Reaction: Wisconsin 45, UMass 0

MADISON, Wis. — The Massachusetts football team lost its season opener to No. 23 Wisconsin, 45-0, in front of 76,306 at Camp Randall Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Here are some thoughts on the game.

Badgers run wild – The Badgers probably could’ve ran every single offensive play from scrimmage in this contest, and may have won by an even greater margin. Wisconsin ran 221 yards on UMass in the first half alone, and didn’t slow it down from there. The Badgers ran for over 350 yards and four touchdowns for the game. Sophomore Melvin Gordon led the Badgers with 144 yards and a 70-yard touchdown run, while senior James White wasn’t far behind. White ran for 143 yards, including a 47-yard run into UMass territory on the second play from scrimmage and a 51-yard scamper in the third quarter to put Wisconsin up 31-0 at the time. The Badgers ran on a majority of their plays and picked apart the UMass defense. The front seven in particular looked completely overmatched by the Wisconsin offensive line.  Continue reading

First half thoughts: Wisconsin 17, UMass 0

MADISON, Wis. — The Massachusetts football team trails No. 23 Wisconsin 17-0 in their season opener at Camp Randall Stadium this afternoon. Here are some thoughts from the first half of play.

Badgers running wild — UMass looks completely overmatched up front and it’s showing in the Wisconsin running game. The Badgers ran all over the Minutemen in the first half for 221 yards between two running backs, including a 70-yard score by Melvin Gordon in the second quarter. The sophomore ran for 127 yards on 11 attempts while senior starter James White went 89 yards on 9 attempts and took the second play from scrimmage 47 yards to the UMass 17 to set up quarterback Joel Stave for a four yard rushing touchdown to make it 7-0 Badgers early. The Badgers ran for 95 yards in the first quarter alone and seem to be sticking to the ground game throughout. Of their 19 first-quarter plays, 14 of them were runs between White and Melvin Gordon. Wisconsin did much of the same in the second quarter. Wisconsin ran on 23 of their 34 plays in the first half.

Mistakes hurting offense – The Minutemen had a few tough breaks to cost them potential scoring plays. Nothing hurts UMass more than a methodical drive by the MInutemen  UMass caught a break in its first possession when an offsides penalty gave it a first down on third and five, but running back Stacey Bedell fumbled the ball away just one play later. In their second possession, the Minutemen fell victim to separate false start penalties; one on Vincent Westcarr and the other on Anthony Dima. Derek Beck made a couple of catches out of the tight end spot to keep the drive alive, but then dropped a sure first down on a third-down pass from quarterback Mike Wegzyn. UMass suffered similar mishaps in its first possession of the second quarter. A Beck false start and a delay of game gave UMass a third and 20 that it would not convert. Wegzyn finished 7-for-15 passing for 59 yards for the half.

Continue reading

Starting lineups: UMass vs. Wisconsin

Photo by Taylor C. Snow/Collegian

Photo by Taylor C. Snow/Collegian

MADISON, Wis. — Here are the starting lineups for today’s season opening contest between the Massachusetts football team and No. 23 Wisconsin.

STARTERS

UMass offense:

QB — Mike Wegzyn

RB — Stacey Bedell

WR — Shakur Nesmith

WR — Elgin Long

WR — Tajae Sharpe

TE — Ricardo Miller

LT — Anthony Dima

LG — Vincent Westcarr

C — Matt Sparks

RG — Tyrell Smith

RT — David Osei

UMass defense  Continue reading

Pregame notes: UMass vs. Wisconsin

Photo by Nick Canelas/Collegian

Photo by Nick Canelas/Collegian

MASSACHUSETTS MINUTEMEN VS. WISCONSIN BADGERS

  • Camp Randall Stadium. Madison, Wis.
  • Noon EST
  • Game preview 
  • TV broadcast — Big Ten Network Radio broadcast – WMUA 91.1 FM/WEEI Springfield 105.5
  • Twitter updates: @MDC_Sports / @NickCanelas

