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Schreiner’s three missed field goals all critical in UMass football’s 29-21 loss at Temple

(Collegian File Photo)

The Massachusetts football team’s 29-21 loss to Temple Friday night is a game redshirt freshman kicker Michael Schreiner will want to forget.

Schreiner missed all three of his field goal attempts in the loss, pushing his career mark to 0-4.

“He had his best week [of practice],” UMass coach Mark Whipple said. “We got two good kickers that are hurt, so you got to go to walk-on guy that obviously is not ready. He had a good week of practice, really good…so that was a surprise.”

At 8:03 of the first quarter, Schreiner clanked a 23-yard try of the left post, preventing the Minutemen (0-4) from tying the game at three apiece. The Owls (2-1) converted on a 24-yarder in their first possession.

Had Schreiner made his first attempt, UMass would have halted Temple’s momentum from its opening drive, and perhaps would have kick-started its own offense after a lengthy 12-play, 72-yard starting drive.

That didn’t happen, and the misses continued for the young kicker.

In the second quarter, the 6-foot, 230-pounder drubbed a kick left, on a 39-yard attempt, that had no chance of reaching the uprights. Schreiner’s second miss again could have tied the score, but the shank left the Minutemen empty-handed.

“It still comes back down to what I’ve said…if you miss three field goals, it’s just deflating on that part,” Whipple said.

With 12:14 remaining in the game, Schreiner trotted out for his third three-point attempt, yet the result wasn’t any different.

Lined up at the 32-yard-line, the Webster, New York native booted it wide-left, a common theme among all three attempts.

Gaining those extra nine points would have theoretically been enough to overtake the Owls’ end total of 29, giving UMass 30.

Redshirt senior punter Logan Laurent was unable to relieve Schreiner due to an injury in practice this week.

“He got rolled up, and [Mike] Caggiano’s out,” Whipple said.

Despite his struggle when attempting field goals, Schreiner was perfect on extra-point opportunities going 3-for-3.

“Schreiner will be good, he’s our guy,” redshirt senior linebacker Steve Casali said. “The whole team has Schreiner’s back and he’ll be good.

“Schreiner is one of the mentally toughest kids I’ve met in my life, so he’ll be fine. He’ll bounce back from this, without a doubt.”

With an offense so unpredictable like the Minutemen’s this season, having that reliable kicker can ease a jittery bunch. Unfortunately for UMass, they haven’t had that as far as converting on field goals, thus adding to the struggle of putting up more points than the opposition.

“I don’t want to say we don’t count on Mike Schreiner,” redshirt junior quarterback Andrew Ford said. “Mike Schreiner’s a great kicker and like Steve said, we have his back. As (an) offense our goal each time we get the ball is to score, put it in the end zone. We can’t put him in that situation, we have to put it in. That’s not on Mike Schreiner, that’s on us.”

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

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