Oct. 9, 2009
NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-Two teams will look for their first conference victories of the season when the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's football team hosts Western New England in a New England Football Conference Boyd Division game Saturday evening. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. at Cressy Field.
The Corsairs are coming off a 26-0 loss to Plymouth State, and are 0-5 this season and 0-2 in the Boyd division, while WNEC fell to Plymouth State last week, 38-21 and is 1-4 and 0-2. . "We've talked to our team about the fact that last year, when we played them, we were 3-2 and a field goal away from being 4-1, and they were 0-5, and they beat us," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Mark Robichaud. "They were ready to play, and we weren't. This year, we need to be ready to play, and we are looking to return the favor."
The Golden Bears have lost each of their last four games, and have yielded an average of 40 points in each the their last three contests. "WNEC does a lot of things well, and they've had a lot of the same struggles that we've had," said Robichaud. "They've turned the ball over a lot, and they've played a very tough scheduled, including Curry and Plymouth State and Westfield State, which is one of the better teams on the other side of the conference."
Many of the Corsairs were not around when UMass Dartmouth lost to the Golden Bears last season. "Our team is hungry, their attitudes are great, even though we are 0-5," said Robichaud. "It's tough to draw too many parallels to last year, because we have so many new kids playing. The majority of our players were not on our roster last year, and WNEC did a great job against us."
WNEC quarterback Justin Walz has thrown for over 1000 yards in the first five games, while Mike Graham and J.J, Jachym have combined to gain 450m yards on the ground. "Walz is a very good athlete, he runs well and throws the ball well," said Robichaud. "He is their primary offensive threat. Our turnover ratio is the worst in the conference, which is completely unacceptable. We need to take better care of the ball, and take the ball away from our opponents. It's an old adage that you have to be able to take care of the ball; otherwise, it's hard to win the game. It changes field position, and forces you to defend a short field, which is tough." "
For the Corsairs, who have scored 19 points in five games and been shut in each of the last two weeks, success will follow when they reverse that trend. "We need to score some points," said Robichaud. "We have been playing from behind in virtually every game except Fitchburg, and we need to generate some enthusiasm. We need to score to get some momentum going on offense, which we really haven't had so far this season."
The Corsairs will hit the road next week to visit Salve Regina.
UMASS DARTMOUTH FOOTBALL