UMass Postgame Notes - at UConn
Aug. 30, 2012 at Connecticut, East Hartford, Conn., Rentschler Field
Aug. 30, 2012
Box Score |
Coin Toss: UConn won the toss and deferred to the second half. UMass received.
This was UMass' first game as an FBS program.
Participation Notes: UMass started six true freshman or redshirt freshman, including four on offense (LG Michael Boland, RG John Wallace, QB Mike Wegzyn, WR Tajae Sharpe, SS Iric Harris and CB Randall Jette).
R-Senior OT Stephane Milhim made his 26th career start and his 11th consecutive.
R-Senior OT Nick Speller made his 23rd career and consecutive start.
Senior ILB Perry McIntyre made his 27th career start and 11th consecutive.
R-Senior S Darren Thellen made his team-high 29th career start and his 13th consecutive.
Series History: This marked the 72nd all-time meeting between UMass and UConn. UMass now leads the series 36-34-2. This was the first game between the New England rivals since 1999, a 62-20 UMass win in UConn's last season as a FCS program. The game was the first between FBS programs from New England since 2004, when UConn faced Boston College. The two teams have no future games scheduled, though both programs say they would like to continue the series. This game was scheduled before UMass announced its move to FBS.
Charley Molnar Notes: Charley Molnar lost his first-ever game as a college head coach tonight, after spending the previous 28 seasons as an assistant, most recently as offensive coordinator at Notre Dame. He was named UMass' 29th head coach in program history on Dec. 8, 2011.
Team Notes: UMass began its 130th intercollegiate football season, moving to 61-58-11 all-time in season openers.
UMass was shutout for the first time since Sept. 30, 1995, at Rhode Island - a span of 199 games.
UMass was 3-of-15 on third down conversions.
Individual Notes: R-Freshman Mike Wegzyn made his first career start. He went 9-for-22 for 56 yards, one interception and two passing first downs. He also was credited for 4 rushes and minus-8 yards.
Freshman QB A.J. Doyle also saw action, leading UMass on its final two offensive series. He was 0-for-1 on the night over six plays.
R-Senior RB Chris Burns rushed for 17 yards on 11 carries. He had consecutive runs of three, four and nine yards (resulting in UMass' lone rushing first down) on the Minutemen's final drive of the first half.
Senior LB Perry McIntyre led all players with 12 tackles, including six solos. He also had a pass break-up.
Junior LB Tom Brandt recorded his first career interception in the first quarter when he caught a ball originally tipped while leaping out of bounds by senior CB Darren Thellen. Brandt returned the ball 20 yards to the UMass 37 yard line. The play was named the No. 1 Play of the Day on ESPN Sports Center's Top Plays. Brandt finished the game with a career-high six tackles, tied for second among all Minutemen.
Junior LB Stanley Andre finished with a career-high six stops.
Sophomore LB Greg Hilliard tallied his first career forced fumble and recovery in the third quarter. UConn was driving and had 3rd and Goal on the 2-yard-line.
Junior CB Antoine Tharpe made his first career interception when he picked-off Chandler Whitmer late in the third quarter.
R-Freshman Randall Jette appeared in his first career game and had a game-high two pass break-ups and five tackles with four solos.
Junior P Jeff Strait punted 9 times for 378 yards and a 42.0 yard average. He had six boots of at least 40 yards and a long of 47 twice. He set career-highs in punts and yardage - previous highs were six punts for 235 yards at Holy Cross (9/1/11) in last year's opener.
Next Game: UMass will play host to Indiana next Saturday, Sept. 8, at 3:30 p.m. in Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. The visit to UMass' home field will mark the first by a BCS opponent in program history. Indiana will play Indiana State on Saturday at 8 p.m. ET in Bloomington, Ind. on the Big Ten Network.
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