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UMass Notebook:

  • UMass coach Mark Whipple and QB Andrew Ford had another tough game Saturday on the road. ap file photo



For The Recorder
Sunday, September 03, 2017

CONWAY, S.C. — In addition to the game, UMass may have lost Adam Breneman.

The senior tight end got up slowly after having his legs taken out following a third quarter catch. He returned for one play before going to the locker room.

UMass coach Mark Whipple wasn’t sure of the severity of the injury.

“I haven’t talked to the doctor,” Whipple said. “He’s the best player on the field. You lose the best player on the field and somebody has to step up. We’re not the same team without him.”

Quarterback Andrew Ford agreed.

“It changes our offense a lot. He’s obviously our best player,” Ford said. “Tonight shows everyone is one play away from being the guy.”

DOWNEY, HOLINES OUT — UMass played without two would-be starters on its defensive line, where senior Da’Sean Downey and Sha-Ki Holines both missed the game.

Joe Previte moved from defensive end to tackle to replace Holiness. Leon Flanagan Jr. and Rod Jones Jr. both started at defensive end.

Holines has been out with an undisclosed injury. No official reason was given for Downey’s absence Saturday. On Sunday, Whipple clarified that Downey had served a one-game suspension for a team rules violation.

SCHREINER MISSES — UMass redshirt freshman kicker Michael Schreiner remains perfect on extra points as he improved to 9-for-9 this season, but he missed a 33-yard field goal, the first he attempted in his career.

QBs — For the second straight game, Whipple used two quarterbacks, but he played junior Ross Comis for just one series.

Comis looked sharp throwing the ball, leading the Minutemen from their own 9 into Coastal territory. But on first down on the 44, he took off and had the ball stripped, giving CCU the ball at its own 36.

NOTES — Since becoming a Bowl Subdivision team, UMass is 1-23 in games in August and September. It will try to improve on that record Saturday against Old Dominion at 3:30 p.m. at McGuirk Stadium. The Monarchs beat Albany, 31-17, in their opener Saturday. ... The crowd of 13,274 was the biggest in Coastal Carolina history.

TOUGH CUTS – NFL roster decisions weren’t kind to former Minutemen. Vlad Ducasse is the only UMass alum who made a 53-man roster, doing so in Buffalo. The offensive lineman from Haiti via Connecticut will be beginning his eighth season after being selected in the second round of the 2010 draft by the New York Jets.

On Saturday, Tennessee placed Tajae Sharpe on injured reserve for the season. The second-year receiver re-injured his surgically repaired foot.

That came a day after the Bears cut Victor Cruz. Fullback John Robinson-Woodgett was cut earlier in the week by the New Orleans Saints.