Young and Lowery still questionable for UMass football Saturday

  • UMass running back Marquis Young is hoping to be back on the field Saturday after being injured last week. AP

Thursday, October 20, 2016

AMHERST — UMass football coach Mark Whipple wasn’t sure if either sophomore tailback Marquis Young or linebacker/safety hybrid Teddy Lowery would be healthy enough to play Saturday when the Minutemen play at South Carolina.

Of the two, Whipple sounded more optimistic about Young, who left Saturday’s loss to Louisiana Tech with an undisclosed injury.

“He’s all right. He’s got a good shot. It’s 50-50. We’ll know more” Thursday, Whipple said.

The coach will not be made available to the media until after Saturday’s noon kickoff at Williams-Brice Stadium. So there won’t be an announcement until game time.

Whipple said tailbacks Bilal Ally, a true freshman, and Sekai Lindsay, a sophomore, would see more carries if Young can’t play. Senior John Robinson-Woodgett and junior college transfer Malik Lee could also get the ball more from the fullback spot.

“I don’t know if we can play as fast as we did,” Whipple said. “Bilal and Sekai have gotten more reps than they usually do and John Robinson and Malik a little bit too. We have guys that have proven they can do things. They aren’t as explosive obviously as Marquis. You’ve just got to play the guys you’ve got and cater to their strength.”

Ally had six carries for 37 yards in the second half against Louisiana Tech after Young left.

“What’s helped Bilal, since the Florida game, is that he’s played special teams,” Whipple said. “That really helped (Andy Isabella) last year. He’s played some.”

Lowery, who missed last week’s game with an undisclosed injury, hasn’t practiced this week.

“We’re going to err on the side of caution. If he can’t go tomorrow we wouldn’t do anything with him,” Whipple said. “He’s moving around. We’d like to get him back.”

BIG PAYDAY — UMass is receiving $1.5 million to play at South Carolina, the most the Minutemen have ever received as a guarantee.

According to The State, the Columbia, South Carolina, newspaper, that figure is almost twice as much as the Gamecocks are paying any other nonconference opponent. The next highest is East Carolina, which gets $850,000.

Citing athletic department revenue projections, The State said South Carolina will lose money on the game. South Carolina’s “net ticket sales are projected at $1,073,143, a total of $426,857 less than the guarantee UMass will receive.”