UMass football suspends six players for violation of team rules

  • UMass head coach Walt Bell yells to his special teams preparing to receive a kickoff after Carolina Coastal's first score in the Minutemen's 62-28 loss to the visiting Chanticleers at McGuirk Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

Staff Writer
Published: 9/28/2019 8:00:10 AM

AMHERST — UMass football coach Walt Bell has suspended six players for Saturday’s game against Akron for a violation of team rules, according to a source close to the program on Friday.

According to the source, redshirt senior kicker Mike Caggiano, redshirt junior wide receiver Will Connery, sophomore tight end Adam Deese, redshirt senior tight end Kyle Horn, redshirt senior quarterback Randall West and redshirt senior guard Mike Yerardi all missed curfew Thursday night. The suspensions will leave UMass without three offensive starters and a special teams starter for the contest against the winless Zips.

With Andrew Brito still in the concussion protocol, redshirt senior Michael Curtis will start at quarterback for the Minutemen. Curtis played in six games last season and started UMass’ 49-31 win over Charlotte last year, but has yet to see any action this season. He completed 26 of 40 passes for 412 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions last season while also adding four rushing touchdowns on 19 attempts.

Redshirt sophomore Josiah Johnson is the next tight end listed on the depth chart and is expected to start in Horn’s place, with Taylor Edwards serving as the primary backup. Yerardi’s backup at right guard is listed as Dalton Tomlinson, who is listed as the starting center, so it is unclear if backup left guard Max Longman would be inserted into the lineup or if Parker Ogle, the third-string center, will take over snapping instead.

Cooper Garcia will handle all kicking duties and sophomore punter George Georgopoulos will be the holder on field goals and extra points.

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