The Massachusetts Minutemen fly south to Florida for their third of four games this season. The independent school found four teams willing to play them. They opened the season with a 41-0 loss against Georgia Southern on October 17. UMass didn’t look interested in playing and the product on the field certainly showed that much.
That said, UMass was one of the worst teams in the FBS a season ago. They found just one win in a 1-11 campaign in 2019. A blowout loss, 48-21, against a bad Rutgers team in their first game pretty much said it all. The only question that was raised whether UMass was going to win a game. They did, but that was against an equally bad Akron team, 37-29.
You can make the argument that UMass doesn’t care to play, or they are just a bad team and that’s why they got stomped against Georgia Southern and Marshall. The way I see it, it’s probably a little bit of both. I don’t know how much UMass cares about playing four games. For the coaching staff, it provides them with four games to evaluate with what they have for next season.
There isn’t a lot of talent for UMass, so it doesn’t make it easy on the coaching staff, but this at least gives them some form of a picture. The last year UMass finished with a record above .500 was when they were an FCS school in 2010. Since joining the FBS in 2012, the Minutemen haven’t had any success. Their best seasons were in 2017 and 2018. Those weren’t anything good either, so best is relative. UMass finished 4-8 before really going off the rails in 2019.
We’ll see what the Minutemen can do with their time in Florida at Florida Atlantic University on Friday night. They need to be much better than their first two games to keep this from getting out of hand. FAU enters Friday with a record of 4-1 after sending FIU packing with a 38-19 loss last week.
I have been really impressed with the defense of this Owls team. A big part of that is because of the recruiting that Lane Kiffin did while he was the head coach. Willie Taggart, who flamed out at Florida State, is responsible for continuing the strong recruiting. Head below for our free UMass vs. FAU pick for November 20, 2020.
UMass Minutemen vs. Florida Atlantic Owls C-USA Football Betting Odds:
UMass vs. FAU Prediction:
I really like what I’ve seen out of the FAU defense this season, and that could spell danger for UMass on Friday night. The Minutemen are trying to find some kind of playmaker to step up so they have a player to run their offense around. However, there just isn’t anything there for UMass.
Will Koch took the most snaps at quarterback last week and he wasn’t able to accomplish much against a solid Marshall defense. Koch passed for 99 yards and a touchdown on 12 for 18 passing. That was the freshman’s first action at the collegiate level. UMass might as well trot him out again at FAU to give him some experience.
However, I don’t see much going well for Koch and the UMass offense on Friday night. The Owls have been sharp defensively with just 323.2 yards and 13 points conceded per game. They’ve been equally solid against the pass and run. FAU has allowed 209.2 passing yards and 114 rushing yards per game. I don’t have any confidence in UMass finding any holes to exploit against the Owls in Florida. In two games, the Minutemen have scored only 10 points.
If you want to look at the defensive side of the ball for UMass, they’re a mess all over the field as well. FAU could run the ball every play and probably going to run away with this game. Quarterback Javion Posey is a major threat to the Minutemen in this one. Look for Posey to run all over UMass and there isn’t anything they will be able to do about it.
Posey is coming off a monster performance against FIU, as he gashed them for 182 rushing yards and 10.1 yards per carry. Posey also tossed 2 touchdowns to help FAU score 38 points in a 38-19 win. Overall, the Owls have averaged 209 yards per game on the ground and should be able to move the ball easily in this one. UMass is next to last in the FBS with 288 rushing yards conceded per game. This game shouldn’t be close in Boca Raton. Expect a 45-7 win or thereabout for Florida Atlantic at home.