By Brian George
Massachusetts has a very good passing offense. Their quarterback isn’t a very super mobile, but he has a very strong arm. He knows where to go with the football within their offense.
They have very good skill players, including their wide receiver Tajae Sharpe, who is 6-foot-4. They also have a big, tall kid who is one of those wide-receiver-slash-tight-end kids. Against tall kids like that, we have to try to get jams on them, try to slow them down and not let them get going. A lot of their routes are timing routes, so you have to disrupt that timing with the receivers. Obviously, you want to add a little bit of pressure at times as well.
Those guys are long striders rather than quick, so the more you can disrupt them, the better chance they will get. It will help to get Najee Murray back at cornerback. He gives us more depth and another physical guy in there, which is good for a game like this.
Getting back Terence Waugh and Jontey Byrd on the defensive line is also a big is also a big help. It improves our depth tremendously. They are also two of our most athletic linemen so it is definitely a good thing for us in terms of having two guys who can pass rush and a do a lot of other things for us.
We played well defensively last week at Northern Illinois. The best thing that I saw on film after that game was that we played for four quarters. That may be one of the first times this season where I felt like we played the same way, consistently, through the entire game.
We are looking forward to continuing that consistency tomorrow when we play Massachusetts at 2 p.m. at Dix Stadium.