Michigan Escapes UMass Late Charge, 42-37

Jonathan Hernandez rushed for 114 yards and two touchdowns.

Jonathan Hernandez rushed for 114 yards and two touchdowns.

Sept. 18, 2010

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. - After taking a 17-7 first half lead, UMass saw Michigan score 28 unanswered points before the Minutemen scored three fourth quarter touchdowns, but Michigan was able to escape with a 42-37 victory on Saturday afternoon. The Minutemen ranked 16th in FCS Football suffered their first loss of the season and stand at 2-1. Michigan, 20th in the AP FBS Poll stays unbeaten at 3-0.

UMass made a valiant effort to make a fourth quarter comeback. Kyle Havens scored a rushing touchdown with 13:47 left, and after a Michigan score, Havens threw touchdown passes to Julian Talley and Andrew Krevis, the latter coming with 2:05 left, pulling UMass within five, 42-37.

UMass attempted an onside kick on the ensuing kickoff, but the kick went out of bounds, allowing Michigan to run out the clock.

In front of 110,187 fans, a record to ever see a UMass sporting event, the Minutemen led, 17-7, with just over a minute left in the first half, but the Wolverines scored twice in the final 1:01 to take a 21-17 halftime lead and scored on the opening possession of the second half and again in the third quarter to take a 35-17 lead with 3:37 left in the third.

Junior tailback Jonathan Hernandez scored on touchdown runs of 10 and 9 yards to give the Minutemen a 10-point bulge with 1:17 left in the first half Hernandez had a monster day with 114 rushing yards, his fourth-career 100-yard game.

Quarterback Kyle Havens was nearly perfect in the first half completing nine of his first 10 passes for 104 yards. He finished 22-of-29 for 222 yards and two scores. He also rushed for his first touchdown with the Minutemen on a 7-yard roll-out to cut the Michigan lead to 35-24 in the fourth quarter.

Michigan's Heisman Trophy Candidate Denard Robinson gained 345 yards of total offense with 241 passing yards (10-14 and two touchdowns) and 104 on the ground including a touchdown.

He hooked up with Darryl Stonum for the two late first-half touchdowns from 66 and 9 yards to give the Wolverines the lead they would never relinquish.

The Wolverines added two more touchdowns in the third quarter on a pair of rushing TDs from Michael Shaw (34 yards) and Robinson (8 yards). Shaw also ran in from four yards out with 11:57 left in the fourth for a 42-24 lead.

The Minutemen took a 3-0 lead as Caleb Violette booted home a 29-yard field goal, five minutes into the game.

UMass is now 8-22 against FBS opponents since the division was formed in 1978. UMass has not beaten an FBS team since topping Ball State in 1984, 26-10. UMass is also now 0-5 against ranked FBS teams.

The Minutemen return to action next Saturday at Stony Brook, playing the Seawolves at 6 p.m. Listen to the game on the UMass Sports Network.

POSTGAME QUOTES: Massachusetts Head Coach Kevin Morris
On the game ... "We lost to a good Michigan team. I thought the UMass kids played extremely hard -- tough on offense, defense, special teams -- but in the end, like I said, that's a real quality Michigan team, and we weren't able to come away with a win. The effort's one thing, but we want to come out at the end of the day with a win against anybody we play, even against a great team like Michigan."

On expecting to move the ball like they did ... "Well, you always expect it, but it's another thing to come out and execute and actually trying to get that done. Certainly we're very pleased with the way our guys did offensively in terms of coming off the ball, and our quarterback (Kyle Havens) did a good job of running the offense. Besides that one interception at the end, which wasn't a good decision obviously, he kept the ball in our hands, which is the only way you got a shot to win."

On the Michigan secondary and his team's ability to move the ball through the air ... "I'm trying to look at the stats; I'm not sure what we did in terms of statistics. But it wasn't like we were just dropping back flinging the ball around. I think a lot was a complement because of our run game; we always try to be effective with the run, and our play-action offense was more of a profit off of that."

Michigan Head Coach Rich Rodriguez
On today's win ... "You can't be upset with a win, but you can be upset with the way you played, and we did not play well. We didn't play well at all defensively. Special teams were awful, and on offense we made a few mistakes that killed us. We had pressure offensively, because it felt like we had to score a lot. The strange part is we had better focus during the week than we did during the week before. It certainly wasn't there today in a lot of phases, and hopefully after we watch the film we will get it corrected. One thing I can tell you is that in the locker room the guys knew it. That's one thing about them. They were happy with the win, but it will be about as quiet of a winning locker room as you will ever see."

On the defense ... "Well, we certainly have a lot of things to clean up defensively. I know we're a little thin there because we have guys banged up, but we have got to try and get more guys and see if the production can be better. That simply wasn't acceptable or the way we are supposed to play defense here at Michigan."

On taking the lead before the half ... "We wanted to have enough time to give a minute or so to our offense. Then we scored a quick touchdown on the first play and then there was the fumble. It gave us a little momentum at halftime. We had the ball first in the second half, which we knew, and we got a score right there. At that point you should take control, and we didn't and that's something we have to learn from."



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