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Massachusetts Minutemen 2016 College Football Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart, Outlook

2015 Record 3-9

Massachusetts Minutemen 2016 Preview

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An inexperienced Massachusetts Minutemen squad begins life as an Independent in 2016.

Overview: Massachusetts was just 3-9 in the MAC a season ago and are basically rebuilding so can Mark Whipple and staff win some games and build momentum towards next year?

Massachusetts Minutemen 2016 College Football Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart, Outlook

USA TODAY Sports

Offense: Massachusetts has three starters back on offense from a unit that averaged just 22 points so whether that’s good or bad is open for debate. JUCO transfer Andrew Ford is the probable starter at quarterback  for the Minutemen with Jalen Williams, Darrian Josey and Andy Isabella likely stepping in as the top targets among others in the receiving corps. UMass does get back Marquis Young in the backfield with Sekai Lindsay getting his share of carries as well behind an offensive line that brings back three starters. The bottom line is the Minutemen have inexperience on paper but there is potential.

Defense: The Minutemen get back four defensive starters from a unit that was touched for over 31 points so I can’t say the high turnover is totally bad. DT Sha-Ki Holines is the top returner on the defensive line with 23 tackles while JUCO transfer Ali Ali Musa can hopefully add punch in the pass rush. The Massachusetts linebacking crew looks strong with Shane Huber and JUCO transfer Teddy Lowery leading the way. The UMass secondary will receive a huge boost if  safety Khary Bailey-Smith is able to return from a knee injury that robbed him of most of 2015 while SS Lee Moses, and corners Jordin Hamilton and Jackson Porter lead the secondary. This unit would definitely benefit from a better pass rush which was poor in 2015.

Special Teams: Logan Laurent will once again handle both the punting and place kicking duties while James Oliphant and Andy Isabella will be the primary returners but the coverage teams were an issue in 2015 and that has to be addressed.

Outlook: I don’t see the Minutemen coming up with many surprises although this team isn’t void of talent but a slight improvement on three wins from a year ago is the most that can be expected.

Schedule:

9/3                 @ Florida

9/10               Boston College

9/17               Florida International

9/24               Mississippi State

10/1               Tulane

10/8               @ Old Dominion

10/15             Louisiana Tech

10/22             @ South Carolina

10/29             Wagner

11/5               @ Troy

11/19             @ BYU

11/26             @ Hawaii

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