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Well, it might not exactly be one of the most anticipated games to start the new season, but UMass and Rutgers will give us a game to watch on Friday night regardless.
The Minutemen have a new coach, and he is also expected to run the offense as Wally Bell takes over in Amherst this season. With only 8 starters returning from a 4 – 8 team a year ago, Bell will have his hands full for his first-ever head coaching gig.
Rutgers brass has decided to give head coach Chris Ash another season to right the ship after a disastrous 1 – 11 campaign in 2018. Ending the 11-game losing skid will be his first assignment of the year, although 8 starters return to the offense this season. Ash has been rather hush about who he will have as his starting QB this season, but hopefully, it’s better than what was produced in 2018.
UMass turning to first-year man Walt Bell to turn things around in Amherst
Walt Bell has been a coordinator for all of his coaching career, and after one season with Florida State as their OC among his numerous other stops he has been given the reigns in Amherst.
Bell is also expected to run the offense and call the plays this year, although he has also brought in Luke Paschall to help with whomever they decide to start at QB. As of Monday afternoon, there are 3 quarterbacks still hoping they get the nod from Bell, as he also has not announced who won the job going into 2019.
— UMass Football (@UMassFootball) August 27, 2019
So, essentially we have two teams here who have yet to announce who will be starting at QB, and that sure makes life difficult to predict what we could see on Friday night.
UMass also only returns 3 starters on the defensive side of the ball, and my goodness did this team give up a wealth of points in 2018. In fact, 42.9 PPG was the number given up last season, and that had the Minutemen ranked 126th in the country. Guess what? That ain’t good, and 485 yards allowed per outing isn’t exactly going to help matters, so what does anyone coming back on defense really mean?
Luckily, the UMass schedule isn’t full of tough programs outside of games coming against FIU, Army, and BYU.
It might be another long season for both of these programs, in fact, so let’s see if it gets better for Rutgers, who also has a QB controversy to talk about.
Scarlet Knights need a big rebound in 2019 under Chris Ash
Let’s just put it out there! Chris Ash basically has to get this team in order to have any type of job security past this season.
The starting QB role has yet to be announced, and we are only days away from the opening kickoff on Friday night in New Jersey.
Ash talks about his teams passing game.
“It starts up front and we have to be able to protect the quarterback. If we can’t protect the quarterback and give him some time, then it’s really tough to have an effective pass game. That’s the first part of it. Second part of it, the quarterbacks and receivers have to be on the same page with what they are asked to do, how to identify coverages, how to get in and out of breaks, be on time with the throws. There’s just a lot that goes into that. You know, our job right now, honestly, is about scoring points and however we’d have to do that to score points, we have to score points offensively. Part of that is we have to have a more productive pass game. Doesn’t mean we need to be able to pass it every down but we have to be able to get more production and all of those pieces have be to working together.”
🎆Fans don't forget to stick around after @RFootball takes on UMass for the 150th Anniversary Season Kick Off Post-Game Fireworks Show from Johnson Park presented by RWJBH ‼️
— Rutgers Scarlet Knights (@RUAthletics) August 26, 2019
Sitkowski was simply terrible in 2018, throwing 4 touchdown passes to go along with… wait for it!
Yowza yowza, hide the women and children and run for your life! After seeing Sitkowski single-handedly run the Rutgers into the depths of hell, he could potentially be given another chance to go out and do it again? I am sorry, but if my head coaching job is reliant on Sitkowski running my offense, I would be submitting my resume to Walmart and bagging groceries by October!
I was at Barnes & Noble and read that Phil Steele is calling for an upgrade to every aspect of Rutgers football in 2019, and yet no one knows who is running the offense? Are ya kiddin’ me?
Have you seen the Rutgers schedule after this UMass clash? A trip to Iowa, with games against Michigan, Ohio State, Michigan State, and Penn State coming this year? Send in the clowns, and expect nothing to change this year, because this is going to be another disaster waiting to happen.
- Under is 5-0 in Scarlet Knights last 5 Friday games.
- Under is 10-1 in Scarlet Knights last 11 vs. INDEP.
- Under is 5-1 in Scarlet Knights last 6 games overall.
- Minutemen are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 road games.
Updated on Aug 30 at 11:15am EDT
Update prepared by our editoral staff
Public Money / Line Movements
Rutgers has gone from -11 up to -16.5, while grabbing 74% of the bets in the process. Not much to read into that.
Injury / Weather Report
UMass’ Impact Injury Report
Rutgers’ Impact Injury Report
Doubtful: TE Kyle Penniston
Out: TE Johnathan Lewis and WR Monterio Hunt
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Yes, the Minutemen are 2 – 7 in their last 9 road games, but none of those were against this terrible Rutgers team.
With both teams not even close to deciding a starting QB this late before the season starts, that is cause for alarm!
Neither of these two should be favored by a line this high, so if you want to give me 15.5 points here, go ahead!
UMass to cover the big line is the play and this total is way too high!
Prediction: UMASS +15.5
Full-Game Total Pick
Does that say 56?
Nah, come on, really? Well slap my ass and call me Lucy because there is no way these two offenses are getting 20-something each.
This is a 16 – 13 game coming our way, and the dog and the under are the only way to see this contest.
There may be a fireworks show after the game being displayed, but don’t expect any of that to come on the field!
End of story, have a nice weekend!
Prediction: Under 56