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The Minutemen Pull Up Lame Yet Again

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The Minutemen drove down the field, set up a field goal to tie, and...you know the rest. How did we let this happen again?

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

I don't really know what to say here. After all, I was the one who, coming into this game, stated that if the Minutemen just put up a showing, that would be enough. Sure enough, the Minutemen were never behind from the opening whistle to the last minute of the 4th quarter. Then one missed interception chance, one touchdown, and one missed kick later the Minutemen have their heads hung low yet again. So I found myself angry rather than feeling hopeful because we hung with another Power 5 team until the end. How do you continue to trot out Blake Lucas, when time and time again he proved he can't kick under pressure (side note: that's why Charlie Molnar went for two)? Really, it wasn't just a missed kick, though. It was a blocked punt, a fumble six, and an offense that once again sputtered in the second half. That's really shooting yourself in the foot.

The road doesn't get any easier, either. UMass faces Penn State next week, which any sign of life will be a good sign, and Bowling Green, which is in the top tier of the MAC. That's going to be a rough two week folks. After that though, it's time to see if this team is ready to actually claim a win. There's a three week stretch of Miami, Kent State and Eastern Michigan. If the Minutemen can't claim at least two of those games, this season will be a huge disappointment. Right now I should be hopeful, but watching two losses slip through our hands, I can't help but feel down on this team. I'm curious what everyone else thinks in the comments.

Other Thoughts:

1) Blake Frohnapfel is fourth in the MAC in yards. Yards are a bad stat though, since some teams throw a lot more than others. Thus we use adjusted yards per attempt, or AY/A. The AY/A chart of MAC quarterbacks:

RK PLAYER TEAM AY/A
1 Drew Hare NIU 12.04
2 Zach Terrell WMU 9.63
3 Matt Johnson BGSU 9.25
4 Logan Woodside TOL 8.68
5 Phillip Ely TOL 8.47
6 Derrius Vick OHIO 8.08
7 Joe Licata BUFF 7.84
8 Cooper Rush CMU 7.41
9 Kyle Pohl AKR 7.27
10 Blake Frohnapfel MASS 6.69
11 Matt McIntosh NIU 6.17
12 JD Sprague OHIO 6.03
13 James Knapke BGSU 5.98
14 Ozzie Mann BALL 5.68
15 Andrew Hendrix MIA 5.65
16 Colin Reardon KENT 4.19
17 Reginald Bell Jr. EMU 3.23
18 Brogan Roback EMU 3.05

18 quarterbacks have attempted 20 or more passes. Frohnapfel ranks 10th among them. It's not as bad as it seems, though, as UMass' non-conference schedule tends to be much tougher than other schools. Frohnapfel doesn't get the FCS bump as some other quarterbacks did. In the end, I'd say he's been an average MAC quarterback.

2) To add injury to insult, Jamal Wilson is out indefinitely with an injury. Current word is it's not season ending, though we'll see how soon he can come back. In his stead, Woodley carried the ball 22 times, for a mere 2 yards per carry, but did manage to find the end zone twice. No one else on the team seemed to touch the ball enough to be mentioned here.

3) What a great call by Whipple on the fake punt. That was a thing of beauty right there.

4) As long as we're being positive in this section, can we talk about Trey Dudley-Giles for a minute? He's such a beast in the return game that twice now teams started kicking it short to keep it away from him. This week he also added in an interception. He's quite the piece to have on a team.

5) Seriously, sit Blake Lucas. Whipple said he'd see how he reacts in practice, but this is an EXACT repeat of last year. He needs to go.