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Matt Vautour: Impressions on UMass’ season opening loss to Boston College

  • YOSHITAKA HAMADA<br/>Fans of University of Massachusetts Minutemen shows his excitement after the Minutemen scored a touchdown during the second half of the Saturday afternoon college football action against Boston College Eagles at the Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014.  The University of Massachusetts Minutemen fell to Boston College Eagles, 7-30

    YOSHITAKA HAMADA
    Fans of University of Massachusetts Minutemen shows his excitement after the Minutemen scored a touchdown during the second half of the Saturday afternoon college football action against Boston College Eagles at the Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014. The University of Massachusetts Minutemen fell to Boston College Eagles, 7-30 Purchase photo reprints »

  • YOSHITAKA HAMADA<br/>University of Massachusetts Minutemen Randall Jette (4) intercepts the ball as defensive back Trey Dudley-Giles (9) runs in front of Jette during the first half of the Saturday afternoon college football action against Boston College Eagles at the Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014.  The University of Massachusetts Minutemen fell to Boston College Eagles, 7-30

    YOSHITAKA HAMADA
    University of Massachusetts Minutemen Randall Jette (4) intercepts the ball as defensive back Trey Dudley-Giles (9) runs in front of Jette during the first half of the Saturday afternoon college football action against Boston College Eagles at the Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014. The University of Massachusetts Minutemen fell to Boston College Eagles, 7-30 Purchase photo reprints »

  • YOSHITAKA HAMADA<br/>The reflection of the field is seen before the start of the Saturday afternoon college football action against Boston College Eagles at the Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014.  The University of Massachusetts Minutemen fell to Boston College Eagles, 7-30

    YOSHITAKA HAMADA
    The reflection of the field is seen before the start of the Saturday afternoon college football action against Boston College Eagles at the Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014. The University of Massachusetts Minutemen fell to Boston College Eagles, 7-30 Purchase photo reprints »

  • YOSHITAKA HAMADA<br/>University of Massachusetts Minutemen running back Jamal Wilson (6) catches the ball during the first half of the Saturday afternoon college football action against Boston College Eagles at the Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014.  The University of Massachusetts Minutemen fell to Boston College Eagles, 7-30

    YOSHITAKA HAMADA
    University of Massachusetts Minutemen running back Jamal Wilson (6) catches the ball during the first half of the Saturday afternoon college football action against Boston College Eagles at the Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014. The University of Massachusetts Minutemen fell to Boston College Eagles, 7-30 Purchase photo reprints »

  • YOSHITAKA HAMADA<br/>University of Massachusetts Minutemen defensive back Trey Dudley-Giles (9) tries to tackle Boston College Eagles running back Myles Willis (23) during the first half of the Saturday afternoon college football action against Boston College Eagles at the Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014.  The University of Massachusetts Minutemen fell to Boston College Eagles, 7-30

    YOSHITAKA HAMADA
    University of Massachusetts Minutemen defensive back Trey Dudley-Giles (9) tries to tackle Boston College Eagles running back Myles Willis (23) during the first half of the Saturday afternoon college football action against Boston College Eagles at the Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014. The University of Massachusetts Minutemen fell to Boston College Eagles, 7-30 Purchase photo reprints »

  • YOSHITAKA HAMADA<br/>University of Massachusetts Minutemen running back J.T. Blyden (23) runs the ball on the field during the first half of the Saturday afternoon college football action against Boston College Eagles at the Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014.  The University of Massachusetts Minutemen fell to Boston College Eagles, 7-30

    YOSHITAKA HAMADA
    University of Massachusetts Minutemen running back J.T. Blyden (23) runs the ball on the field during the first half of the Saturday afternoon college football action against Boston College Eagles at the Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014. The University of Massachusetts Minutemen fell to Boston College Eagles, 7-30 Purchase photo reprints »

  • YOSHITAKA HAMADA<br/>University of Massachusetts Minutemen head coach Mark Whipple, second left, stands on side-line during the second half of the Saturday afternoon college football action against Boston College Eagles at the Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014.  The University of Massachusetts Minutemen fell to Boston College Eagles, 7-30.

