Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Minutemen doing it on both sides of the ball

Jeff Bernstein/Collegian

A convincing 28-7 win over Richmond was just what the Massachusetts football team needed heading into this weekend’s homecoming game against last-place Villanova.

The victory showed the increased maturity the Minutemen have undergone since their season opener on Sept. 1. While its roster still features plenty of underclassmen and inexperience, UMass made better decisions offensively, limiting turnovers while continuing to allow the offense run through senior tailback Jonathan Hernandez, who finished with three touchdowns and 103 yards rushing.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Kellen Pagel complemented Hernandez well, throwing for 192 yards and a touchdown to senior receiver Jesse Julmiste, who finished with seven receptions and 105 yards.

The Wildcats (1-8 overall, 0-6 CAA) currently sit last in the league and they will be forced to play against a UMass defense that is carrying significant momentum.

The Minutemen are highlighted be senior linebackers Perry McIntyre and Tyler Holmes on defense, who are considered to be two of the top linebackers in the league.

Earlier this week, McIntyre received CAA Defensive Player of the Week honors following his strong performance against the Spiders in which he finished with 11 tackles (3.5 for a loss) and one sack. The 11 tackles were one shy of his career-high, and they helped UMass hold Richmond to just one yard rushing.

“We tackled well and got after the run game early,” said UMass coach Kevin Morris. “…That forced them to throw the ball, put them in some throwing situations and we were able to get to the quarterback on a number of occasions throughout the day [helping us] with the turnover margin and field position.”

UMass’ constant pressure forced Richmond into six turnovers. It will look to do the same against Villanova, who has yet to win a conference game this season.

“[The Wildcats] are very young overall and they’re making some young mistakes and getting outplayed at times and letting up some plays with some missed tackles and some open coverage things,” said Morris.”

Storm affects team

The Minutemen were delayed coming back to Amherst because of the recent snowstorm, as they were converted to Boston before returning to school midday Sunday.

“The kids are all safe and sound and they actually cancelled school [Monday]. So the [players] are hard studying right now trying to get their week off to the right start,” Morris said, laughing.

Shipp to be elected to Hall of Fame

Former UMass running back great Marcel Shipp will be elected into UMass’ Hall of Fame prior to the Minutemen’s game against Villanova.

Shipp, widely recognized as one of the top running backs in the history of Division I-AA football, played with UMass from 1997-2000 and was a two-time First Team All-American 1998 and 1999. He rushed for more than 200 yards seven times during his collegiate career including a 244-yard, three-touchdown performance to lead the Minutemen over Georgia Southern in the 1998 national championship game.

Shipp tops UMass’ all-time list in rushing yards (6,250), rushing attempts (1,215) and rushing touchdowns (58). His rushing yards per game average of 130.2 also leads all Minutemen tailbacks.

Following his UMass career, Shipp went on to play for the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals and Houston Texans. During his time in the NFL, he registered 11 touchdowns and 2,197 yards rushing.

Steve Levine can be reached at [email protected].


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