UMass vs. Duquesne fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, August 25
Game Time: 5:30 pm ET
Venue: Warren McGuirk Alumni Stadium, Amherst, MA
Network: Eleven Sports Network
UMass (0-0) vs. Duquesne (0-0) Game Preview
This isn’t just some total pushover of an FCS game for UMass. The Dukes of Duquesne are coming off a solid 7-4 season, and now they get to kick off the 2018 college football season with their first of two games against the FBS world, getting to travel to Hawaii on September 22nd.
UMass is playing in its second straight Week 0 game, starting out last year with a thrilling – but telling, in the way it suffered a close call disappointment – 38-35 loss to Hawaii in Amherst.
One Reason Why UMass Will Win
The Minutemen offense will blow up this season. Against a Duke D that should be okay, the air show will be strong from the start when it needs to be. However, the goal of this game is to figure out the other parts.
QB Andrew Ford and WR Andy Isabella will be the headliners, but the running game should be established early on. It wasn’t anything special last season, but this is the game to use as a tune-up. The passing attack will be more than fine – they know that. Now the Minutemen will try to balance things out.
One Reason Why Duquesne Will Win
The passing game should be able to keep up the pace. The Dukes had an explosive offense that averaged over 420 yards per game thanks to one of the FCS’s most efficient passing games. There might be several lost parts, but WR Nehari Crawford has FCS All-America upside.
The bigger problem for UMass might be the Duquesne pass rush. It was the best in the Northeast Conference, and now it gets to go against a Minutemen offensive line that was among the nation’s leakiest. Even with four starters back on the offensive front, DU will get pressure on Ford.
What’s Going To Happen
Duquesne will be able to keep this close and fun for a while, but the UMass offense will be too good throughout. Ford will get hot in the second half and end up with five touchdown passes as the Minutemen pull away late in the third.