Monday, September 10, 2012
Notes: Beyer out, tradition vs. startup
By Michael Rothstein
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan’s somewhat revolving door on the defensive line looks like it will continue for at least another week.
Sophomore defensive end Brennen Beyer, who injured his knee during Michigan’s 31-25 win over Air Force, will likely miss the Wolverines’ game against Massachusetts on Saturday.
“I don’t think he’ll be available this week,” Michigan coach Brady Hoke said. “He tweaked the knee a little bit. Hopefully in two weeks.”
Beyer started the first two games of the season at rush end for Michigan and has made two tackles this season. He missed a good portion of the Wolverines’ game Saturday after being injured.
He was replaced in the lineup Saturday by Frank Clark, who had four tackles, two tackles for loss and a pass breakup. Freshman Mario Ojemudia has had four tackles and a half-tackle for loss in two games.
Beyer’s injury is the latest issue for a defensive line that has had a lot of bruises and issues so far. Clark was suspended for the season opener against Alabama due to legal issues. Reserve Richard Ash missed the Air Force game with an unspecified injury. While now fine, freshman Ondre Pipkins was hospitalized following a neck injury in the preseason.
And freshman lineman Chris Wormley is out for the season after tearing his ACL.
Establishment vs. Startup Michigan, with 133 years of major football, meet a program entering its third week on the big stage: Massachusetts.
So it’ll be a bit of disparity Saturday.
“It took Michigan 100-plus years to get where they’re at,” UMass coach Charley Molnar said. “We’re only in Week 2, starting Week 3 of a I-A program. So we’ve got a ways to go.
“But we can certainly have at least a vision of what it looks like to be a great team.”
It has been a bumpy road in the FBS for UMass thus far. Against Connecticut and Indiana, the Minutemen have been outscored 82-6 in its first two games heading into what should be their toughest opponent of the season.
UMass, though, had been a highly successful FCS program for years, competing in the Atlantic 10 and CAA, including a then-Division I-AA championship in 1998 and a FCS title game appearance in 2006, losing to Appalachian State.
UMass made the full move to the FBS this season and had a huge transition. Home games are almost two hours from the Amherst, Mass., campus at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro. The majority of players, too, were recruited to be a competitive FCS school, not an FBS one.
And Molnar is in his first year as a head coach.
“I’ve got my hands on these players every day and looking to see how we’re going to develop this team, not only for the next opponent but also for 2013 and 2014. So that’s a real challenge but that’s what makes this job so fun,” Molnar said. “As far as other things involved in the transition, it’s creating a new fanbase for us with our games being played out in Eastern Massachusetts. There’s not a core contingent of people used to going to UMass football games.
“So we’re almost like a startup program.”
Fine with playcalling Michigan had an interesting playcalling situation at the end of the first half Saturday as the Wolverines appeared to mismanage the clock, leaving themselves with timeouts remaining but no time as they tried to move down the field against Air Force.
On Monday, though, Hoke had no problem with how that was called.
“I think we did ok,” Hoke said.
Same old Roundtree Fifth-year senior receiver Roy Roundtree has gotten off to a slow start for the second straight season. After a sophomore year when he had 72 catches for 935 yards, last season his production dipped to 19 catches for 355 yards.
During the offseason, he vowed to become the team’s top receiver. Thus far, it hasn’t showed. He only has three catches for 17 yards in his first two games and has not been targeted much by senior quarterback Denard Robinson.
Against Air Force on Saturday, Robinson threw Roundtree’s way only twice. Hoke also said Roundtree hasn’t been hampered by his arthroscopic knee surgery in August.
“He’s fine,” Hoke said. “It’s more of what’s in the plan and other people and how they want to defend. I’m not concerned.”