UMass football notebook: Win brings bounce to Minutemen’s steps to start week 

  • UMass coach Don Brown after winning against Stony Brook on Saturday at McGuirk Alumni Stadium in Amherst. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • UMass quarterback Gino Gampiotti (5) throws downfield for a completion against Stony Brook in the third quarter Saturday at McGuirk Alumni Stadium in Amherst. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • UMass coach Don Brown during their game against Stony Brook on Saturday at McGuirk Alumni Stadium in Amherst. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

  • UMass lines up against Stony Brook in the first quarter Saturday at McGuirk Alumni Stadium in Amherst. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Staff Writer
Published: 9/21/2022 8:43:30 PM
Modified: 9/21/2022 8:43:36 PM

AMHERST –  Eventually, Don Brown wants entering the UMass football facility Monday after a win to become routine. He didn’t change anything following Saturday’s win over Stony Brook from the previous two defeats.

“That's the goal is to get into a good groove, a good weekly schedule that allows your players a chance to get better, improve on their techniques and fundamentals and get them better prepared for the next coming week,” Brown said.

That invariability may take more time to build. The Minutemen snapped an eight-game losing streak against the Seawolves. It was just their second win the past three years and fourth in the previous five. The victory didn’t bring the same outpouring of relief as last season’s victory over UConn – that ended nearly two years without a win – but still brought an extra bounce.

“I'd be lying to say we didn't go into the first two weeks expecting a win. I do think the energy is definitely different and not purposefully, but once you do something, you know you can do it,” UMass quarterback Gino Campiotti said. “We know that we can win. We know what winning football looks like and feels like now. That carries over.”

The Minutemen scored on their opening drive for the first time all year and never trailed in the game. Some of that was thanks to sophomore cornerback Jordan Mahoney’s 94-yard interception return for a touchdown.

“One thing that certainly jumped out was we got off to a good start. Obviously scoring early was a good lift,” Brown said. “But our ability to weather the storm when bad things happened, and not let them exacerbate the situation, the way we handled adversity, we were playing through it, not letting us be consumed by the moment and kept competing and good things happened.”

UMass also benefited from its home field and home crowd advantage for the first time all season after opening with two road games.

“Whenever you get support from within, it certainly is an uplifting experience,” Brown said. “It helps you stay in the battle because somebody's got your back if they are in your corner with you.”

Now the Minutemen turn their attention to Temple on Saturday in Philadelphia (2 p.m. ESPN-Plus). They haven’t won consecutive games since besting Liberty and UConn in late October and early November 2018.

“The winning feeling is like a contagious thing, and I think that the energy that we're feeling is different,” Campiotti said.

EYES ON THE OWLS  – Temple has prevailed both times the teams met previously, last winning a 29-21 contest in Philadelphia in 2017. Both games were decided by single digits.

The Owls (1-2) have lost two games to Power 5 opponents. Rutgers survived a 16-14 trip to Lincoln Financial Field last week. Freshman quarterback E.J. Warner, the son of Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner, had a coming out party with 215 yards and a touchdown through the air in his first start.

“He's very accurate and has the ability to go from read one to read two,” Brown said. “Those are big things when you quarterback and actually read and do things, and I thought he was very composed.”

Temple is scoring just 14.67 points per game and averages 2.8 yards per rush. Edward Saydee is the team’s primary back with 98 yards and a score on 35 carries. Linebacker Layton Jordan anchors the defense with 4½ sacks, 7½ tackles for loss and accumulated 19 tackles.

“Scrappy unit. They play with a lot of passion defensively. They have a very extensive blitz package. We have to play as a cohesive unit against UMass,” Temple coach Stan Drayton said. “They have the ability to run the football. We’ve got our work cut out for us.”

PHILLY PHILLY – UMass has three Pennsylvania natives that will be playing close to home at Lincoln Financial Field: sophomore linebackers Nahji Logan and back Jalen Stewart and redshirt junior long snapper Ethan Dumont.

Logan’s hometown of Yeadon, Pa., is eight miles from where the Minutemen will play Saturday. The other two hail from roughly an hour outside of the city.

PRIDE DAY – UMass announced during Saturday’s game that its next football home game against Liberty University on Oct. 8 will celebrate Pride Day.

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