The UMASS Minutemen (1-11) would like to forget the 2013 football season. The team was looking to build off of their first season in the MAC and had thought that the foundation was in place to springboard to a possible 4 or 5 win season. However, the lack of offensive output forced the Minutemen into playing from behind in most of their games and made them one dimensional on offense. However, the lone bright spot for the offense this season, was the impressive season by wide receiver Tajae Sharpe.
Sharpe, a sophmore from Piscataway, New Jersey had a solid year that included a team leading 61 receptions for 680 yards and four touchdowns. Sharpe has great speed that gave the Minutemen a big play wide receiver.
UMASS was ranked 111th overall in the nation in passing offense (156.4 yards per game) and 103rd in the nation in rushing offense (125.2 yards per game). The Minutemen averaged 11.7 points per game and had to force teams into low scoring games in order to have an opportunity at potential victories.
In 2014, Sharpe will give the offense the spark it needs to stretch defenses and open up the playbook for the offensive staff. In the Minutemen’s biggest games (vs. Wisconsin, Vanderbilt and Kansas State), Sharpe stepped up and made plays. During those three games, he totaled 17 receptions for 156 yards (52 yards per game average) and one touchdown.
UMASS can look forward to the 2014 season and a main reason why the team will be optimistic is the contribution of wide receiver Tajae Sharpe.