Amherst, MA (WGGB) — The UMass Minutemen are within 72 hours of their first game at the FBS level. A road tilt with local rival UConn kicks off the 2012 season, as the Minutemen officially make the jump to college football’s highest level.
Head coach Charley Molnar said on UMass Media Day that the Minutemen are looking to put in a foundation, this season. But he made sure to reiterate, Tuesday night, that this team will go into every game expecting to win.
“I think our football team is really hyped up for the football game, like every team football team should be for the first game of the year, and every game that they play,” Molnar said. “They’ve worked really hard, so this is kind of their reward, right now. All the hard work should pay off, Thursday night. Our guys are ready — as ready as they could possibly be. For our first year, I’m really, really proud of how much our guys have learned, and how much they’ve improved.”
Redshirt senior Free Safety Darren Thellen said he’s just looking forward to getting on the field, and not face his own team.
“We’ve been waiting the whole camp, spring ball, winter workouts, to actually have a chance to actually get out here and play the game against someone else,” Thellen said. “We’re just tired of playing against each other, we’re ready to go out there and go against another team.”
UMass plays at UConn’s Rentschler Field, in East Hartford, CT on Thursday, August 30th, at 7:30. The Minutemen then have nine days off, until they’re home opener at Gillette Stadium, against Indiana.