Homecoming not a strong point for UMass in the past

By Steve Levine

Samantha Webber/Collegian

The Massachusetts football team hopes that this year’s homecoming game against Villanova will play out much differently than last year’s – when the Minutemen lost to Richmond on the Spiders’ final drive.

Headed into last year’s affair, UMass was 4-1 overall and 2-0 in conference play. After the crushing defeat, the Minutemen went 1-3 in the CAA and found themselves out of the playoffs in their final season of Football Championship Subdivision postseason eligibility before moving on to the Football Bowl Subdivision.

Up by a score of 10-5 with just under two minutes remaining in regulation, UMass found itself in a commanding position to win the game. However, the Spiders made the most out of their final drive, marching 60 yards in one minute, 42 seconds for the game-winning touchdown.

When all was said and done, the Minutemen left the field at the wrong end of an 11-10 decision and many of the 16,421 fans in attendance were shocked.

The game represented both the low point of UMass’ season and the starting point of its struggles within the CAA.

On Saturday, the Minutemen (5-3 overall, 3-2 CAA) will play the Wildcats, (1-8 overall, 0-6 CAA) who are currently the worst team in the conference.

While UMass is ineligible for the CAA playoffs, the homecoming game means a lot in the Minutemen’s quest to finish the season with conference’s best record.

With a win, UMass would improve to 4-2 in conference play and would do some scoreboard-watching as Maine currently sits at 5-0 and New Hampshire and Towson are 4-1.

Steve Levine can be reached at [email protected] or followed on Twitter @MDC_Levine.