AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP/AP) – The UMass Minutemen will take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish Saturday afternoon at Notre Dame.
The UMass football team is making the road trip to face the number six ranked Irish.
The Minutemen are not expected to win, but Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly said in an interview this week these are the kinds of games that concern him, when everybody thinks it’s going to be an easy win.
22News talked to UMass students who are confident in the abilities of the Minutemen. UMass freshman Patrick Norton said, “I think that Notre Dame should be on upset alert, with their quarterback out. UMass looked pretty good last week against Temple. I mean, you never know. It’s division one college football. Anything’s possible. Go UMass!”
You can watch the game Saturday at 3:30pm on 22News.
Below are some fact provided by The Associated Press:
WHAT’S AT STAKE
The Fighting Irish are seeking to stay in contention for the College Football Playoff and can’t afford a loss to UMass. The Minutemen are looking for their first win against a ranked opponent and their first win against a Power 5 conference opponent since moving up to FBS in 2012.
Massachusetts WR Tajae Sharpe vs. Notre Dame CB KeiVarae Russell. Sharpe owns the school record with 188 catches and has six 100-yard receiving games in his last 10 played. The 6-foot-3, 188-pound senior is a dangerous receiver with 22 catches for 294 yards through two games. Russell is fourth on the team with 15 tackles, including a sack, a forced fumble and two pass breakups, but hasn’t been as dominant as expected after being suspended from school for a season.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Massachusetts: QB Blake Frohnapfel. He is in his second year running the UMass offense after transferring from Marshall. He threw for 3,345 yards, including a school-record 589 yards vs. Bowling Green, and 23 touchdowns last season and has thrown for 618 yards and four TDs so far this season.
Notre Dame: RB C.J. Prosise fell two yards shy of rushing for 100 yards vs. Texas or he would have three straight 100-yard games. The converted wide receiver has run for 451 yards on 59 carries, a 7.6-yard average. That’s the second-best start in Notre Dame history. Phil Carter rushed for 499 yards through the first three games of 1980.
FACTS & FIGURES
Notre Dame scheduled UMass because it was coached at the time by former Irish offensive coordinator Charley Molnar, who was fired after a 2-22 record in the program’s first two seasons in FBS. … The Minutemen will be the eighth first-time opponent the Irish have faced in six seasons under Brian Kelly. The Irish are 4-3 in those games with losses to Tulsa, South Florida and Louisville. … UMass is 0-7 against ranked teams and has never played a top 10 opponent.
WIN ONE FOR THE POPE: Notre Dame is 4-0 all-time while the pope is in the United States with victories over Georgia Tech in 1979, Michigan and Michigan State in 1987 and Washington in 1995, all during visits by Pope John Paul II.
Copyright 2015 Associated Press