Massachusetts Drops Hard-Fought Contest To Vanderbilt, 24-7

Sept. 21, 2013

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - The Massachusetts football team battled hard with Vanderbilt of the Southeastern Conference, but allowed two fourth-quarter touchdowns in a 24-7 loss at Gillette Stadium on Saturday.

UMass tied the game at 7-7 early in the second quarter before Vandy scored 17 unanswered to pull away for the win. The Minutemen drop to 0-4 on the season, while the Commodores move to 2-2.

A.J. Doyle threw for 133 yards on 20-of-28 with a touchdown before missing parts of the fourth quarter with an injury. Doyle was also the leading rusher for UMass, collecting 29 yards on eight carries.

Tajae Sharpe hauled in seven balls for 45 yards - both team-highs - and a touchdown. He now has 241 yards receiving through four games, bettering his 206 yards through all of 2012. Additionally, Rob Blanchflower saw his first action of the year after being sidelined with an injury. He also hauled in seven catches for 42 yards.

On the defensive side of the ball, Devin Brown led UMass with 10 stops. Kevin Byrne had a career-high nine tackles and he forced a fumble on Vanderbilt's opening possession.

The defense also extended it's streak of games with a turnover to 11.

Vanderbilt outgained UMass 406-248 in total offense, with 230 coming through the air. Carta-Samuels was 18-for-27 for 219 yards, rushed nine times for 39 yards and caught a halfback pass for 21 yards on a crucial third down at the start of the fourth quarter.

Both teams opened the game with turnovers - Randell Jette picking off a Carta-Samuels pass for his first interception of the year - third of his career - and Adam Butler recovering a UMass fumble near midfield.

Vanderbilt was able to strike first when Jonathan Krause scored on a 49-yard pass over the top to cap a 6-play, 81-yards drive late in the first quarter.

UMass answered right back on the ensuing drive when Tajae Sharpe caught a 3rd and goal pass from Doyle. The 75-yard scoring drive was the longest for the Minutemen this season.

Carey Spear gave the Commodores a 10-7 lead just before halftime with a 32-yard field goal.

UMass had a chance to tie it before the break, but Blake Lucas' 45-yard attempt sailed wide right.

Vandy extended the margin to 17-7 early in the final period as Carta-Samuels completed a 11-yard pass to Jordan Matthews. UMass' Stanley Andre appeared to secure the sack as he had the quarterback wrapped up and was bringing him down, but the fifth-year senior was able to get rid of the ball before falling to the ground.

The Commodores put the game out of reach with a final scoring drive that consumed 89 yards and took 7:03 off the clock. Jerron Seymour scored from a yard out to put the visitors ahead 24-7 at the 4:41 mark. Vandy converted a pair of third downs and a fourth down on the drive.

UMass will be off next week before traveling to Ohio where it will face Bowling Green on Oct. 5. Kickoff at Doyt Perry Stadium is set for 3:30 p.m. Eastern time.



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