The UMass Minutemen have not gotten off to an auspicious start to their 2013 season. The Minutemen are 0-4 on the year and have lost all four games by an average of 25.5 points per game. The team faces an uphill battle this weekend when it travels to Ohio to face the 4-1 Bowling Green Falcons.
UMass has struggled offensively and must turn around the momentum when facing the Falcons’ defense. The Minutemen are ranked 125th in the nation averaging seven points per game and they will be facing their biggest challenge on Saturday. Bowling Green is 31st in the country in points surrendered, giving up 18.4 points per game. The Minutemen are 109th in passing offense with 162 passing yards per game and are 113th in the country averaging 96.5 rushing yards per game. The inexperience at the skill positions has hampered the offense and the growing pains of moving up to the FCS level are clearly evident.
Their offensive line has been solid in pass protection. The Minutemen have given up only three sacks on the season and have provided time for quarterbacks Mike Wegzyn and A.J. Doyle. The Minutemen will need to stretch the field against the Falcons on Saturday in order to have an opportunity at the victory. The Falcons are yielding 213.4 passing yards per game and are very aggressive in rushing the passer. Bowling Green has 12 sacks on the season.
UMass must use a ball-control attack and sustain long drives that can put pressure on the Falcons’ defense. Wide receiver Tajae Sharpe has emerged as big-play threat for the Minutemen. Sharpe has 28 receptions for 241 yards and two touchdowns on the year.
They must be able to contain the rushing attack of the Falcons on Saturday. The Falcons are averaging 207.4 yards per game and rely on a big offensive line to wear down opposing defenses. The Minutemen have given up 32.5 points per game are ranked 92nd in the nation.
Game time is set for 3:30 pm at Bowling Green.