Umass Minutemen Football: QB Andrew Ford excited to challenge for starting role

HADLEY, MA - SEPTEMBER 17: Andrew Ford
HADLEY, MA - SEPTEMBER 17: Andrew Ford /

As head coach Mark Whipple looks to lead UMass football back to a winning program, quarterback Andrew Ford hopes to help his team take another step forward.

There is nothing better in football than some health quarterback competition.  As the UMass football program looks to build off a 2-10 season, quarterback Andrew Ford is entering the season with more confidence as he competes for the starting role with Ross Comis.

As was the case at the start of 2016 season, both quarterbacks will have an opportunity to lead Whipple’s offense.  Ford, a transfer in 2016, ultimately won the role as the season progressed.

Although much of that was due to the season-ending injury to Comis, Ford is approaching this season with a starter mentality.

Building off last season

Much of that is due to the playing experience he gained as well as familiarity with the offense.  Something he didn’t have last season as a transfer.

"“Just being familiar with everything from how coach Whipple runs practices, how we watch film as a team to how guys are in the locker room.  I’m way more comfortable with every single aspect,” Ford said, via the Hampshire Gazette.  “I’m that much more confident in our guys and in myself as well.”"

FOXBORO, MA – SEPTEMBER 24: Andrew Ford /

That confidence should help him build of a season in which he finished with 2,665 passing yards and 26 touchdowns.  He also threw 14 interceptions which should improve now that he has a better understanding of the offense and gained more repetitions with the playmakers around him.

In watching film of himself last season, Ford says he has recognized a lot of mistakes he made on the field.  The frustration he experienced from those moments are learning opportunities.  And with those learning opportunities comes the excitement he has for the upcoming 2017 season.

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"“It’s exciting to know where our potential is.  We just have to prove it to other people,” Ford said.  “There were some moments last year where we could look back at and see what we could be but it’s all about consistency.  Each and every day we’re trying to be more consistent.  We saw some things last year that were pretty good.  The bad things we saw, we learned from.  There’s a long way for me to go.  I know the goals and standards I have for myself.  That’s part of what keeps me going every day.”"

Low expectations

Right now, Ford is focused on winning the starting job.  With senior tight end Adam Breneman as the leading playmaker, Ford will have an opportunity to make plays when he is on the field.

With teams like Tennessee, Mississippi State and BYU on the schedule, the UMass football as a whole will see where they stand.  A 4-8 record, as predicted by Chowder & Champion co-site expert Logan Jakubajtys, would be a realistic step by the team.

Next: UMass Minutemen: 2017 college football preview

As Jakubajtys pointed out, strength of schedule should help the progression of Mark Whipple’s team and it can only help make a player like Andrew Ford better.  And eventually, put UMass football back on the map.