GAME NOTES

  • The Massachusetts football team kicks off its 2013 regular season today at Camp Randall Stadium in Madiscon, Wis., to take on No. 23 Wisconsin. This is UMass’ second season as members of the Football Bowl Subdivision and Mid-American Conference. The Badgers are the Minutemen’s third Big Ten opponent since joining FBS. Last season, the Minutemen took on Indiana in their home opener last season on Sept. 8 and lost, 45-6. UMass then took a 63-3 beating at the hands of then-No. 17 Michigan one week later. However, this Minutemen team is a year more experienced and has more FBS talent than a season ago.  Continue reading

Camp Randall Stadium through the lens of an iPhone

MADISON, Wis. — In just about two hours, the Massachusetts football team kicks off its second season in the Football Bowl Subdivision against No. 23 Wisconsin at Camp Randall Stadium here in Madison, Wis.

Here’s a snapshot of where they’ll be playing through lens of an iPhone here in the Camp Randall press box.

This is my view of the game

IMG_0231

Both end zones  Continue reading

UMass Roster Breakdown: Running backs

Photo by Maria Uminski/Collegian

Photo by Maria Uminski/Collegian

For the last eight days, the Massachusetts Daily Collegian sports blog broke down each position on the UMass football roster from now until the regular season. Today is the final day, and we cap it off with running backs. UMass wide receivers were highlighted yesterday.

Key Returners: Jordan Broadnax (JR), Jamal Wilson (SO), Stacey Bedell (RS FR)

Key Losses: Mike Cox

Promising Newcomers: Lorenzo Woodley (FR), Daquan Mack (FR)

Notes: The Massachusetts football team’s running game took a bit of a hit midway through camp when projected starter Jordan Broadnax went down with a knee injury and will miss at least the season opener at Wisconsin, if not another game or two. Broadnax is the lone upperclassman with real game experience of the group and was the Minutemen’s best pass-catching option out of the backfield.

In Broadnax’s place as the starter will be Stacey Bedell. The redshirt freshman saw action in the first two games last season before suffering a broken collarbone and receiving a medical redshirt. Now Bedell has a second chance at his freshman year and an even bigger chance to be an impact player with Broadnax out for an unspecified period of time.

Regardless of who’s in and who’s out, expect to see a little bit of everything from the UMass backfield this season.  Continue reading

UMass Roster Breakdown: Wide Receivers

Photo by Taylor C. Snow

Photo by Taylor C. Snow

Each day, the Massachusetts Daily Collegian sports blog will break down each position on the UMass football roster from now until the regular season. Today we look at the wide receivers. Check in tomorrow for the running backs. The UMass quarterbacks were highlighted yesterday.

Key Returners: Tajae Sharpe (SO), Elgin Long (RS SO), Bernard Davis (SO), Iric Harris (RS SO)

Notable Losses: Deion Walker (GR), Alan Williams (SR) Marken Michel (SO)

Key Newcomers: Shakur Nesmith (FR), Kevin Lovaincy (RS FR), E.J. Burston (FR), Shaquille Harris (FR), D.J. Woods (FR)

Notes: This season could give a glimpse into the future at the wide receiver position for the Massachusetts football team.

The 2013 wide receiving corps consists of all underclassmen with limited playing time at the collegiate level. So, this year could either show a lot of promise, or cause many headaches for the offense, depending if the young group can grasp the offense that UMass coach Charley Molnar puts in place for them.

Last year, the wide receivers weren’t anything special, but there are still two glaring holes left behind by graduate student Deion Walker and senior Alan Williams. Between the two, they collected over 1,000 yards receiving for a combined seven touchdowns and gave first-year quarterback Mike Wegzyn two strong options to throw the ball to.

This year, he won’t have that experience. Heading into the season, Tajae Sharpe is the only member of this year’s group that made any significant impact on offense last season.  Continue reading