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

UMass football falls on Senior Day to Miami (Ohio) Saturday afternoon

Shannon Broderick/Daily Collegian
Shannon Broderick/Daily Collegian

Rodney Mills didn’t sugarcoat the Massachusetts football team’s performance Saturday against Miami (Ohio).

“It’s very disappointing. It’s almost to a point where it’s embarrassing,” Mills said.

“To come out and look like we’re not able to function as an offense, I don’t know, I just can’t wrap my mind around it. We practiced well and everybody was on the same page. And yet again we have the same recurring mistakes and same problems. When you have that, it’s not just going to work.”

UMass (2-9, 1-6 Mid-American Conference) totaled just 105 yards of offense in the second half as the Minutemen fell 20-13 to the RedHawks (3-9, 2-6 MAC) on Senior Day.

“We’re limited. We’re limited in what we can call. That’s just the way it is. It’s just part of the whole deal,” UMass coach Mark Whipple said over his shoulder as he left the postgame press conference. “We can call some things but the guys have got to play them. That’s part of the issue.

“Credit Miami. It’s kind of the same story, they just did a good job in the second half and in the first half we just didn’t convert down in the red zone. There were a couple mental mistakes down there that really hurt us. The defense played well enough to win, we just couldn’t hang in there at the end,” Whipple said.

Tied at 13 with 10 minutes, 15 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, Miami quarterback Billy Bahl orchestrated a six-play, 55-yard drive capped off by a 14-yard pass to Chris Hudson giving the RedHawks a 20-13 advantage that they would hold onto for the remainder of the game.

Bahl (12-of-23, 160 yards and a touchdown) attacked cornerback Jordin Hamilton on all three of his pass attempts that drive with Randall Jette inactive for the second straight week with for undisclosed reasons.

However, it was Miami’s first drive of the second half that set the tone for the final 30 minutes of play.

The RedHawks ran for 54 yards on their first drive of the second half, which ended in an 18-yard run from Alonzo Smith (26 carries, 109 yards) to give Miami its first lead of the afternoon at 10-6.

This came after the Minutemen held the RedHawks to 41 yards of total offense in the first half.

“They just looked like they came out and ran it down our throat. I thought we’d carry over what we did last week. But credit them, they ran it down our throat,” Whipple said.

“You don’t want to come out half giving up a touchdown, but I think we rallied back and made some big stops at the end. Obviously you don’t want to come out there after halftime and have someone run it up your throat like that. The defense responded really well, next page, and we kept going,” UMass linebacker Jovan Santos-Knox added.

Miami ended the day with 299 total yards of offense compared to the Minutemen’s 250.

UMass had a chance to tie the game on the final drive as it forced the RedHawks to punt with 32 seconds remaining. The Minutemen could’ve had more time to orchestrate a comeback drive, but Smith picked up a crucial first down on a third and nine run.

Frohnapfel, who finished 17-of-34 for 181 yards and an interception, was sacked on the final drive that forced the Minutemen into a series of laterals on their final play to no avail. Frohnapfel was sacked six times Saturday.

The lone UMass touchdown came in the second half on a 28-yard run by Marquis Young to give the Minutemen a 13-10 lead with 1:38 remaining in the third quarter. Kaleb Patterson converted a 28-yard field goal on the following possession to tie the game at 13.

Both teams exchanged field goals in the first half as UMass took a 6-3 leading heading in to halftime. Mike Caggiano (19 yards) and Logan Laurent (45 yards) each made field goals in the half as Laurent – both place kicker and punter – did not play in the first quarter per coach’s decision.

Andrew Cyr can be reached at [email protected], and followed on Twitter @Andrew_Cyr.

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