UMass football looks to end season with victory

Last modified: Monday, December 17, 2012
AMHERST — Competing against the school where he started his career would be enough motivation, but University of Massachusetts junior defensive lineman Galen Clemons has a bigger incentive to be successful in Saturday’s 3 p.m. season finale against Central Michigan at Gillette Stadium.

“We have guys like Perry McIntyre, Chaz Thompson and Darren Thellen. They’re the leaders of the defense,” Clemons said. “As much as I want to play for myself and my old pals at Central Michigan, I cannot wait to go out and play my hardest to send the seniors out with a win.”

Clemons missed two games earlier this season with a concussion. UMass coach Charley Molnar said the team’s chance to send the seniors out with a win improved with Clemons active.

“He’s one of the rocks of our defensive line. We missed him when he wasn’t in there,” Molnar said. “He’s part of the rotation on our defensive line and when they’re playing well our whole defensive plays well.”

Clemons, a native of Danielsville, Pa., signed at Central out of high school and redshirted in 2009 before transferring to UMass. He said his time in Mount Pleasant, Mich., feels like a long time ago.

“It seems like an eternity to tell you the truth. The season goes by fast when you’re in it,” Clemons said. “But when you look at all the seasons, it’s my third season at UMass, it seems like quite a while.”

He said he hasn’t talked to any of his former Chippewas teammates leading up to the game.

“It’s been pretty long time since I talked to anybody,” he said. “There are some guys that are still friends and I’ll be glad to see them.”

HEALTH — Freshman wide receiver Tajae Sharpe’s status for Friday’s game was uncertain. He suffered an undisclosed injury late in practice Tuesday.

“I don’t have any grasp of whether he’ll be good to go or not,” Molnar said.

Junior tackle Anthony Dima (upper body injury) didn’t participate in contact drills, but Molnar said Dima was expected to participate fully on Wednesday and play on Friday.

GAME CAPTAINS — Rob Blanchflower (offense), McIntyre (defense) and Randall Jette (special teams) will be the captains for Friday’s game.

After the season Molnar said the players will vote on who will be officially listed as the captains for the 2013 season.

“We’ll pick two or three guys that the team feels best represents them,” Molnar said.

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