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 handed fourth consecutive loss in 56-28 defeat to LA Tech

(Christina Yacono/ Daily Collegian)
(Christina Yacono/ Daily Collegian)

FOXBOROUGH – For the third and final game at Gillette Stadium for the Massachusetts football team this season, the Minutemen were outplayed and outmanned by the opposition.

Louisiana Tech outscored UMass by 14 points in each half en route to earning a 56-28 road victory Saturday night.

The Minutemen (1-6) trailed the Bulldogs (4-3, 2-1 Conference USA) 28-14 at intermission after LA Tech rebuked an Andrew Ford to Dan Jonah five-yard touchdown pass, the first of Jonah’s career, with 58 seconds to play in the half by driving 74 yards in 51 seconds on the third of what would eventually be five touchdown receptions for Carlos Henderson.

UMass cut the Bulldog lead to 28-21 when Ford found John Robinson-Woodgett wide open in the far corner of the north end zone for a 14-yard score.

That was the end of the good news for the Minutemen on the afternoon.

After a holding penalty that pushed LA Tech back seven yards, Bulldog quarterback Ryan Higgins wound up a deep ball for Henderson who out leapt defender Isaiah Rodgers in one-on-one coverage and caught a bobbling ball that he ran all the way to the end zone for an 83-yard score.

With a 14 point advantage, LA Tech did not stop there.

Ford dropped back to pass before being strip sacked by Jaylon Ferguson on the ensuing play following the kickoff. The ball sprung free and bounced on the turf as Russell Farris scooped and scored after a 19-yard touchdown return. LA Tech scored two touchdowns in an 11 second span to all but dash any hopes of a Minutemen come back.

“Disheartening two weeks in a row,” UMass coach Mark Whipple said. “We weren’t good enough to beat those guys today.

“Against a team like that, we knew they were going to score points. We had to try and match them. (Carlos) Henderson was the best player on the field and we didn’t have an answer for him and (Trent) Taylor’s a good player. Their quarterback’s a senior. We knew they were really good and I didn’t know if we could get into a shootout – we didn’t really want to. One positive is that our defense finally got some takeaways and played a little better complementary football today.”

Henderson’s five touchdown receptions to go along with 326 receiving yards and 12 catches makes him the third player in the last 10 years with at least 200 yards and three touchdowns in back-to-back games.

“He’s a really good player,” Whipple said. “He would have been with the guys I had at Miami, in the draft or playing now. They have a really good team. We just had to match them. Their quarterback is smart, he’s athletic. We just didn’t have enough for him.”

The Bulldog offense accumulated 690 yards, outgaining UMass by 291. Ford tossed for 268 yards and three touchdown passes, but was sacked seven times, fumbled and threw an interception.

“He played like a real good quarterback for most of the game and then other times he played like a guy that’s never been coached,” Whipple said. “The fumble was kind of a dagger, the interception down the middle was really bad. We missed some things up front but we did enough things to keep us there. The fumble was a real dagger.”

The Minutemen missed both field goals they attempted – one 33-yard try from Mike Caggiano at the beginning of the second quarter that flew wide right, another a 36-yard attempt off the leg of Logan Laurent in the third quarter that sailed wide left.

Marquis Young (40 yards) kicked off the UMass scoring with a nine-yard touchdown that tied the game at seven with just over six minutes to play in the first quarter. Ford found Andy Isabella in the waning moments of the contest in the end zone for a five-yard score, his fifth touchdown reception of the season.

“I think we can look at every game we’ve played and say ‘what could have been’,” tight end Adam Breneman said, who led the Minutemen with seven receptions for 94 yards. “There was way too many mistakes from everyone – offense, defense and special teams – to win. Louisiana Tech is a great football team, obviously really talented on offense and played really hard on defense. There were just way too many mistakes to be able to win the game.”

UMass hits the road next Saturday for a 12 p.m. kickoff against South Carolina at William Bryce Stadium.

Kyle DaLuz can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @Kyle_DaLuz.

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    John QOct 17, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    Soooo how much money is being poured into this failed football program that could be better spent on actual students?