The UMass Minutemen begin their season on Saturday after a late decision to play this year. They will face the in-form Georgia Southern Eagles, who are 2-1 for the season already.
UMass begin late start on SaturdayAfter UMass had initially canceled the entire season, they changed that decision and announced a limited schedule for this year. Their first game of the season will be against Georgia Southern this Sunday.
"The health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches and staff has always been our first priority," athletic director Ryan Bamford said in a statement. "Since returning to campus in June, the members of our football program have been vigilant in following the policies and safety protocols instituted by the state, our university and athletics department, helping us reach a high level of confidence that we can safely conduct a truncated season this fall."
Stats last season
The Minutemen struggled last year, conceding an averaging of 52.7 points per game. That impacted their performances adversely. Offensively, they managed just 21.5 points per game as well.
Saturday’s @UMassFootball season opener (Oct. 17) marks the latest lid-lifter for the program since 1945, when the then Mass. State College faced Brooklyn on Oct. 20 in Amherst.
Squad went 2-1-1 that year, beating Maine 2x and tying Amherst College.
— Ryan Gallant (@GallantUMass) October 13, 2020
Eagles make solid start to seasonSeason form
The Eagles have made a decent start to the season. They have started 2-1 after beating UL Monroe 35-30 in their previous game. That was also their first conference win of the season this year in a truncated season.
JD King had 196 yards rushing against UL Monroe, Wesley Kennedy III also had a good running game with 64 yards on the run that helped him gather two touchdowns on 14 carries. Rashad Byrd also had a tackle at the 1-yard line to close out the game.
According to the Associated Press, NaJee Thompson blocked two punts, the second of which was covered in the end zone by Byrd to give the Eagles a 35-17 lead with 5:30 left in the third quarter. Thompson became just the second player (James Williams, 1993) in program history to block two punts in the same game.
𝘛𝘢𝘤𝘬𝘭𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘢 𝘊𝘶𝘳𝘦 - 𝘙𝘢𝘴𝘩𝘢𝘥 𝘉𝘺𝘳𝘥
This weekend, the Eagles will play for all those who have been affected by various forms of cancer.
— Georgia Southern Football (@GSAthletics_FB) October 13, 2020
Trends as seen on covers.com are: Georgia Southern Eagles are:
- 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games following an ATS loss.
UMass Minutemen are:
- 5-14 ATS in their last 19 games as an underdog.
- 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games overall.
- 2-7 ATS in their last 9 non-conference games.