Best UMass Offensive Player
QB Andrew Ford, Sr.
The 6-3, 210-pounder started out his career at Virginia Tech, went the JUCO route to UMass, and broke through the quarterback battle to be the passer the offense needed.
He hit 63% of his passes for 2,924 yards with 22 touchdowns and four picks, throwing two scoring throws or more five times and limiting his mistakes. He’s not going to run, but he’ll be consistent and he’ll push the ball deep. Expect well over 3,000 yards if he stays healthy.
2. WR Andy Isabella, Sr.
3. RB Marquis Young, Sr.
4. QB Ross Comis, Sr.
5. OT Ray Thomas-Ishman, Jr.
Best UMass Defensive Player
CB Lee Moses, Sr.
At 5-11 and 200 pounds, he’s got the size to work at safety, but he’s a quick corner who’s great at attacking the ball. He can hit, coming up with 40 tackles last season, but he’s at his best when the ball is in the air, picking off four passes and taking one for a score. He leads a veteran secondary with plenty of help around him, but he’ll still be the the leader of the group – and the one to avoid.
2. LB Jarell Addo, Sr.
3. CB Isaiah Rodgers, Jr.
4. DE Joe Previte, Sr.
5. S Tyler Hayes, Sr.
Key Player To A Successful Season
DE Joe Previte, Sr.
He’s never going to be a multi-sack producer, and he’s hardly a star who’ll change around a defense, but he’s the lone returning starter on the defensive front full of a whole lot of uncertainty. The 6-2, 265-pounder came up with 25 tackles and 3.5 tackles for loss, but until the line emerges, he’s the veteran presence who has somehow get into the backfield more.
Key Game To The UMass Season
at FIU, Sept. 15
The Minutemen closed the season relatively well with a four win run in five games before finishing up with a trip down to Miami to face FIU. The Minutemen run defense went bye-bye, getting destroyed for 379 yards and six scores by the Golden Panther ground attack in a 63-45 FIU win.
At the end of a three game road trip – playing Boston College and Georgia Southern before this – here’s the chance to show that things have changed since early December. With a road game at Ohio and a date with South Florida coming up soon after, UMass has to find a way to steal a few wins early, and this is one.
2017 UMass Fun Stats
– 4th Down Conversions: UMass 15-of-24 (62%) – Opponents 9-of-21 (43%)
– Sacks: Opponents 46 for 263 yards – UMass 23 for 141 yards
– Punt Return Average: Opponents 13.4 yards – UMass 4.6 yards