Scrolling Headlines:

UMass women’s basketball falls to North Dakota 82-52 -

November 22, 2017

Home-and-home with Quinnipiac up next for UMass hockey -

November 22, 2017

Carl Pierre’s breakout performance helps UMass men’s basketball over Western Carolina -

November 22, 2017

Pipkins’ double-double leads UMass men’s basketball over Western Carolina -

November 21, 2017

Luwane Pipkins leads the UMass men’s basketball shooting show in 101-76 win over Niagara -

November 19, 2017

UMass to face tough test with Niagara backcourt -

November 19, 2017

Hockey Notebook: John Leonard on an early season tear for UMass hockey -

November 18, 2017

Clock runs out on UMass men’s soccer’s dream season in NCAA opener -

November 17, 2017

2017 Basketball Special Issue -

November 16, 2017

UMass men’s basketball prepares for transitional season in 2017-18 -

November 16, 2017

Author Viet Thanh Nguyen discusses how history and humanity is remembered -

November 16, 2017

CMASS completes seven-week discussion series -

November 16, 2017

UMass women’s basketball resets and reloads, looking to improve on last year’s record with plenty of new talent -

November 16, 2017

Matt McCall’s winding path to bring unity to UMass -

November 16, 2017

Carl Pierre is a piece to Matt McCall’s basketball program -

November 16, 2017

Why they stayed: Malik Hines, Chris Baldwin and C.J. Anderson -

November 16, 2017

McConnell chooses politics over morals -

November 16, 2017

Swipe right for love? Probably not. -

November 16, 2017

‘The Florida Project’ is a monument to the other side of paradise -

November 16, 2017

‘Thor: Ragnarok’ doesn’t have to be the best Marvel movie -

November 16, 2017

UMass football gets solid performances from top players in loss to Hawaii

(Jed Zuraw-Friedland/ Daily Collegian)

If the Massachusetts football team is going to have any success this season, its top players are going to have to consistently play well.

In the first game of 2017, UMass’ leaders performed admirably despite losing 38-35 to Hawaii Saturday night at McGuirk Alumni Stadium.

Quarterback Andrew Ford was the catalyst for the Minutemen (0-1) on the offensive side, going 21-30 for 275 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in front of 12,145 fans.

“We know Hawaii’s a quick strike offense and they have the ability to put up points,” Ford said. “We just needed to score one more time tonight.”

Ford had a rough first drive when his first pass attempt of the contest was intercepted by Solomon Matautia. However, after being briefly replaced by fellow quarterback Ross Comis in the second quarter, Ford returned to action and was smooth from then on out.

“That was the plan and Ross got in there and did good job,” UMass coach Mark Whipple said about Ford getting the majority of time under-center. “We got backed up and shot ourselves in the foot with some offensive mistakes which was very disappointing.”

Redshirt senior tight end Adam Breneman was the top target for Ford, catching nine passes for 179 yards, in the season-opening defeat to the Rainbow Warriors (1-0).

“We’ve been in a lot of close games like that, and we just got to find a way to put the nail on the head at the end of the game,” Breneman said. “We’ll be back here tomorrow getting ready for Coastal Carolina.”

Teammates at Cedar Cliff High School in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, Ford and Breneman have a long-lasting relationship on the gridiron that should continue to blossom this season for the Minutemen.

Junior wide receiver Andy Isabella also saw a bulk of the load on the receiving end for UMass, catching five passes for 40 yards and one touchdown. Isabella also contributed with a six-yard rushing touchdown.

Isabella was second on the Minutemen receiving leaders list last season with 801 yards, just seven yards shy of Breneman.

UMass’ running game did its job Saturday, compiling 115 yards on the ground, with junior Marquis Young racking up 85 yards and two rushing touchdowns, on 20 carries.

The running game was an issue for the Minutemen last season as they ranked fifth-worst in average running yards in the FBS with 99.5 last year.

On the defensive side, UMass struggled, allowing 503 total yards on 53 plays from Hawaii. The Minutemen did register one interception and three sacks, on Hawaii quarterback Dru Brown.

Redshirt junior linebacker Bryton Barr had the only complete sack of the evening for the Minutemen.

A loss to begin the season, especially a last-minute defeat, is never an ideal start to the year, yet Ford still believes in his team all the way.

“I have 100 percent faith in every single guy in that locker room,” Ford said. “Unfortunately, we didn’t get it done tonight. But that doesn’t change how I think about anybody in that room, and that isn’t going to change how we attack next week at all.”

“Well its better than Colorado (two years ago) but I know we’re going to be fine,” Whipple said. “Like I said the kids fought and we believed.”

Ryan Ames can be reached at or on Twitter @_RyanAmes.

Leave A Comment