017. Also returning is running back Marquis Young, who has as much big play ability as any back in the country. All but one linemen return in 2018 as well as every wide receiver. The Minutemen offense should not be a point of concern in 2018.
The defense needs to replace a few impact players under second year defensive coordinator Ed Pinkham as well. Three of the front seven must be replaced as well as two impact players in the secondary. If these spots can be filled, the defense just needs to play good enough given the firepower on offense.
Thought the Minutemen have talent, this will be your typical week before Rivalry Week tune-up. According to S&P+, the Minutemen are favored in five games this season, but if they are to get bowl eligible, they will need six wins under their belt before coming to Athens, Georgia. Expect the starters to rest the second half and for the Dawgs to run away with ease in this one.
In the words of Forrest Gump: “And that’s all I have to say about that.”
Georgia 52 UMass 10
Until next time… Go Dawgs!!!