UMass Four Down Preview: UMass Minutemen (0-0) at Tulane Green Wave (0-0)

Kickoff: The Don Brown era officially kicks off tonight as the Minutemen travel to New Orleans to take on Tulane. Expectations are high in Amherst for the first time in a long time. The schedule sets up well for UMass to turn things around but it has to start tonight against a Tulane team looking to turn things around after a tough season last season.

1st Down: Start fast on offense: A good start on offense is key tonight. UMass needs to score first and carry the play. Scoring first would not only give the offense confidence but the whole team.

2nd Down: Match up with their multiplicity: Tulane runs different formations, personnel groupings and schemes. They will challenge UMass mentally and physically. The Minutemen cannot give up big plays or have breakdowns in the secondary.

3rd Down: Feed the beast: Senior running back Ellis Merriweather needs to touch the ball 25 to 30 times tonight. If the Minutemen can wear down Tulane’s small front and control the line of scrimmage, they can win this game.

4th Down: Play disciplined: The energy will be there tonight. That is a good thing but you can also play undisciplined when you are jacked up. The Minutemen needs to play disciplined and take care of the ball. They cannot turnover it over or take dumb penalties. If they do, they are toast.

Extra Point: Don Brown has a 95-45 record as a head football coach and a 26-10 record as a head baseball coach.

Final Drive: It is easy to say this is a tough game for UMass and it is but is also a winnable game. If the Minutemen can start fast, take care of the football and get some timely stops, they will be fine.