AMHERST -- University of Massachusetts football coach Charley Molnar is not a guy who looks at the glass as half full. The Minutemen are what their 0-5 record says they are.
But after giving Mid-American Conference power Ohio University all it could handle in a 37-34 loss, the first-year Minuteman coach could concede that there are things to look positively at.
"The bright spot is that we were in a position to win the game deep into the fourth quarter and had every opportunity to do so. We just didn’t do the job," he said. "Our guys played to win and were very quiet on the bus on the way home and very disappointed they did not win.
"I don’t think anyone sees the game as a moral victory at all."
The Minutemen ran roughshod over Ohio’s top-of-the-league class offense for 511 total yards and redshirt freshman quarterback Mike Wegzyn threw for 373 of those yards and four touchdowns.
It’s Homecoming for the Broncos (2-3, 0-1) of Bill Cubit, who are coming off a 37-17 loss to Toledo last week. The Broncos are on their second quarterback as junior Tyler Van Tubbergen started last week for the injured Alex Carder. Van Tubbergen threw for 232 yards and a touchdown. Toledo also picked him off three times, one went for a touchdown.
"We’re going to have to do a very good job against a UMass team that’s really getting a lot better. I know they’re really well-coached," Western Michigan coach Bill Cubit said during the MAC coaches’ weekly conference call.
Molnar said he is concerned about the 3-4 defense that Western Michigan runs. The Broncos are the first team the Minutemen are facing that use the defense.
It’s a big week for the Minutemen, who have next week off before returning to Gillette Stadium on Oct. 20 to face Bowling Green.
"We need to continue to develop in the areas of toughness, discipline and in pure relentlessness," the first-year coach said. "I think we are growing in those aspects."