UMass? What offense?
Boston College travels west this Saturday to face the UMass Minutemen. UMass last weekend got the doors blown off by our own ACC friend Pitt, 51-7. Here we’ll take a look at the UMass offense and exactly what they’re bringing to the table against a vulnerable BC defense.
UMass’s starting QB is Tyler Lytle, a Senior QB transfer from Colorado. He was a career back-up at Colorado for his first 3 years, so transferred to UMass this offseason and won the starting job in the Minutemen’s struggling offense. We don’t know much about him, but we can tell you his stats against a similarly-talented Pitt squad from last week: 14/31 passing (45.2%), 167 yards, 0 passing TDs, 0 INTs, 1 rushing TD, -13 rushing yards on 9 attempts. He was pretty mediocre, but somehow the most effective part of UMass’s offense last weekend.
UMass’s backfield is anchored by RB Kay’ron Adams, a transfer from Rutgers, along with some support from the big fella Ellis Merriweather, a JUCO transfer. Adams played in 16 total games for Rutgers in 2 years, averaging about 4 yards per carry and 1 TD per season. He only got about 40 carries each season, so he was more of a gadget player or sub rather than the leader of the Rutgers backfield. On Saturday, Adams led UMass in rushing with 11 yards from scrimmage on 10 carries, along with 4 receptions for 14 yards. Merriweather had just 3 carries for 3 yards, plus 1 reception for 4 yards. This is the part of the offense that has seen the most turnover, but the new players brought in haven’t exactly proved themselves elsewhere, so it remains to be seen how improved the UMass rushing attack really got.
UMass lost last season’s top WR, Samuel Emilus, to the transfer portal in the offseason, so they’re bringing back a weakened squad this season. Still, Jermaine Johnson returns for them after looking promising in flashes last season, along with Taylor Edwards and TE Josiah Johnson. They also add WR Rolinsky Saint-Cyr this season after he redshirted in 2020. On Saturday, Jermaine Johnson led the pack with 3 receptions for 52 yards, followed by Edwards with 1 catch for 32 yards and Josiah Johnson with 2 catches for 28 yards. Not a great group last year, and they hardly brought in anyone new.