Scrolling Headlines:

Former Canisius guard Zach Lewis to transfer to UMass -

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Letter: Deflate-Gate, where’s the air? -

Monday, May 18, 2015

Derrick Gordon announces he will transfer to Seton Hall -

Sunday, May 17, 2015

UMass baseball closes season out with series victory over George Mason -

Sunday, May 17, 2015

UMass to allow four student businesses to accept Dining Dollars next year -

Saturday, May 16, 2015

UMass baseball stymied by John Williams in loss to George Mason -

Friday, May 15, 2015

Jury sentences Tsarnaev to death -

Friday, May 15, 2015

Stop ignoring your white privilege -

Thursday, May 14, 2015

UMass basketball scheduled for showdown with Ole Miss in 2015 Holiday Showcase game -

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Letter: Wall is a regression towards racial inequality -

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

UMass falls to Fairfield in extra innings in final home game -

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

UMass basketball recruit Marcquise Reed chooses Clemson -

Monday, May 11, 2015

UMass baseball drops Senior Day rubber match against URI -

Monday, May 11, 2015

Letter: Shocked at radio host’s ban from WMUA -

Monday, May 11, 2015

UMass women’s lacrosse falls in second round of NCAA tournament against top-seeded Maryland -

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Neil deGrasse Tyson: ‘It’s okay not to know’ -

Friday, May 8, 2015

Defense, Eipp’s five goals lead UMass women’s lacrosse past Jacksonville in NCAA tournament -

Friday, May 8, 2015

Quianna Diaz-Patterson closes book on historic senior season, successful career for UMass softball -

Friday, May 8, 2015

UMass men’s lacrosse overcomes early struggles to make 2015 playoff run -

Thursday, May 7, 2015

UMass softball fails to reach expectations in up-and-down 2015 season -

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Advertisement

Wisconsin runs all over UMass in season-opening win

MADISON, Wis. – James White sent the message early.

The Wisconsin senior running back took the handoff on the game’s second play from scrimmage from quarterback Joel Stave, cut inside, found a hole in the Massachusetts football team’s defense and raced into the open field for a 47-yard gain. That put the No. 23 Badgers in UMass territory and set up Stave for a 4-yard touchdown run to give his team the early, 7-0 lead.

That was the beginning of a long afternoon for the UMass run defense.

Courtesy MCT

Wisconsin finished Saturday’s season-opening contest with 393 total rushing yards, four rushing touchdowns and three different running backs eclipsing the 100-yard mark in a 45-0 win over the Minutemen at Camp Randall Stadium.

It was just the third time in school history that the Badgers had three different players run for over 100 yards in a single game. The last time came against Nebraska in last year’s Big Ten championship game on Dec. 1, 2012.

This time, it was the UMass defense that fell victim.

“I don’t think we played that well on defense,” UMass linebacker Stanley Andre said. “We definitely need to be more fundamentally sound. They executed, I feel like we executed for a certain portion of time. We just let big plays get ahead of us and that’s essentially what it was.”

Sophomore Melvin Gordon led all rushers with 144 yards on 13 attempts, one of which went 70 yards for a back-breaking score late in the second quarter.

The Minutemen had just blown a chance to cut the deficit to 10-3 with just under four minutes left in the half when Blake Lucas missed a 47-yard field goal attempt. And Gordon made them pay two plays later with the longest run of his career. Just like that, Wisconsin led 17-0.

“It’s probably just not being in the right place at the right time because we have good players on the defense,” Andre said. “I have confidence in our defense; I have confidence in our corners; I have confidence in our secondary, our outside linebackers, we’re all good players. We probably just weren’t in the right places at the right time. Usually when that happens a team will exploit you.”

White and freshman running back Corey Clement were equally successful in carving up the UMass defense. The senior ran for 143 yards on 11 attempts (13 yards per carry) and had a 51-yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter.

Clement, on the other hand, became the first Badger in nearly seven years to run for over 100 yards in his debut. The true freshman had 101 rushing yards and a 23-yard score in garbage duty.

“Their running game has been honed over two decades,” UMass coach Charley Molnar said of Wisconsin. “Recruiting a certain profile, offensive lineman, running back, tight ends, you honestly, you could’ve been watching 1992 or 1988 Badgers with coach (Barry) Alvarez with the same plays, just different guys doing the same things.”

The Minutemen were up against a starting offensive line that averages nearly 322 pounds. Wisconsin’s size was a clear mismatch for UMass’ defensive front seven, which ran a 3-4 defense with linebackers attacking the edges for most of the contest and still couldn’t get in position to make plays in the backfield.

There may have been more size to the Badgers than the Minutemen are accustomed to, and it turned out to be a key component to Wisconsin’s success on the ground, but Andre saw that as no excuse for their inability to stop the run.

“Wherever you go, wherever you play, you’re gonna find big cats so it doesn’t really matter how big they are,” Andre said. “That’s not a factor that affects the game. It’s all about where you fit in, where you’re playing and I don’t think we were in the right place at the right time.”

The Badgers, however, couldn’t help but credit the big guys up front.

“We have a great offensive line,” White said. “We have a lot of confidence in them. There’s a lot of change this year, but those guys work hard every day at practice, so we have the utmost confidence in them. They get the job done each and every week.”

Nick Canelas can be reached at ncanelas@umass.edu and followed on Twitter @NickCanelas.

 

Leave A Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.