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UMass TE Rob Blanchflower out of practice, could still play vs. Wisconsin

  • Mike Wegzyn, left, and Logan Laurent of the University of Massachusetts have fun during media day Tuesday at McGuirk Stadium.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Mike Wegzyn, left, and Logan Laurent of the University of Massachusetts have fun during media day Tuesday at McGuirk Stadium.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • University of Massachusetts players Todd Stafford, from left, Shane Huber, Jaurice Jones and Derek Beck have fun while waiting to have their picture taken at media day Tuesday at McGuirk Stadium.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    University of Massachusetts players Todd Stafford, from left, Shane Huber, Jaurice Jones and Derek Beck have fun while waiting to have their picture taken at media day Tuesday at McGuirk Stadium.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Mike Wegzyn, left, and Logan Laurent of the University of Massachusetts have fun during media day Tuesday at McGuirk Stadium.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Mike Wegzyn, left, and Logan Laurent of the University of Massachusetts have fun during media day Tuesday at McGuirk Stadium.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Players and coaches of the University of Massachusetts football team line up for a photo on the new performance center during media day Tuesday at McGuirk Stadium.JERREY ROBERTS

    Players and coaches of the University of Massachusetts football team line up for a photo on the new performance center during media day Tuesday at McGuirk Stadium.JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • University of Massachusetts tight end Rob Blanchflower at media day Tuesday at McGuirk Stadium.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    University of Massachusetts tight end Rob Blanchflower at media day Tuesday at McGuirk Stadium.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Mike Wegzyn, left, and Logan Laurent of the University of Massachusetts have fun during media day Tuesday at McGuirk Stadium.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • University of Massachusetts players Todd Stafford, from left, Shane Huber, Jaurice Jones and Derek Beck have fun while waiting to have their picture taken at media day Tuesday at McGuirk Stadium.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Mike Wegzyn, left, and Logan Laurent of the University of Massachusetts have fun during media day Tuesday at McGuirk Stadium.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Players and coaches of the University of Massachusetts football team line up for a photo on the new performance center during media day Tuesday at McGuirk Stadium.JERREY ROBERTS
  • University of Massachusetts tight end Rob Blanchflower at media day Tuesday at McGuirk Stadium.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

AMHERST — There aren’t many players on the University of Massachusetts roster Charley Molnar would consider playing in a game right after missing considerable practice time. Rob Blanchflower could be an exception.

The senior captain and tight end is out with “an accumulation of things” according to Molnar who declined to be more specific.

“He’s been in and out of the lineup throughout summer camp. We’ve made an executive decision to hold him out at least the next 10-14 days. How that will affect his status for Wisconsin (Aug. 31, Camp Randall Stadium) remains to be seen,” Molnar said. “He has an accumulation of things. ... He had two things that have been bothering him on and off. For the long-term benefit of Rob and our football team, I would rather sit him down.”

Blanchflower appreciated Molnar keeping him in consideration to play at Wisconsin if he’s missing practice.

“That’s a big compliment. It puts extra pressure on me to make sure I’m doing everything right and I’m in the playbook and working my tail off anyway I can,” he said. “It’s frustrating. I’m a pretty competitive guy. I like being out there. It’s tough to lead by example when you’re on the sidelines. The coaches and the training staff feel it’s best for the team for me to take a few days off until I’m 100 percent.”

He’s trying to do whatever preparation he can without playing.

“I’m in all the meetings, studying, doing whatever workouts I can do,” he said. “I’m working with (strength) coach (Mike) Golden one-on-one on whatever muscles I can.”

Michigan transfer Ricardo Miller, who will also play wide receiver, moves into the No. 1 tight end role.

Blanchflower was still in pads for Tuesday’s media day as well as his maroon jersey that features a new white “C” denoting his captain status. He didn’t know it was going to be added, but was proud of it.

“It’s pretty cool. I feel like Charlie from ‘Mighty Ducks,’” Blanchflower said. “When I’m competing against somebody, if I’m going against a linebacker and I see a ‘C’ on his chest, I definitely keep an eye on him because he’s definitely a guy with a chip on his shoulder, a hard-working guy that demands respect. If a guy has a ‘C’ on his chest and gets respect from a hundred lunatics, he must be doing something right. It definitely puts a target on my back. I’m definitely OK with that.”

PICTURES — UMass’ normal spot for pictures on media day is in the stands on the home side of McGuirk Stadium, an area currently off limits due to the dismantling of the press box. So the team moved to the second floor of the under-construction performance center at the far end of the field.

Afterward, Molnar gathered his 33 natives of the Bay State for a picture as part of his “Made in Massachusetts” promotion.

Not to be overlooked, the team’s 15 Floridians posed for an impromptu picture of their own.

MORE MAC BOWLS — According to ESPN, two more new bowls that are expected to be added in 2014 could have Mid-American Conference participants. The new bowl in the Bahamas — to be played in a soccer stadium — will definitely feature a MAC school vs. a Conference USA foe. Those two conference are leading contenders to play in another new one in Boca Raton, Fla.

DISCOUNTED WISCONSIN TICKETS — UMass fans headed to Wisconsin who haven’t purchased tickets yet can do so at a discount Thursday through the Wisconsin ticket office, which is having a “No fees Thursday” promotion for the game. According to its web site:

“From midnight to midnight on Thursday, Aug. 22, all processing and convenience fees will be waived on all ticket purchases for Wisconsin football’s season-opening game against UMass. Kickoff is at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 31. This one-day-only offer is available for UMass ticket purchases made by phone, online or in person at the Wisconsin Athletic Ticket Office.”

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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