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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

Penalties plague UMass hockey in Mariucci Classic championship game -

January 2, 2017

UMass men’s basketball falls in A-10 opener to St. Bonaventure and its veteran backcourt -

December 30, 2016

UMass woman’s basketball ends FIU Holiday Classic with 65-47 loss to Drexel -

December 29, 2016

UMass men’s basketball finishes non-conference schedule strong with win over Georgia State -

December 28, 2016

Brett Boeing joins UMass hockey for second half of season -

December 28, 2016

Minutemen host Blue Hens in pivotal CAA clash

The Massachusetts football team hosts Delaware on Saturday, as the No. 13 Minutemen (6-3, 4-2 Colonial Athletic Association) go for their third-straight conference win when they take on the No. 1 Blue Hens (8-1, 5-1 CAA) in a game that has major implications on the postseason.

UMass is tied with Villanova for third place in the conference standings with two league games remaining on its schedule and a win against Delaware gives them an advantage for one of two playoff spots guaranteed in the CAA.

Delaware is tied for first in the CAA with No. 2 William & Mary. The Minutemen beat the Tribe in their first game of the season on Sept. 2.

UMass co-captain linebacker Tyler Holmes enters this weekend’s game concerned only with winning, not with the implications a victory may have on the team’s postseason hopes.

“Right now, we have to worry about one game at a time, and the things that we can control,” Holmes said in a teleconference on Monday. “If we don’t take care of business, then the playoffs are not in sight. Every win is very vital to us, so we just concentrate on what we can do.”

The Minutemen beat Maine last week 39-24 as Holmes intercepted two passes for touchdowns for the first time in school history. It was 23rd time in the history of the Football Championship Subdivision and the first since 2004.

Two other players in league history have accomplished the feat and the most recent before Holmes was Towson’s Allonte Harris in 2004 in a non-conference game against Elon.

Holmes garnered several awards as a result of his play against the Black Bears. He was recognized as the National Defensive Player of the Week and National Linebacker of the Week by the College Football Performance Awards on Sunday. He is also the CAA Defensive Player of the Week for the second-straight week and third time this season.

Holmes leads a UMass defense which ranks sixth in the CAA in yards allowed (334) and ninth in rushing yards allowed (157.7). The Minutemen forced four turnovers last week, outscoring the Black Bears 32-10 in the first half. The previous week, UMass used an 18-0 second half run to rally in a win over James Madison.

Holmes feels that his team is excited by its play in the past two weeks. Facing the top-ranked rushing offense in the CAA and a nationally recognized quarterback on Saturday, he hopes the momentum it will carry over against a difficult Delaware team.

“It doesn’t get any easier,” Holmes said. “Pat Devlin is probably the best quarterback in the FCS, so we’re very excited as a defense for the challenge that’s coming up this Saturday and as a team for the Blue Hens.”

“It’s going to come down to reading our keys. They are a balanced team with a great running and offensive line.”

The Blue Hens travel to Amherst following a 48-0 win over the Tigers in which they gained 589 total yards of offense. The CAA’s top-ranked rushing offense (193.1) ran for five touchdowns, led by Leon Jackson (88 yards) and Andrew Pierce (79 yards), who broke the 1,000 mark and is the leagues top-rusher (112.7 yards per game).

A Walter Payton Award Candidate, Devlin was 29-38 for 318 yards and one touchdown, leading the Blue hens to its second shutout of the season (Sept. 2, West Chester 31-0). Devlin is third in the CAA in passing yards per game (201.6) and second in pass efficiency (145.52) with seven touchdowns and one interception.

Dan Gigliotti can be reached at dgigliot@student.umass.edu.

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