“We’re staying optimistic. We’re keeping our spirits high. But I can’t deny it’s a little disappointing when you look at our record on paper. You’re going to work every day and you haven’t won yet. But I’m expecting to win every week. This week, I’m expecting the same thing.”
Western Michigan will be without starting quarterback Alex Carder for the second straight game after he had surgery to the middle finger of his right (throwing) hand. Backup Tyler Van Tubbergen will start.
On the other side, UMass will face a 3-4 defense for the first time this season. Wegzyn will look to Walker, Alan Williams (seven catches, 127 yards, three TDs against Ohio), and Rob Blanchflower (five catches, 80 yards against Ohio).
Molnar is known as an offensive specialist. Previous stops included Cincinnati, Central Michigan, Western Michigan, and Eastern Michigan. But at UMass, Molnar is as much salesman as spread-formation ace. The 51-year-old Molnar, a running enthusiast, exudes the energy of an endurance athlete. Molnar is pitching an idea to the university, community, and state – one of a competitive football team begging for support.
“You have to sell a vision,” Molnar said. “You have to have a clear vision of where the program’s going to be. You have to be able to go out and articulate that vision to the masses. Because right now, they don’t know what we’re going to be like. We do. If they could clearly see the picture, I think we would have more buy in from the community and from the state of Massachusetts.”
The words that count the most, however, are the ones Molnar issues to his players. In several years, perhaps current freshmen such as Sharpe will be competing for a MAC title. By then, graduates like Sales will return to Amherst to enjoy the product he helped construct.
“They’re going to always remember that they were the guys that were 1-AA. Then one day, they got a chance to be 1-A,” Molnar said. “They got a chance to live their dream. They never thought they would. They’re the guys who had to dress in the old building as they watched the new building going up.”
Winless doesn’t mean hopeless.