    YOSHITAKA HAMADA
    University of Massachusetts Minutemen head coach Mark Whipple, second left, stands on side-line during the second half of the Saturday afternoon college football action against Boston College Eagles at the Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014. The University of Massachusetts Minutemen fell to Boston College Eagles, 7-30. Purchase photo reprints »

  • YOSHITAKA HAMADA<br/>Fans react to the game during the second half of the Saturday afternoon college football action against Boston College Eagles at the Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014.  The University of Massachusetts Minutemen fell to Boston College Eagles, 7-30

    YOSHITAKA HAMADA
    Fans react to the game during the second half of the Saturday afternoon college football action against Boston College Eagles at the Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014. The University of Massachusetts Minutemen fell to Boston College Eagles, 7-30 Purchase photo reprints »

  • YOSHITAKA HAMADA<br/>University of Massachusetts Minutemen head coach Mark Whipple, left, stands on side line as the defensive coordinator Tom Masella, right, yells to the players during the second half of the Saturday afternoon college football action against Boston College Eagles at the Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014.  The University of Massachusetts Minutemen fell to Boston College Eagles, 7-30

    YOSHITAKA HAMADA
    University of Massachusetts Minutemen head coach Mark Whipple, left, stands on side line as the defensive coordinator Tom Masella, right, yells to the players during the second half of the Saturday afternoon college football action against Boston College Eagles at the Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014. The University of Massachusetts Minutemen fell to Boston College Eagles, 7-30 Purchase photo reprints »

  • YOSHITAKA HAMADA<br/>Fans of University of Massachusetts Minutemen shows his excitement after the Minutemen scored a touchdown during the second half of the Saturday afternoon college football action against Boston College Eagles at the Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014.  The University of Massachusetts Minutemen fell to Boston College Eagles, 7-30
  • YOSHITAKA HAMADA<br/>University of Massachusetts Minutemen Randall Jette (4) intercepts the ball as defensive back Trey Dudley-Giles (9) runs in front of Jette during the first half of the Saturday afternoon college football action against Boston College Eagles at the Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014.  The University of Massachusetts Minutemen fell to Boston College Eagles, 7-30
  • YOSHITAKA HAMADA<br/>The reflection of the field is seen before the start of the Saturday afternoon college football action against Boston College Eagles at the Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014.  The University of Massachusetts Minutemen fell to Boston College Eagles, 7-30
  • YOSHITAKA HAMADA<br/>University of Massachusetts Minutemen running back Jamal Wilson (6) catches the ball during the first half of the Saturday afternoon college football action against Boston College Eagles at the Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014.  The University of Massachusetts Minutemen fell to Boston College Eagles, 7-30
  • YOSHITAKA HAMADA<br/>University of Massachusetts Minutemen defensive back Trey Dudley-Giles (9) tries to tackle Boston College Eagles running back Myles Willis (23) during the first half of the Saturday afternoon college football action against Boston College Eagles at the Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014.  The University of Massachusetts Minutemen fell to Boston College Eagles, 7-30
  • YOSHITAKA HAMADA<br/>University of Massachusetts Minutemen running back J.T. Blyden (23) runs the ball on the field during the first half of the Saturday afternoon college football action against Boston College Eagles at the Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014.  The University of Massachusetts Minutemen fell to Boston College Eagles, 7-30
  • YOSHITAKA HAMADA<br/>University of Massachusetts Minutemen head coach Mark Whipple, second left, stands on side-line during the second half of the Saturday afternoon college football action against Boston College Eagles at the Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014.  The University of Massachusetts Minutemen fell to Boston College Eagles, 7-30.
  • YOSHITAKA HAMADA<br/>Fans react to the game during the second half of the Saturday afternoon college football action against Boston College Eagles at the Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014.  The University of Massachusetts Minutemen fell to Boston College Eagles, 7-30
  • YOSHITAKA HAMADA<br/>University of Massachusetts Minutemen head coach Mark Whipple, left, stands on side line as the defensive coordinator Tom Masella, right, yells to the players during the second half of the Saturday afternoon college football action against Boston College Eagles at the Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014.  The University of Massachusetts Minutemen fell to Boston College Eagles, 7-30

Fans dreaming of an instantaneous turnaround for the UMass football team under Mark Whipple left Gillette Stadium disappointed following a 30-7 season opening loss to Boston College. The Minutemen were too often overmatched by their in-state would-be rivals and have some work to do as the season goes forward.

