Q&A: UMass QB Andrew Ford on his farewell season By Mollie Walker

Photos by Caroline O'Connor and Katherine Mayo

Redshirt senior Andrew Ford has served as the starting quarterback for the Massachusetts football team since he joined the program in 2016. After topping almost every offensive category in the UMass record books, Ford has inevitably started his final season with the Minutemen. The Massachusetts Daily Collegian’s Mollie Walker sat down with Ford to discuss his memorable time with the team and what life after college has in store for him.

Mollie Walker: What do you think about the way the team prepared for this season? Any changes?

Andrew Ford: I think that the only thing that has changed is that we just have more upperclassmen, older guys that have kind of taken a leadership role. I think that our preparation was good from the day we got back in January. Guys really took it upon themselves to lead this team. So that was a little bit different. I don’t think we wasted any days, from looking back in the offseason, it was our best offseason since I’ve been here.

MW: With three games out of the way, where do you think the team is competitively?

AF: I think it’s obviously not the start we wanted, not the start we envisioned. There’s a lot of football to be played, so we’re optimistic about that. It’s not necessarily what teams are doing against us it’s just what we’re doing to ourselves. So we have to be more consistent, clean some stuff up, but optimistic about the upcoming games we have.

MW: What do you think has to happen to change the outlook of this season?

AF: I think the guys just have to stick together. We’re in a part right now where we could come together and really turn this around. Or, if we don’t, we could kind of fall apart here. So this is a big week for us and we understand [that]. And like I said earlier, just being more consistent, playing a full 60 minutes and both sides of the ball and helping each other out.

MW: What would you consider to be a satisfying end to your career at UMass?

AF: Just a bowl game. I think I’m more a team guy more than an individual guy, I think the individual stuff I’ll look back on a couple years down the line when I leave here. But right now, I’m just focused on leading this team to as many wins as we can get and bringing these young guys up, help build this program for the future.

MW: Looking back, was UMass the right choice for you?

AF: Absolutely. It was actually interesting, my dad and I had this conversation a couple days ago. Just looking back at everything that’s happened over the last couple of years, it’s definitely not the journey that I envisioned when I left high school, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

MW: Even though it’s still early in the season, do you feel you’ve accomplished everything you’ve wanted to here?

AF: No, [not] until we get that bowl game. I think that’s what we set out to do here when I first got here and that’s still out there. Everything that we set out to do is still out there for us, we just need to get it done.

MW: You’re currently in the top five in almost every offensive record category, did you expect to have that kind of impact here?

AF: I don’t know, I didn’t really have any expectations of any records or anything like that. It’s something that I think I’ll appreciate more down the line, but right now, I’m not looking at it like that. I’m just trying to do what I have to do to help this team win games on Saturdays.

MW: What was your favorite season here at UMass?

AF: I think probably last season. Obviously, I hope that this season ends up becoming my favorite season but we’re only three games in. I think last year having Adam [Breneman] and Bryton [Barr] together and all of us living together it was a really unique experience. We probably didn’t appreciate it as much [when] we were doing it, as we do now [looking back at it]. I know that we talk a lot and we miss a lot of the things we’d be doing right around this time. Last year was a lot of fun, on and off the year, so I think that was my favorite year so far.

MW: What was your biggest takeaway from your time at UMass?

AF: Just the people I’ve met, there’s been a lot of wonderful people that have come into my life. With football, without football, being in Isenberg, there’s just the people that I’ve met here and the relationships that I’ve built in my three years here is something I’ll be able to take with me for the rest of my life.

MW: How has UMass prepared you for life after college?

AF: For after college, they’ve done an awesome job. Like I just said with the relationships and the people that I’ve been able to meet. There’s UMass people everywhere and I’ve really been surprised by the support that I’ve gotten all throughout the country from UMass alums. I think they’ve done a pretty good job and I’m looking forward to growing these next three months as well. But I think that no matter what happens after this season, UMass has prepared me for the future.

Mollie Walker can be reached at molliewalker@umass.edu and followed on Twitter @MWalker2019.

(All photos are Collegian file photos.)

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