April 19, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

VIDEO: UMass United Ralley in support of Derrick Gordon, LGBTQ community -

Friday, April 18, 2014

John Ashcroft faces criticism during speech -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Student rally in support of Gordon, LGBTQ community -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thousands gather in Amherst Commons for 23rd Annual Extravaganja -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Sexual violence is not ‘normal’ -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

One year after Boston Marathon bombings, UMass doctor Pierre Rouzier continues passion to help -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Photo Slideshow: UMass United Rally -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Get Yourself Tested at UMass -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass football continues move in new direction in annual Spring Game -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Library labyrinth targets stress -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

There is nothing to debate about global warming -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass hits the road to take on LaSalle -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

No. 11 UMass women’s lacrosse looks to extend winning streak against Richmond -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive latest McCormack Executive-in-Residence -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Got a little Irish in you? -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass doctoral student awarded Soros Fellowship -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass Dressage Team discusses the lesser-known sport -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Canelas: Things worth watching in Spring Game 2014 -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

‘The Walking Dead’ finale resurrects a dull season -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Five places to study at UMass -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Minutemen push past Rams at first home game of the season

Jeff Bernstein/Collegian

For the second straight week, tailback Jonathan Hernandez carried the No. 21 Massachusetts football team to victory, defeating Rhode Island, 36-27, in the last home opener at McGuirk Alumni Stadium on Saturday night.

Hernandez ran for a career-high 167 yards and found the end zone twice to lead the offensive attack for the Minutemen. The performance was the second game in a row in which Hernandez carried the ball for over 150 yards. In Week 1, against Holy Cross, he took the ball 29 times for 151 yards on the ground.

As much of a juggernaut as Hernandez was on the ground, the UMass defense made just as big of an impact in the game’s outcome.

Kirk Nelms, a freshman defensive back, recorded two key interceptions including one late in the fourth quarter that he returned 80-yards for a touchdown. That score effectively put the game out of reach for the Rams, with the Minutemen ahead by eight points.

“When I first caught it, I actually thought the receiver was really close to me,” Nelms said. “But I turned forward and saw there was a lot of room, so I just hugged the sideline and kept going.”

The game went back-and-forth between the two squads for most of the first half and the early part of the second. UMass quarterback Kellen Pagel made a few misreads, threw two interceptions and was also sacked once.

Pagel found his composure in the second half, however, and capitalized on every opportunity UMass had to take the lead.

Trailing the Rams by five points at the start of the fourth quarter, Pagel directed an 11-play scoring drive and ran an eight-yard bootleg into the end zone for a touchdown to put the Minutemen ahead, 22-21.

Later, after Nelms’ touchdown return, Pagel added a 22-yard touchdown pass to Julian Talley to give UMass a 36-21 lead, which it never relinquished.

“[Talley] is a great player and a great route runner,” said Pagel. “I was just going through my reads and each time he was open I was just taking it.”

Pagel finished the game 21-of-32 for 259 yards, with one touchdown and two interceptions; he also ran for one score. Catching eight balls for 108 yards and earning one touchdown, Talley tied a career-high in receiving yards.

URI quarterback Steve Probst finished 14-of-29 for 279 yards, with four touchdowns and two costly interceptions. Anthony Baskerville also caught four passes for 134 yards and had one score.

The Minutemen move to 2-0 on the season following the victory, and will travel to Chestnut Hill next weekend to take on Boston College. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.

“You certainly want to go in anywhere with a win, but this one was a great win,” said UMass coach Kevin Morris. “We’re very excited to go over to Boston College. We’re going in as the underdog and they’re the home team favorite, so we’ve got to go in and play our best football.”

Michael Wood can be reached at mcwood@student.umass.edu.

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