2017 Prespring Rankings: No. 128 Massachusetts Minutemen
The 2017 prespring college football rankings, taking the first look at the Massachusetts Minutemen
No. 128: Massachusetts Minutemen
Massachusetts Minutemen Prespring Status
It was a rough year as an independent for a UMass team that likely would’ve had a far, far different campaign as a part of the MAC. The defense had its moments early on, but got worse. The offense had just enough pop to throw the ball a bit, but it didn’t lead to wins. There’s hope for a better record with plenty of experience returning, but is the talent level in place to come up with anything better than a 2-10 record? It’s going to be a fight.
Massachusetts Minutemen Biggest Issue
The offensive line has to be better. The Minutemen couldn’t run the ball a lick last season and had to rely far too often on the passing attack to get back in games. The line didn’t generate enough of a push, and now it loses three starters and doesn’t have a ton of developed depth ready to step in and step up. After allowing 45 sacks, and paving the way for fewer than 100 rushing yards per game, the front five needs to be better.
Massachusetts Minutemen Biggest Positive
The defensive front has the potential to be terrific at times. Only one starter is gone on D, but it’ll be the front seven that should shine right away with the linebacking punch of Steve Casali, Da’Sean Downey and Tedrick Lowery likely to rise up into something terrific. Offensively, the key parts return in the backfield. The running game might not be a rock, but there are veteran quarterbacks to work with and a decent runner in Marquis Young to carry the load.
Really, Why Are The Massachusetts Minutemen Ranked Here?
There’s a whole lot of experience returning, but just how much does that matter? Can the team be more competitive after just two of the losses came by seven points or fewer? Yeah, but that might not translate into a better record considering all the decent teams on the independent slate. Even so, the ranking is based on how good the teams are going into the season, and UMass has too much to work on.