After two straight losses on the road, the Minutemen of UMass will return home to Warren McGuirk Alumni Stadium for their home opener against the 0-1 Stony Brook Seawolves. The multi-divisional matchup between the teams kicks off at 3:30 PM EST, so let’s take a look at some stats, predictions, and player spotlights.
Predictions and Gambling Odds
According to ESPN’s Football Power Index UMass is predicted to win by a margin of 44%, with odds favoring the Minutemen 72.3%-27.7%. Both teams rank poorly in their respective divisions with neither team having clinched a win since the season started in early September. Ceaser’s Sportsbook marks the spread at -1 in favor of UMass. Despite both teams having notably lackluster offensive performances, Ceaser’s marked the over-under at 44 points.
Although Merriweather, who wears #7 for the Minutemen, has had a slow start to the season against some powerful defensive lines, his performance tonight will likely resemble that of last year’s 1000+ yard season. This afternoon’s game against the Seawolves will likely feature plenty of opportunities for Merriweather to break through the young defensive line of Stony Brook for some big plays. Expect Merriweather to put up 100+ yards and at least one touchdown.
Campiotti hasn’t had the best start with his new team, but fans and teammates are hoping that today’s game will give him the confidence he needs to carry him through the season. Since transferring from Northern Arizona over the offseason, Campiotti has completed just seven passes for 20 yards, no touchdowns, and two interceptions. Despite his arm strength, Campiotti seems to fall back to his default of running, by doing which he has 123 yards and one touchdown over 29 carries. However, he likely won’t need to resort to last-second runs out of the pocket this afternoon, as he faces off against a much weaker defense than his last two matchups against Tulane and Toledo.
On the Seawolves’ side of the ball, keep an eye out for redshirt sophomore running back Jayden Cook. On Stony Brook’s 14-35 loss to the University of Rhode Island, Cook shined, carrying the ball eight times for 38 yards, including one 12-yard run for a much-needed first down. Cook also takes kick returns for the Seawolves, totaling 92 yards over four returns for an average of 23 yards per return.
UMass’s 57-year-old Warren McGuirk Alumni Stadium will be under ideal conditions for a great game for both players and spectators. It will be sunny with temperatures staying below 73° at kickoff, with wind averaging below five miles per hour.
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