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 loses final game of September to Temple, 28-0

Penalties kill any momentum Minutemen had
Dylan Nguyen/ Daily Collegian

The Massachusetts football team lost to Temple on Saturday afternoon by a score of 28-0. Saturday’s game was a defensive contest in the first half, with both the Minutemen (1-3) and the Owls (2-2) struggling to gain yards.

At the end of the first half, UMass almost doubled Temple’s total yardage, but seven penalties stopped any momentum that the Minutemen had gained on any of their first half drives. They would accrue 11 penalties for 84 yards over the course of the game, compared to Temple’s three penalties for 25 yards.

In its previous game against Stony Brook, UMass had three penalties total for the game, which was more than doubled in its first half against the Owls. Two delay of game penalties and three false starts showed confusion and discombobulation for the special teams unit and the offensive side of the football, with penalties on the final drive of the first half killing what could have been a successful two minute drill to get the Minutemen within field goal range, which could have put them on the scoreboard.

The wheels began to fall off after this failed two minute drill, as the score ballooned to 21-0 at the end of the third quarter, coming off the back of an opening drive touchdown from the Owls, and a pick six that quickly put a once close game into blowout territory.

“Sometimes it’s just the nature of the game, but we have to clean it up, because we can’t afford to have penalties,” head coach Don Brown said. “I don’t think it’s one of those scenarios where we don’t know how to take care of ourselves, it’s just the way that it played out in the game.”

After struggling for the first three weeks of the season, special teams and more specifically the punting unit showed improvement, with punts going for an average of 38 yards. UMass also recovered a punt that was muffed by the Temple return team in the first half, but as was the story of the game, were unable to turn that excellent field position into points. The Minutemen forced four turnovers against the Owls but garnered no points from their takeaways.

Jordan Mahoney had another great game, forcing a fumble late in the third quarter and adding his second interception in two games in the first half. Defensive back Noah Boykin was the other UMass defender to get an interception. The defense played better than the score showed, as two big pass plays from Temple set up easy scoring opportunities for the Owls. Penalties from the offense also contributed to the lopsided score, with several punts coming from UMass’ own endzone.

“It really comes down to two pass plays, both on third down, probably was the difference maker,” Brown said. “I expect us to make that play; we didn’t. Then they ran an over route to the tight end, and we missed a tackle, which turns it into a first down. Both of those drives ended up in scores. That coupled with the interception for a touchdown, that’s a tough one.”

On the offensive side of the football, this game was incredibly similar to the Minutemen’s season opener against Tulane. UMass ran out three different quarterbacks, with Gino Campiotti, Brady Olson and Zamar Wise all getting stints as the play caller. None of them found much success, with Campiotti and Olson both throwing interceptions (with Olson’s being returned for a touchdown), and Wise completing three passes for 35 yards.

Campiotti once again showed himself to be the leader of the pack, having the most rushing yards out of the quarterbacks in addition to 36 yards passing.

The run game was once again the bright spot of the Massachusetts offense, out-gaining Temple on the ground by over 70 yards. The trio of Tim Baldwin Jr., Ellis Merriweather, and Kay’Ron Adams had 110 of the 179 yards the Minutemen gained on the ground. Campiotti had 47 yards on the ground, while Wise had 16 rushing yards.

Like last week, it was Merriweather who established himself as the top running back, rushing for 53 yards. UMass and Temple had similar total yardage, with the Minutemen having 259 yards to the Owls 313.

“The nemesis today was we just didn’t click on third down and we got behind the chain with a couple of those penalties,” Brown said. “You put all that together, but the bottom line is it was a nothing-nothing game very close to the end of the half, so kind of disappointed.”

UMass plays again on Saturday, Oct. 1, against Eastern Michigan at Rynearson Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.

Johnny Depin can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @Jdepin101.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Massachusetts Daily Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *