At long last, UMass will begin its season on Saturday with a game at Georgia Southern. On Tuesday, the Minutemen released their depth chart with the much anticipated lineup at quarterback. However, the depth chart did not reveal much there, as Milton's Mike Fallon, Josiah Johnson, and Will Koch were all listed as co-starters. In his meeting with the media, UMass coach Walt Bell did his best to conceal who will eventually start there. It appears we might not know much until Saturday. Along with the quarterback battle, Bell touched on a number of different topics. Here is a snapshot of some of the things he mentioned.
(How different are the quarterbacks, and what do they bring to the table?)
I think the biggest thing with Fallon is just . . . I mean, we've only had 14 days to prepare. Today was practice 15 in 18 or 19 days, whatever the NCAA allowable number is. (Fallon is) just an older, veteran guy that's been around and can operate the line of scrimmage. Obviously, Josiah (is) big, great athlete. Really improved as a quarterback. Knowing that it's his second year in the system. Then, Will Koch, again, just an unbelievable athlete. He was a 10.8 (seconds in the 100-meter dash) kid in high school. Can really run. Still developing as a quarterback simply because no spring football. He wasn't an early enrollee. He's basically operating on 14 practices. But all three of them have something to give, and we're excited for whoever gets the chance to go play.
(There is a lot of youth on the depth chart. Is it concerning, or is it that these guys were the best that you have and won those jobs and are really ready to go?)
No, it's exciting. We were the youngest team in college football a year ago. We'll probably be one of the youngest four or five teams in college football this year. To have a chance to get those guys on the football field playing, to me, that's exciting. That's why we recruited at such a high level. That's part of what we were selling, is they were going to have the opportunity to make a difference right away. Hopefully we'll get a chance to see that.
(Now in its second year at UMass, where do you see the maturation of this offense?)
Well I think the biggest thing, what I'd like everybody to understand is, what we did last year is what we had to do to survive. Obviously, we didn't survive at a very high rate. But that's what we had to go knowing there were games where there were five scholarship (offensive) linemen, and really short at some positions. I think Saturday you'll start to see what ultimately we want to be. We'll probably look a little bit different. But that's the vision. That's what we want this thing to be moving forward from the time we got here. Excited to let those guys go out there and play. Knowing we've only had 15 practices, I'm sure it won't be pretty al the time, but I'm excited to go see them play.