Texas A&M Football: Preview – UMass Minutemen

PHILADELPHIA, PA – SEPTEMBER 24: Head coach Don Brown of the Massachusetts Minutemen reacts against the Temple Owls in the second half at Lincoln Financial Field on September 24, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

As the week passed the Auburn loss doesn’t even feel painful anymore. Not sure how everyone else feels but I feel no pain anymore in this Texas A&M football season… Only hope that the Aggies find some sort of groove as they head for the offseason. Everyone anxiously waits to see what is going to happen this offseason as it is evident changes need to be made on both sides of the ball. A much needed ramp up game to get as many bodies in as possible happens on Saturday vs. UMass.

What to Know About UMass

Coming into this game UMass has never been a football powerhouse. Frankly, most people probably don’t know they have a football team. They come into College Station with a 1-9 record, notching their only win versus Stoney Brook. The Minutemen do not have a threatening offense as they only average 120 passing yards and 158 rushing yards per game this season. They run a lot of shotgun with pre snap movement from the wide receivers as well as the running backs. Expect a lot of swing passes as well as short RPO routes.

UMass defense isn’t much of a threat either. They have average giving up 364 total yards per game with 179 rushing yards allowed and 185 passing yards allowed. They commonly run a 2 high safety look with 4 men up front. Many teams have exploited their lack of lateral quickness, as they do not have much speed. They average giving up about 30 points a game.

Players to Know for UMass

RB Ellis Merriweather: 479 rushing yards, 3 touchdowns, 3.7 yards per carry

WR George Johnson III: 364 receiving yards, 1 touchdowns, 14 yards per catch

DL Marcus Cushnie: 37 total tackles, 5.5 sacks

What I Want To See From Texas A&M Football

Last week was nothing short of a disappointment. The hype of Weigman coming back just for him to go an abysmal 14/36 for 121 yards was  a shot to the heart. But I will not bash on him too much as it was his first true road game experience and, though it was disappointing, it was valuable experience. I need to see him be more accurate and to move the ball at will on the Minutemen.

Next, I want to see Jimbo playing as many people as possible. It seems to me that especially next year almost every position should be up for grabs. With the injuries, suspensions, lack of execution and the inevitable (transfer portal/graduation), no position should be safe from changes. We need to see more consistency out of the RBs, WRs, and OL this game and moving forward, because we have not seen them clicking on all cylinders at the same time.

The defensive talent is there but the schemes are not. DJ Durkin: if you bring out a 3 man line again, I will turn my TV off.  The Aggies have the talent up front and in the back to run a 4 man front. Please release the beast we have on the defensive line. But, just as I stated above with the offense, the defense should be getting as many people playing as possible as well. I want to see mass rotation at every position since at this point everyone deserves a chance to get some momentum to go into the off-season.

Final thoughts for Texas A&M football before the matchup

This year is not the year anyone expected. The amount of bad luck the Aggies have had this year is almost impossible, but here we are. The hope is this is not just walking through the motions kind of game for everyone. This should be a pedal to the metal kind of game, as this Texas A&M football team needs to execute and iron things out. This should be seen as a serious scrimmage and if it is anywhere less than a 21 point win, I will be off the Jimbo train.

Get as many bodies in there as possible. Be aggressive. Win big. And get some momentum rolling for the LSU game next week. We are not playing for a bowl anymore, but guess what we can play for? The spoiler.

The winds of change are coming to Texas A&M this offseason. If there are not changes in the coaching staff it will be disappointing and turning it up another notch on the hot seat for Jimbo and his staff. Let’s hit the ground running these next two games and get work done in the offseason. BTHO UMass.