Scrolling Headlines:

UMass hockey can’t take advantage of strong start in 6-1 loss to Boston College -

January 21, 2017

High-powered Eagles soar past UMass -

January 21, 2017

UMass women’s basketball suffers disappointing loss to St. Bonaventure at Mullins Center Thursday -

January 19, 2017

REPORT: Tom Masella out as defensive coordinator for UMass football -

January 19, 2017

Zach Lewis, bench carry UMass men’s basketball in win over St. Joe’s -

January 19, 2017

UMass women’s basketball handles Duquesne at home -

January 16, 2017

UMass men’s basketball’s late comeback falls short after blowing 15-point first-half lead -

January 15, 2017

UMass hockey outlasted at home against No. 6 UMass Lowell -

January 14, 2017

Hailey Leidel hits second buzzer beater of the season to give UMass women’s basketball win over Davidson -

January 13, 2017

UMass football hosts Maine at Fenway Park in 2017 -

January 12, 2017

UMass men’s basketball snaps losing streak and upsets Dayton Wednesday night at Mullins Center -

January 11, 2017

UMass women’s track and field takes second at Dartmouth Relays -

January 10, 2017

UMass hockey falls to No. 5 Boston University at Frozen Fenway -

January 8, 2017

UMass professor to make third appearance on ‘Jeopardy!’ -

January 8, 2017

UMass women’s basketball suffers brutal loss on road against Saint Joseph’s -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops thirds straight, falls to VCU 81-64 -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops tightly-contested conference matchup against George Mason Wednesday night -

January 4, 2017

Late-game defense preserves UMass women’s basketball’s win against rival Rhode Island -

January 4, 2017

AIC shuts out UMass hockey 3-0 at Mullins Center -

January 4, 2017

UMass professor to appear as contestant on ‘Jeopardy!’ Thursday night -

January 4, 2017

Tony Nelson strong in return, Armando Cuko breaks records

nelsonTony Nelson had seen little of the field for the Massachusetts football team recently, but Saturday, in a 37-7 rout over Northeastern, the tailback looked just as he did before he was sidelined with a contusion to his thigh.

After only 10 carries at Maine, not traveling to Richmond, playing one series against New Hampshire and rushing for 33 yards at Delaware, Nelson found himself rushing for 116 yards on 20 carries and three touchdowns against the Huskies (1-8, 1-5 Colonial Athletic Association).

“It was tough sitting out in my senior year, but I’m glad just to be back healthy and helping out the team,” Nelson said after the game. “You can see the offense did a great job and pushing the ball up downfield and getting the ball into the end zone. The linemen did a great job, the backs did a great job and it felt real good to get back out there.”

The three touchdowns in the game were the most for the senior since he rushed for three in 2006 against William & Mary. Nelson entered the game tied for 11th all-time rushing touchdowns in UMass history, but moved up to sixth to tie Kevin Smellie’s 21 career rushing touchdowns that he posted from 1985-88.

Nelson scored from one yard out on two occasions in the first five minutes of the second quarter for the Minutemen (5-4, 3-3 CAA) to increase UMass’ lead from three to 17 early in the game. The tailback would later punch it in from nine yards out with six minutes, 33 seconds left in the third quarter to give UMass a 34-0 lead.

With this performance Nelson appears to be back to himself, but the senior still feels he has room for improvement, despite rushing for his third 100-yard rushing game of the season.

footBKicking for the books

With the offense often struggling deep in its opponents’ territory at times this year, UMass has leaned on kicker Armando Cuko to help put points on the board. The senior has not disappointed as he has hit 18-of-23 field-goal attempts on the year and is a perfect 24-for-24 on extra-point attempts, as well as going 3-for-3 against Northeastern.

The strong season and Saturday’s performace have moved Cuko’s names to the tops of many UMass’ record books, including career field goals, single season field goals and career PATs, with still two games to go.

“I kept an eye on it but I try not to think about breaking anything,”  Cuko said. “If it comes my way it comes my way. I can’t control how many chances I get.”

Cuko’s 36-yard field goal at the end of the second quarter was his 17th of the season – he would alter add his 18th – and put Cuko first place all-time in UMass history for most made field goals in one season. Chris Koepplin (2006) and Sandro Vitiello (1978) were tied for first place with 16 in one season entering the game, but Cuko jumped both of them against the Huskies.

A 35-yard field goal late in the fourth quarter gave Cuko 30 career field goals and moved the Beverly, Mass. native into a tie for first place for career field goals with Silvio Bonvini who also hit 30 from 1985-88.

In PATs, Cuko currently ranks fourth all-time on the career total with 95, two behind third-place Doug White’s 97 and 13 behind first-place Bonvini’s 108.

Not only is Cuko at the top of the UMass record books, he’s also among the nations’ best in field goals per game and points per game. The senior’s three field goals improved his nation’s best 2.14 field goals per game to 2.25 and the 13 points he scored increased one of the nations best points per game total from 9.29 to 9.75.

Jeffrey R. Larnard can be reached at jlarnard@dailycollegian.com.

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