Hernandez, Nelms Highlight #21 UMass' 36-27 Win Over Rhody
Sept. 17, 2011
AMHERST, Mass. - Jonathan Hernandez rushed for a career-high 167 yards, while Kirk Nelms had two interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, as the No. 21 UMass football team defeated Rhode Island 36-27 under the lights at McGuirk Stadium on Saturday night.
In a back-and-forth affair, it was a Kellen Pagel rushing touchdown and Nelms' interception return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter that proved the difference maker.
UMass trailed the Rams 21-16 going into the fourth quarter before Pagel capped an 11-play drive with an eight yard bootleg run at the 11:44 mark giving the Minutemen a 22-21 lead.
Nelms sealed the game with an 80-yard interception return at the 7:36 mark giving the Minutemen a 29-21 lead.
The Minutemen added a late score with 1:58 remaining on a 22-yard strike from Pagel to Talley, putting UMass up 36-21.
The Rams scored on a 18-yard touchdown pass from Probst to Brandon Johnson-Farrell with 32 seconds left, but Courtney Jackson tipped the PAT kick wide to keep the Minutemen up nine, 36-27.
Hernandez finished with 216 yards of total offense as he set a career-high in rushing (167) by one yard while also catching two passes for 49 yards.
Talley tied a career-high with eight catches for 108 yards and a score, while Pagel was 21-of-32 for 259 yards, two interceptions, and one touchdown.
Steve Probst was 14-of-29 passing for 279 yards, two interceptions, and four touchdowns for the Rams. His favorite target was Anthony Baskerville, who caught four passes for 134 yards and a score.
UMass heads to Chestnut Hill next Saturday to face its lone FBS opponent of the season, Boston College, in a 1 p.m. kickoff.