N.E. FOOTBALL;These Jumbos forget old mantras
If some deity were to assemble ghostly coaching legends of
bygone days for an in-stadium sitdown chat, your best bet would be
to find current Tufts coach Bill Samko listening on the side of the
field where the late Woody Hayes had residence. Let the Don Coryell
aficionados and Bill Walsh disciples have the other side.
Until this year, that is.
”We’ve kind of changed our mode a little bit,” Samko said at
the weekly New England
Football Writers luncheon.
Long avowed as a ”three yards and a cloud of dust” proponent,
Samko has switched his
football philosophy. This season,
Samko’s Jumbos (1-2) have been slinging
footballs worthy of, dare we say, a
West Coast offense. In a 21-20 loss to Bates on Oct. 2, senior
quarterback Anthony Fucillo of Winthrop completed 35-of-71 passes,
smashing program single-game marks. The old attempts mark was 53 by
Matt Russo against Middlebury in 2007. The former completions
standard of 30 was jointly held by Russo (Williams, 2007) and Jason
Casey (Bowdoin, 2009).
Fucillo, whose favorite targets have been seniors Billy Mahler
(23 catches) and Greg Stewart (20 catches), kept up the aerial
bombardment last week in a 22-15 loss at Bowdoin when he connected
for 356 passing yards, erasing Dave Piermarini’s 1982 record of 354
against Amherst. Fucillo, who is 85-of-174 for 952 yards and five
TDs, is on pace to eclipse single-season school marks for
completions (145, Russo), attempts (261, Russo), yards (1,639,
Piermarini) and touchdowns (14, Russo and Chris Connors).
”We throw the ball. It creates options,” said Samko, whose
club visits Trinity (2-1) tomorrow. ”We just have to be (more)
Elsewhere, UMass junior co-captain Tyler Holmes, who was named
FCS Linebacker of the Week after making 18 stops with a sack in a
27-14 Minutemen win at Towson, has been added to the Buck Buchanan
Award watch list.
No. 8 UMass (4-1) hosts Richmond (2-3) tomorrow (3:30 p.m.) and
a Homecoming crowd of about 17,000 is expected in Amherst. The
Minutemen have not played at home since beating Holy Cross, 31-7,
back on Sept. 11.
”Richmond certainly is a challenge coming off the bye week. We
had the tempo going and then the bye week off and now we’re trying
to find the tempo again,” said UMass coach Kevin Morris. ”The
kids are really ready to go. We’ve had an excellent week of
practice and hopefully we can parlay that into a win (tomorrow).”
. . .
Harvard (3-1) plays host to Lehigh (3-2) in a nonleague
encounter at The Stadium at noon tomorrow. Harvard leads the series
by a scant margin, 8-7. The Crimson, who have won two straight,
have been without senior quarterback Andrew Hatch (concussion).
Hatch is practicing and has been cleared to play. In Hatch’s
absence, sophomore Colton Chapple filled the void as Harvard went
to a ground-oriented attack, churning out consecutive 300-yard
rushing games. It’s the first time under coach Tim Murphy that
Harvard has posted back-to-back 300-yard rushing efforts. . . .
Due to an error in Thursday’s edition, Fitchburg State was
incorrectly listed as Maine Maritime’s opponent in the 38th annual
Admiral’s Cup on Oct. 30. The Admiral’s Cup is being contested
between Mass. Maritime and host Maine Maritime.