Here's an update on the Falcons as they begin this week's preparations for their contest Saturday against Massachusetts at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. ...
- There are a few changes to the two-deep for the Falcons for Saturday's game. At running back, sophomore Jamel Martin has been taken off the two-deep at that position and will not play against UMass. His injury has not been announced, and his status for the weeks beyond the UMass game have not been determined.
The rest of the injury news has been generally good. Junior tight end Alex Bayer suffered a knee injury in the first half of the Miami game, but he is listed as probable for Saturday. Also senior linebacker Dwayne Woods, who missed the game with the RedHawks because of back problems, also is probable for Saturday's game.
For a list of other injuries from Saturday -- most notably, the loss of wide receiver Jermal Hosley for the rest of the season, click on this link to Saturday's notebook.
- The injury to Hosley led to a few changes on the depth chart at wide receiver. The back up to freshman Ryan Burbrink at the "slot" receiver is now junior Je'Ron Stokes, while Stokes' position as the back-up to freshman Chris Gallon at the "Z" receiver is another freshman, Travis Greene.
The only other change on offense is at running back, where Martin's spot as third on the depth chart has been taken by freshman Andre Givens. Sophomore Anthon Samuel remains the starter, followed by senior John Pettigrew, Givens and junior Jordan Hopgood, who has not been in uniform the past two weeks.
Bayer still is listed as the starting tight end, with sophomores Kendall Montgomery and Clay Rolf behind him. Junior Tyler Beck, who is listed as the starting fullback, also sees action at tight end.
- There are no changes on the defensive depth chart since Woods is listed as probable for the game with the Minutemen.
- On special teams the back-up holder is now Bart Tanski. Tanski was in uniform and served as the holder for senior Stephen Stein on kicks in the second half; that's a job he held before suffering a broken collarbone in fall drills.
- The Falcons do list Pettigrew as the back-up to BooBoo Gates on kickoff returns. Also, the "or" remains on the field-goal position between Stein and freshman Tyler Tate.
- Coach Dave Clawson said Saturday's opponent, Massachusetts, is better than its winless record would indicate. "UMass has played a very tough schedule -- at Michigan, at UConn, at Miami and Western Michigan, and home against Indiana and Ohio," Clawson said. "They have played some very good football teams. ... Their schedule was going to make it very hard for them to get off to a good start.
"I've watched the Ohio game [on film], and that's certainly a game they easily could have won. They had a chance to win right up to the last snap. I see a very good, very physical offensive line and very good skill players. They have a fifth-year transfer from Notre Dame as a receiver and a fifth-year transfer from Michigan as a running back, and they have an outstanding tight end. On defense they have a Syracuse transfer who's an all-conference player at defense end, and they have three redshirt seniors and a redshirt junior who start for them. All the pieces are there, and when they put it together they are going to be really good. And they're not that far away."
- Clawson and Josh Kraft, the son of Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, were classmates while both attended Williams College. "I haven't been in touch with him," Clawson explained. "Our dorms bordered each other, and we became good friends at Williams. I met Mr. Kraft either freshman or sophomore year. That's just a great family, really nice people. Since I've graduated I've lost touch with Josh, but certainly I have followed the success and he and his family from afar."
- Clawson was asked about junior linebacker Paul Swan, and how his play this year may "fly under the radar because of defensive standouts such as Dwayne Woods and Chris Jones. "He doesn't fly under the radar with us [coaches]," Clawson said. "Paul is a great example of player development. When Dwayne and Chris got here as true freshman, they physically were very much ahead of where tradition freshmen are -- and they played right away.
"Paul is a guy who came in and redshirted. He loves football, and he has worked himself into becoming a very good football player. He knows both inside linebacker positions, he has a great command of the defense, he has great leadership skills. He has made tremendous strides in the weight room and made himself faster. He has just willed himself into becoming a good football player for us. We love Swannie.
- Former BG quarterback Kellen Pagel will not play for the Minutemen Saturday. Pagel, who transferred from BG after the 2010 season and played for UMass last season, completing 153 of 267 passes for 1,725 yards and nine touchdowns to go with nine interceptions. But he also missed two games last season, and early in fall drills the school announced that he would not play because of "post-concussion symptoms."
Click here to read a story written before the season began about Pagel being out "indefinitely."
If you missed the annoucement earlier Monday, DT Chris Jones was named MAC East Division defensive player of the week for the third time this season. Click here to read all about it, including an interesting note about his season's tackle total.