The Pregame Meal: UMass 2012 - For The Powder Horn!

The 10th battle of Amherst will take place in Foxborough.

The Pregame Meal is in the Elephant Graveyard, (you must never go there) Foxborough, Massachusetts for our 2nd FCS game of the year. The goal of the pregame meal is to Hydrate, Nutritionate, and Player Hate. It is your bulletin board's bulletin board material. The Pregame Meal also delivers 11 factors that will decide the game, and over 50% of those factors are actual football facts. After the game, I revisit it all, during the postgame meal. It has been 42 years, give us back our son our Powder Horn!

Overly optimistic Pregame Song: "I'm Shipping Up To Boston" Always a good choice.

Hydration: Maroon 5 - We don't know much about our new rivals. Lets get reacquainted by drinking one of their primary colors.

Maroon Musket (@MaroonMusket) prefers Narragansett Beer, which brews some of it's beers in Rochester, New York at the Genesee Brewery. I approve.

Nutritionation: When in New England get some Chowdah. Legal Seafood will suffice. Gotta be full for a day of hopefully making UMass fans rethink the move to FBS. (Hey UMass come back here, I'm not through demeaning you)

Player Hating:

  • How can you hate the players. They came to UMass to get an education and play low intensity FCS football. I feel sorry for them, they are now being forced to practice and fed a ridiculous FBS schedule while playing home games hours away from campus. Poor kids.
  • Jeff Burris - Say it ain't so. The 1994 first round pick of the Buffalo Bills is now fighting against us as Cornerbacks Coach of the Minutemen. A victim of that era of Bills football where we continually drafted but never resigned corners.
  • Charley Molnar III - We bring you in, let you GA for us, and how do you repay us, by ditching us. "I'm going to work for my father" What a pathetic excuse.

A Little Love:

We have a rival again and we have a trophy to win.

Of course when we go to the MAC West, we play for the "Ontario Sandwich" which we have never won.

We played Temple as rivals in the East but they were intolerable. A rivalry needs hatred and respect. We got the hate, but I'll never respect Temple. Also there was no trophy.

So now we renew our series with UMass and this time, it's for the Powder Horn.

This will be the 10th meeting, UMass leads the series 5-4. It has been a close series, UMass has outscored UB 200-171, and 5 of the 9 games the winner has won by less than two touchdowns. UB held the Powder Horn for 26 years, but it has not been in the good Amherst for 16 years, UMass has retained it since the 1996 meeting.

11 factors to decide the game.

1) UMass Offense vs Buffalo Defense:

UMass will be the least effective offense we face all year. They average 5 yards per pass attempt, and 3 yards per rush attempt, both figures last in the MAC. They threw for 373 yards and 4 TDs against Ohio, but later threw for 33 yards and 4 ints against Bowling Green. Both games were at home, and both ended as UMass losses.

Despite their shortcomings in the passing game, it is the strength of the UMass offense. In their last five games, they have managed one 100-yard rushing effort, and have exceeded 3 yards per carry once.

Buffalo has played their best against pass first offenses. If UMass cannot run to break UB out of the 3 man rush, then UB should be able to drop 8 men and shut down the pass.

UMass has also thrown 22 interceptions, and Buffalo has recently discovered the art of the defensive interception.

Advantage: UB

2) Amherst vs. Amherst via the Urban Dictionary:

UMass


A little town in Western Mass with as many college students as "townies". Amherst is a suburb of the University of Massachusetts main campus, because there is nothing else around! Residents still manage to have that holier-than-thou attitude, despite the fact that their financial existence relies on the University.

UB

Named the safest city in America located in Western New York, a suburb of Buffalo, NY.

Advantage: UB

3) Buffalo Offense vs UMass Defense:

Again we should have no problem with moving the ball against UMass. They are at or near the bottom of the MAC against the run, against the pass and in points allowed. If we have a running back, he should have a solid day and the maturation of Licata should continue Saturday.

Advantage: UB

4) NFL Team

Buffalo Bills 4-6

New England Patriots 6-3

Advantage: UMass

5) Key Player:

Alan Williams: Is listed at Running Back, but he has only one rushing attempt all year. I fear his receiving skills, 28 receptions for 317 yards and 4 touchdowns. He has been a Dri Archer like home run hitter in two games: 7 receptions for 127 and 3 TDs against Ohio and 6 receptions for 86 and a TD against Akron. When Williams is on, UMass competes.

Willie Moseley: In a defensive scheme that drops 8-9 in coverage on most passing downs, we still require our Linebackers to cover the slot and backs. It was problematic on 3rd downs against UConn and Kent State, but the LB Unit has improved, culminating with a Moseley interception in coverage last week. If Moseley can shut down Williams, it should be a good day for the UB defense.

Advantage: Push - Both stars have improved to this point, only Saturday will tell which Senior is better.

6) US News Rankings

UMass: #97

UB: 106

Advantage: UMass

7) Key Situation: The Red Zone

Both UMass scoring on 67% of red zone visits, (122nd in the nation) and UB scoring on 70% of red zone visits (118th in the nation) have trouble converting in the Red Zone. UMass is 111th in the nation in red zone defense, allowing scores 90% of the time. UB is 65th allowing points 83% of the time.

Buffalo has the advantage, if every red zone attempt should end in 7 points, Buffalo has scored 59% of possible points, to UMass' 48%.

And while Buffalo has allowed red zone points 83% of the time, they have held teams to only 68% of possible points, holding teams to field goals (as a result of Lou Tepid's bend but don't break defense). UMass has not been as successful in not breaking, allowing 82% of available points.

If the pattern continues, and UB can hold UMass to field goals while the UMass defense yields Touchdowns, UB will win.

Advantage: UB

8) House Protection:

UMass

Players from New York: 7

Players from Massachusetts:28

House Protection Index: 63

Buffalo

Players from New York: 37

Players from Massachusetts:0

House Protection Index:64 (-10 for no pipeline to Massachusetts)

Advantage: UB

9) Key Quarters: 1st Half

UMass has been outscored 80-19 in first quarters this year and 145-42 in 2nd quarters. At halftime, the average UMass score is 23-6. Last week, UMass took a 15 point lead into the half and held on to win. Buffalo's job is to jump out to a big lead, and then coast in for the victory, or really rub it in to make your record look better...standard Jeff Quinn vs FCS operating procedure.

Advantage: Buffalo

10) Fun fact: WERE GOING STREAKING:

UMass has an active 4-game winning streak against Buffalo
Buffalo has a rare 2-game winning streak going,
UMass can earn their first 2-game win streak as a FBS team.

Advantage: Buffalo, it's hard to win 2 in a row.

11) Game Score brought to you by: Science

In common games UMass has scored 13 and allowed 43 while UB has scored 21 and allowed 31. Therefore UB offense is +8 and the UB defense is +12 = 20 point UB victory.

Advantage:UB

Overall 11 Factors Pregame Meal Score: UB 8 - UMass 2.

Bring the Powder Horn home!

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