Optioning Into Relevance - UMass Minutemen

Optioning Into Relevance - UMass Minutemen

Postby Rizzo » Wed Jan 08, 2020 2:06 pm

I haven't done this in a while but I'm going to try to document a solo league to try to get the hang of what the new game has to offer and get my feet wet in terms of recruiting and game planning for the online league I'll be running. To keep things interesting I've decided to run a completely different offense than I've ever attempted in these games: the triple option.

While I know the triple option isn't exactly in the game and realize that the QB actually will not make multiple reads per play (give to FB, keep for himself, pitch to the back), I'm going to focus on putting together a wishbone playbook and utilize my QB, FB and two RBs on running plays. Here goes nothing!

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I didn't know how strong my coach would be while creating. I wanted to create a mediocre coach that focuses on physical football so that's where my talent went. I desperately need to become a better coach when it comes to recruiting so hopefully that rating increases slowly but surely over the next few seasons.
Last edited by Rizzo on Wed Jan 08, 2020 4:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Optioning Into Relevance - UMass Minutemen

Postby Rizzo » Wed Jan 08, 2020 3:00 pm

2019 UMass Minutemen Offensive Roster

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Our QB room is...actually pretty impressive if you ask me! While we have a couple kids that can really spin it, we are focusing on mobile threats on the ground with our QB play. With that said, Matthew Ward will begin the season as QB1 with Raul Sledge breathing down his neck if he's not able to get the job done.

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For a team looking to pound it on the ground we are a bit thin in the RB position. Regardless, we've got a couple good players to roll out there. The speedster Jan Gilmore (91 speed, 70 agility, 71 intelligence) will get a chance to be our feature guy on the ground. Second on the depth chart, and expected to get plenty of carries himself, is true freshman Weston Silva. A converted fullback, Silva gives us some speed and strength to be the thunder to Gilmore's lightning. Redshirt senior Willie Summerlin will be RB3 on the depth chart and will spell the two starters throughout the game. I wouldn't hate to see him get ~50 carries himself this season.

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The ground attack really goes as far as the offensive line will take them. From left to right, we will start Hicks, Shumaker, Withrow, Mears and Dukes. Unfortunately it seems as if we may have some work to do in the weight room as we might not be strong enough to push bigger defensive lines around. Finding great linemen will be beyond important for us in recruiting this year and beyond.

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The fullback is a very important piece to the option attack and we have a bevy of options to roll out. Our top guy at this position is junior Ronnie Pitre as he's got amazing speed and superior strength for the position. We are dying to get him the rock on fullback dives as well as having him pave the way for both Gilmore and Silva. Behind Pitre we will roll with Louise Moore and Frank Forde as lead blockers with minimal carries.

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The pass catchers are the least valuable pieces to the option offense in terms of being threats in the passing game. Luckily for us, we don't have many threats at the WR or TE position to begin with. Each receiver has basically one go-to skill to fall back on but none are the total package. At tight end we will start Andrew Earle and hope his immense strength can be useful in the running game while Donnell Brooks and Dillon Brewster will fill in behind him.
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Re: Optioning Into Relevance - UMass Minutemen

Postby Rizzo » Wed Jan 08, 2020 3:37 pm

2019 UMass Minutemen Defensive Roster

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With us looking to play a 4-3 defense, we seem to be a bit thin at both defensive line positions. We will certainly be relying on tackle Kevin Davis to wreak havoc up the middle with his unique blend of strength and speed. Playing next to him will be defensive end Leonard Peck. While listed as a defensive end, Peck makes more of a tackle and should be able to give some push up the middle and make a reliable tackler. At defensive end, Edward Bergman and Erik Thomas will have to do their best to give us a legitimate pass rush.

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One reason why we need to run a 4-3 and not a 3-4: we have five scholarship linebackers on the roster. Christopher Bailey, a redshirt junior, is the most dynamic of the bunch with great speed and agility along with a good head on his shoulders. He will be a superb cover linebacker while Clarence Gray will be the thumper up the middle. This position will be overmatched seemingly every single week, so adding some legit players at this position is a necessity.

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In today's day and age, you can never have enough corners! Too bad we only have four and EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. is a senior! Ughh! We will be hitting the recruiting trail hard for corners, though all four seem like they can really play. This should be the strength of our defensive unit so we may see more nickel packages than base 4-3.

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The dearth of corners on the roster doesn't really scare me all that much because we have a whopping 12 safeties on our roster! That means next season there will definitely be some position changes once we see who develops the ability to shift down to corner for us. With so many guys able to see the field, we may need to experiment with who sees the field in which package against which teams. We may even see some of our strong safeties move down into the box and play some linebacker for us! Whatever it takes for us to maximize our talent, we are willing to do!
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Re: Optioning Into Relevance - UMass Minutemen

Postby Rizzo » Wed Jan 08, 2020 5:19 pm

The Minutemen traveled down to Lubbock to take on the Big XII's Texas Tech Red Raiders. In a game that seemed like UMass didn't belong on the same field, the Minutemen not only kept it close but actually went into the 4th quarter with a 20-18 lead! Shortly into the 4th quarter, the home team hit on a 37-yard TD pass to take the lead. A quick drive by UMass and another TD pass just six minutes later gave Texas Tech a 32-20 lead. FB-converted-to-RB Weston Silva was able to punch in a 1-yard TD run with 1:41 left in the game to make it a 32-27 game, but a failed onside kick ended the comeback bid by the underdog Minutemen.

Special teams was up and down as our kicker Douglas Jaramillo missed an XP. If our defense had stepped up in the 4th quarter and forced a field goal instead of a TD, that point may have been huge. We got a huge boost in the return game as WR Roy Livingston took a kickoff 108 yards to the house to give us that 20-18 lead heading into the 4th quarter.

Our biggest bugaboo this game: PENALTIES! We had 10 flags thrown on us for a whopping 136 yards compared to 4-45 for Texas Tech.

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