Preview 2019: Previewing and looking ahead to the UMass Minutemen season with what you need to know.
2018 Record: 4-8 overall
Head Coach: Walt Bell, 1st year
5. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE UMASS OFFENSE
– Just 35 coming into the season, new UMass head coach Walt Bell is a young, rising offensive mind coming off of stints as the coordinator at Florida State and Maryland before that. The offense needs some rebuilding after finishing with one of the nation’s most efficient passing games, but with no rushing attack.
– Ross Comis and Andrew Ford combined to throw for over 3,000 yards with 23 touchdown passes. They’re both gone, but senior Michael Curtis saw enough action to not come in cold. He and 6-4, 220-pound senior Randall West will push for the starting gig. But …
– There’s no Andy Isabella to throw to anymore. All he did was catch 102 passes for 1,698 yards and 13 scores before going off to be an Arizona Cardinal. 6-2, 190-pound Sadiq Palmer was the second leading receiver with 28 catches for 419 yards and two scores, and there’s enough young talent returning to be okay. But there isn’t another Isabella.
– The O line and the running game will be a problem … again. The Minutemen lose all three starters on the inside, but get back 6-7, 300-pound sophomore Larnel Coleman at one tackle spot, and 6-5, 320-pound senior Ray Thomas-Ishman on the other side. The interior is young, and the depth is lacking.
– Marquis Young is gone after leading the team with 778 rushing yards and nine scores, averaging over five yards per carry. Backup Jordan Fredericks is gone, too. It’s a thin, thin group with the leading returning running back – Bilal Ally – only finishing with 139 yards and a score.