The UMass Minutemen scored late in the fourth quarter on Saturday against Western Michigan at Gillette Stadium, and they needed just an extra point in order to tie the game.
Instead, Charley Molnar’s team elected to go for two points and go for the win. Though the A.J. Doyle pass attempt was unsuccessful, Molnar has no regrets about the decision to try to win the game.
“We’ve been talking about that since I got hired as head football coach,” Molnar told 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Marc Bertrand. “I’ve said we’re gonna play every game to win. I said we’re not going to be tentative, we’re not going to hold back. We’re going to be aggressive. And if the opportunity ever arises for us to go for two to win a football game, that’s what we’re gonna do.
“The guys have always bought into that belief system,” Molnar continued. “I said put the ball in their hands, and let’s go win a game, rather than letting fate decide it.”
Molnar said the situation was one for which the team was well-prepared.
“This [play call] was the right one, we thought as a coaching staff going into the game based on the coverages that we expected to see if this situation arose,” Molnar said. “We had practiced it even right through our walkthrough on Friday afternoon. We felt like we had the right play and it was called at the right time. … I thought our guys were mentally prepared. The excitement on our sidelines, it was one of the greatest highs before unfortunately one of the lowest lows that we’ve experienced in a long time.”
Molnar said the blame could be spread from the coaching staff on down, but he was nevertheless encouraged by quarterback A.J. Doyle stepping up after the game and taking responsibility for the loss.
“A.J. understands the responsibility that goes with being the quarterback of a football team. It doesn’t surprise me that A.J. stood up and took his share of the blame.”
The Minutemen play the 17th-ranked Northern Illinois Huskies this weekend, and Molnar previewed the great challenge presented to his team as well.