Some impressions from UMass after week one:

■ Whipple seemed more frustrated at the start of his press conference than he was by the end of it. Whether it was a concerted effort to be positive or reflecting about the game made him feel better about it, his comments seemed more confident by the end.

“I’m excited about this team. I said I thought I’d know a lot more about this team at 6:04 p.m. and I do,” he said at the end. “We’ll go back to practice tomorrow night and we’ll have a great week and go forward. We’ll be ready to go. ... I really think we’ll be a lot better next week seeing us on tape and how we match up.”

The switch was particularly evident with quarterback Blake Frophnapfel, who struggled completing just 9-of-22 passes for 147 yards, numbers that look worse without one good throw, a 77-yard touchdown pass to Tajae Sharpe. Whipple criticized him earlier in the press conference pointing to his missed throws and said “their quarterback was better than ours.” But he expressed confidence in the junior transfer from Marshall going forward.

“I think Blake is going to be a lot better. He’ll just get better and better. I have all the confidence in the world,” Whipple said. “We just missed some throws. He threw the ball where we wanted it. On one play he didn’t, but that will come. I’m pleased where we are at quarterback.”

■ Frohnapfel and his receivers aren’t entirely in sync yet. Part of it might have been that he was forced to throw the ball in a hurry a few times, but he overthrew his receivers on numerous occasions, especially early in the game. His accountability after the loss will likely play well with his teammates.

“It’s a game of inches. There’s a couple throws here and there that we missed, that I missed,” he said. “We need to work it out and get the timing down in practice. You can’t miss stuff like that against a team like that.”

■ Big offensive lines and or mobile quarterbacks could create trouble for the Minutemen this year. UMass’ young defensive line was overmatched by BC’s experienced and talented line. On top of that, UMass couldn’t contain dual-threat Tyler Murphy. When he did drop back to pass, the defensive backfield did a good job of covering his receivers, but he often opted to run and still got big chunks of yardage.

The Minutemen didn’t force a single three-and-out and didn’t even force a punt until starters were out in the fourth quarter.

■ True freshman J.T. Blyden could be the Minutemen’s starting running back quickly. He looked better than junior Jamal Wilson and he seems to have passed Lorenzo Woodley in the minds of the coaching staff. He’s the fastest running back UMass has and he looked comfortable against a good opponent.

■ Junior Joey Colton, who was a walk-on two years ago, continued to be key piece of the defense with a career-high 13 tackles. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him named captain either later this year or next year.

■ Senior Brian McDonald looked solid in his first start as the Minuteman punter averaging 42.2 yards per kick.

■ The MAC doesn’t look great so far. East favorite Bowling Green lost to lightly regarded Western Kentucky, 59-31, Thursday. West favorite Toledo struggled early with New Hampshire but won 54-20, and Buffalo barely beat nonscholarship Duquesne, 38-28, after being down late. If Whipple is right and the Minutemen do get better, there are winnable games in the league.

Matt Vautour can be reached at mvautour@gazettenet.com. Get UMass coverage delivered in your Facebook news feed at www.facebook.com/GazetteUMassCoverage

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UMass falls apart in second half, drops season opener to Boston College, 30-7

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

FOXBOROUGH — After a lot of first-half bending, the UMass football team finally broke in the second half. Boston College owned the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball and systematically ground down the Minutemen, who lost the first game of the second Mark Whipple era, 30-7, Saturday at Gillette Stadium. The UMass offense couldn’t stay on the …

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