UMass Christens New FieldTurf With 28-7 Win Over Colgate
Sept. 2, 2006
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AMHERST, Mass. - UMass won its fifth straight season opener with a 28-7 win over Colgate on Saturday afternoon at McGuirk Stadium. Minutemen have won seven of their last eight season openers and are now 57-56-11 in 124 season openers. Senior captain Steve Baylark ran for 84 yards and scored two touchdowns. The UMass defense held the Raiders to just 183 yards of offense.
The game the first played on UMass' new FieldTurf surface at the 41-year old stadium.
After a redshirt season in 2005, junior Matt Lawrence finished UMass' scoring with a great individual drive. After a 65-yard kickoff return - the longest at UMass in at least 10 years, Lawrence closed the drive with a 2-yard rushing TD for his first score as a Minuteman. That made the score 28-7.
On the heels of Brian Ellis' first-career interception, Baylark scored on a 9-yard run to make the score 21-0 late in the third quarter. That score was Baylark's 31st career touchdown overall and 28th rushing score. Those marks rank sixth and fourth, respectively on the all-time lists at UMass.
Colgate scored on the first play of the fourth quarter as Jordan Scott ran in from 25-yards out to make it 21-7.
Baylark scored UMass' first TD of the season on a 6-yard catch from sophomore quarterback Liam Coen with 6:04 left in the first quarter. Coen hooked up with senior Brandon London from four yards out to make it 14-0 with 1:19 left in the first quarter. Coen was stellar in the first period as he was 7-of-8 for 60 yards and the two scores.
UMass defense was solid all afternoon. Its best stance came in the third quarter. After Coen threw and interception which was returned to the UMass 8-yard line, the Minutemen pushed Colgate back to the 19-yard line where they attempted a 42-yard field goal. That kick by Jacob Stein was blocked by senior captain James Ihedigbo. During UMass' defensive push, Davis Burris sacked Colgate quarterback Mike Saraceno back to the 19-yard line.
UMass travels to Division I-A Navy next Saturday to take on the Midshipmen at 1:30 p.m. The game will be nationally-televised on CSTV.
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