All-Around Effort Leads No. 9 UMass To 31-21 Win At Villanova
Sept. 16, 2006
VILLANOVA, Pa. - No. 9 UMass opened its Atlantic 10 schedule with a 31-21 win at Villanova on Saturday. Sophomore quarterback Liam Coen was sensational as he became the first A-10 quarterback to throw for more than 300 yards this season with 350 on a proficient 21-of-28 and two touchdowns. Senior tailback Steve Baylark ran for 104 yards, his 17th career 100-yard game and scored his 32nd career touchdown. Senior receiver Brandon London had 104 yards receiving on five catches and became the seventh UMass player with 100 career catches.
The Minutemen are now 2-1, while Villanova remains winless at 0-3 after the conference opener for both teams.
UMass' defense tightened up after a slow start. The Minutemen allowed 193 yards on the Wildcats' first three drives of the game, as Villanova took a 14-7 lead, 2:11 into the second quarter. DeQuese May had both Villanova scores, the first on a 24-yard rush just 41 seconds into the game. Then he caught a 6-yard pass from Marvin Burroughs for the seven-point lead.
Following that score, UMass gave up just seven points to the Wildcats and limited the them to just 166 yards for the remainder of the game. Meanwhile, the offense kicked into gear with Coen leading the way. He completed 12-of-15 for 199 yards in the first half as UMass racked up 300 yards in the first 30 minutes.
Junior kicker Chris Koepplin brought UMass to within four points at 14-10 with a 33-yard field goal with 7:05 left in the first half. Graduate tailback Tim Washington scored for the second week in a row on a 3-yard rush with 1:00 left in the first half. That gave UMass a 17-14 lead at intermission.
The Minutemen had several chances to extend the lead, but Koepplin missed three field goals, including a pair in the third quarter. UMass finally capitalized with 13:06 left in the fourth on a 13-play, 90-yard drive. UMass had a pair of near touchdown tosses from 15 yards out, both which were ruled no catch in the left corner of the end zone. UMass junior Brad Listorti snagged a 1-yard pass from Coen on the heels of a 14-yard catch setting up the score.
For London, the reception was the 102nd of his career, moving him to fifth on the all-time UMass catches list. The senior finished with five catches for 104 yards as he became the seventh Minuteman all-time for have 100 career catches. He closed the scoring with a 23-yard reception from Coen with 7:11 left in the fourth.
On defense, the Hatchell brothers were standouts once again. Junior linebacker Jason Hatchell led UMass with 10 tackles along with a pair of pass break-ups. Senior defensive lineman John Hatchell had perhaps the turning point of the game as he forced a fumble and recovered it in the first quarter to stop a Villanova drive at the UMass 29-yard line with VU leading, 7-0.
UMass plays its final non-conference game next Saturday, when the Minutemen return to the friendly confines of McGuirk Stadium for a 1 p.m. match-up with Stony Brook. It will be the first-ever match-up with the Seawolves, who were beaten by No. 1 New Hampshire, 62-7, on Saturday.