Olson and the Minutemen offense unable to find their stride against Coastal Carolina

The Minutemen were held to 158 total yards on the day

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Chris Tucci / UMass Athletics

By James DiLuca, Collegian Staff

The Massachusetts football team came into today’s game having scored 28 points in each its last two games. Unfortunately for the Minutemen (0-4), they could not continue this offensive output as Coastal Carolina (4-0) prevented UMass from finding the endzone in a 53-3 blowout win.

UMass had difficulty moving the ball against No. 17 Coastal Carolina, as the Minutemen offense had five drives that lasted no longer than five plays.

“They are a top 25 football team for a reason,” said Head Coach Walt Bell. “When you play a good, experienced football team you can’t make mistakes… especially in critical moments.”

Establishing an offensive rhythm early on in games has been a challenge for the Minutemen thus far this season. UMass continued that theme against Coastal Carolina as they were forced to punt on its first three drives of the game.

The Minutemen’s fourth drive in the resulted in a safety. After getting pushed deep into their own territory, UMass attempted to punt, but had the snap sail straight out of the back of the endzone.

Freshman quarterback Brady Olson was held in check by the Coastal Carolina defense. Olson completed 14 of his 23 pass attempts for 88 yards.

“We’ve called the game aggressively early,” Bell said. “We had an open guy, had a protection error, we had trick play in the first 10-12 plays… it was a lot of self-inflicted errors.

The freshman signal caller averaged a season low 6.28 yards per completion against the Chanticleers.

Olson eclipsed 200 yards passing in each of his first two career starts, but Coastal Carolina’s No. 7 ranked pass defense got to the young quarterback.

Despite losing by 50 points, this game did mark Olson’s first career game without a turnover, as in his last two starts saw in Olson turn the ball over at least once throughout the game.

Olson was able to temporarily find a groove right before heading to halftime, as he completed 20-yard pass to receiver Eric Collins, and then on the very next play found Rico Arnold for a 10-yard reception.

The drive stalled out on Coastal Carolina’s 15 yard as the Minutemen opted to take a shot toward the endzone with time expiring. Olson just missed Collins in the corner of the endzone as the pass was ever so slightly under thrown.

In the 4th quarter with the game out of reach, UMass brought freshman quarterback Garrett Dzuro into the game. Dzuro did not disappoint, completing 4 out of 7 passes for 44 yards.

Wide receiver Rico Arnold continued to show why he is Brady Olson’s number one target as he led the team in catches for the second straight week in a row. Arnold finished the game with 4 receptions for 38 yards.

Running backs Ellis Merriweather and Kay’Ron Adams did not see much action on the day as they combined for 55 yards on 16 touches.

UMass will continue to look for its first victory in over two years, as they square of against Toledo next Saturday.

James DiLuca can be reached at [email protected]