Preview 2018: UMass Minutemen. The Fun O You Need To Know

Preview 2018: UMass Minutemen. The Fun O You Need To Know

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Preview 2018: UMass Minutemen. The Fun O You Need To Know

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What You Need To Know About The UMass Defense

– The offensive side gets about everyone back. The defense doesn’t. The top four and five of the top six tacklers are gone from a group that struggled to hold up against the run – allowing close to 200 yards per game – but the secondary did an okay job. There were plays in the backfield, but the pass rush was spotty. First, though, the Minutemen have to find tacklers again.

– The defensive front seven loses five starters, having to replace both defensive tackles and leading pass rusher, Da’Sean Downey. Worst of all, just 2.5 of the 23 generated sacks from last season return, needing end Joe Previte to rise up in a hurry and hoping a whole slew of untested options to be ready right away.

– The secondary should be the strength again, if only because that’s where the returning starters are. Tyler Hayes is a solid-hitting safety with good range and thump, and Lee Moses returns to one corner spot after picking off four passes. If the pass rush is stronger, this group will shine.

Biggest Key To The UMass Defense

Hold up against the run, and do it with a whole slew of new parts up front. There isn’t a lot of bulk, and there’s not a lot of experience on the line, but somehow the Minutemen have to be stronger. The team was 0-4 when allowing 250 yards or more, and was crushed for 17 touchdowns in those games.

How much does 250 matter? Since moving up to the FBS world in 2012, UMass is 0-22 when allowing 250 rushing yards or more. To take this further, UMass is 1-33 over the last six years – beating Appalachian State last season when allowing 234 yards – when giving up 200 rushing yards or more.

NEXT: Top Players, Final Prediction & What Will Happen

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