Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Blake Frohnapfel, UMass offense struggle in disappointing loss to Kent State

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Daily Collegian

Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Daily Collegian

Heading into Saturday’s homecoming game against Kent State, the last time the Massachusetts football team failed to score at least two touchdowns with Blake Frohnapfel under center was Sept. 20, 2014 against national powerhouse Penn State.

But that streak was broken by the Golden Flashes (3-4, 2-1 Mid-American Conference), a much-inferior foe than the Nittany Lions and a team that lost to UMass 40-17 last year, in the Minutemen’s sloppy 15-10 loss Saturday at McGuirk Stadium.

A key safety with 10 minutes, 42 seconds left in the fourth quarter highlighted a day of struggles for the UMass offense and Frohnapfel, who finished 17-for-33 for 171 yards, an interception and no touchdowns.

After the loss, UMass coach Mark Whipple reiterated that Frohnapfel was 100 percent healthy. Frohnapfel added that Saturday was just “one of those days.”

“You have them sometimes,” Frohnapfel said. “You don’t want it on a game day but that’s what happened. I was kind of out of sync in some way or inaccurate and missed passes I normally don’t miss.”

After heading into the halftime break tied at 10-10, the Minutemen (1-5, 0-2 MAC) were outscored 5-0 over the final two quarters. UMass’ offense only had about 10 minutes of possession time over the final 30 minutes of play and held the ball almost 13 minutes less than Kent State over the course of the game.

These struggles were in part due to a series of drives starting deep in the Minutemen’s own territory. UMass started drives at its own one, nine and two-yard line all in the fourth quarter.

In the case of the drive starting at the one-yard line, Frohnapfel was pressured by Kent State’s front seven on the second play, and with no one open downfield Frohnapfel rolled backwards and to his right. Quickly running out of room, Frohnapfel attempted to throw the ball away but it was ruled he stepped on the back line of the end zone before the release.

The safety handed an already-struggling UMass offense with a five-point deficit at 15-10 with half a quarter to go.

“They basically ran the perfect coverage on the play we had called. So before the snap I was thinking ‘OK, this could be a problem.’ I probably should have stepped up,” he said. “It was one of those situations where you’re on the goal line so you’re scared of getting around too much pressure. And then I guess I lost track of where I was.

“It’s an unfortunate play and it’s embarrassing in a way.”

Whipple credited the Golden Flashes’ defense in forcing mistakes from the Minutemen’s offense and giving them little room to work with in the second half.

“We never had the field position,” Whipple said. “We tried to make a couple of plays and they did a good job of mugging us.

“They had good pressure, (Nate) Terhune was good, number 69, and their pass rushers. They were just better than us today.”

With the passing game struggling and an upward battle in gaining field position, UMass’ running game also stalled once again. Minutemen ball carriers combined for 110 yards with an average of 3.2 yards per carry.

It seemed early on that the running game would be a bigger part of UMass’ offense than in previous games. Numerous off tackle runs from senior Jamal Wilson (19 yards) and Marquis Young (68) set up the Minutemen’s only touchdown of the day when Wilson punched in a five-yard run to take a 7-0 lead early in the second quarter.

But UMass only ran the ball nine times in the second half.

“We probably should have (run the ball more) but then we get backed up, you try to make a play,” Whipple said. “We had a couple there and we probably have to be a little more balanced. Our best guy is Froh and we put a lot of pressure on him but it wasn’t like we had anything going in the second half.”

The Minutemen will continue MAC play against No. 22 Toledo next Saturday. According to Whipple, the focus will be on getting both the offensive and defensive units in-sync at the same time.

“We’ve played one good game together and that’s when we won (against Florida International),” Whipple said. “The offense did alright last week, defense didn’t. The offense wasn’t very good this week. We just have to play better.”

Anthony Chiusano can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @a_chiusano24.

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Blake Frohnapfel, UMass offense struggle in disappointing loss to Kent State

    Archives

    Poor third quarter hinders UMass football in loss to BYU

  • Blake Frohnapfel, UMass offense struggle in disappointing loss to Kent State

    Archives

    UMass field hockey falls to VCU in A-10 semifinals

  • Blake Frohnapfel, UMass offense struggle in disappointing loss to Kent State

    Archives

    Men’s soccer keeps season alive with victory

  • Blake Frohnapfel, UMass offense struggle in disappointing loss to Kent State

    Archives

    UMass field hockey heads into A-10 tournament with uncertainty in net

  • Blake Frohnapfel, UMass offense struggle in disappointing loss to Kent State

    Archives

    UMass football prepares for final game at McGuirk

  • Blake Frohnapfel, UMass offense struggle in disappointing loss to Kent State

    Archives

    UMass field hockey travels to Pennsylvania for Atlantic 10 playoffs

  • Blake Frohnapfel, UMass offense struggle in disappointing loss to Kent State

    Archives

    UMass cross country struggles at A-10 Championships

  • Blake Frohnapfel, UMass offense struggle in disappointing loss to Kent State

    Archives

    UMass field hockey wins third straight to close out regular season

  • Blake Frohnapfel, UMass offense struggle in disappointing loss to Kent State

    Archives

    Minutewomen knocked out of A-10 tournament by George Mason

  • Blake Frohnapfel, UMass offense struggle in disappointing loss to Kent State

    Archives

    UMass defense turns in best performance of the season in win over UConn