UMass Defense Stands Tall In 17-7 Win Over Delaware
Oct. 4, 2008
AMHERST, Mass. - Before the largest regular-season crowd since 1974, No. 18/12 UMass overcame four red zone turnovers to beat No. 16/14 Delaware, 17-7, on a perfect fall New England football afternoon. Junior Jeromy Miles sealed the win with a 52-yard interception return for touchdown with 10:57 left in the fourth quarter. The UMass (3-2, 1-1 CAA) defense held the Blue Hens (2-3, 0-1) to just 167 yards of total offense while the Minutemen rolled up 459.
Tony Nelson ran for 163 yards, his third 100-yard game of the season. Jeremy Horne had eight catches for 114 yards, his second-career 100-yard game. He also scored the Minutemen's first TD of the game on a 40-yard bomb from Liam Coen, who was 18-of-32 for 228 yards.
The stout defense was led by junior linebacker Josh Jennings, who had a career-high 16 tackles. Miles' interception return for a score was UMass' first since Sean Smalls' 90-yard run back against Towson last season.
After not getting on the board with four turnovers, UMass finally made good as Armando Cuko booted home a 38-yard field goal with 12:55 left in regulation. The drive was keyed by freshman Korrey Davis' back-to-back rushes of 18 and 11 yards.
After a first-half of three miscues, the third quarter saw another interception thrown by Coen as Charles Graves picked off the ball at the UMass 20-yard line for a fourth red-zone turnover.
UMass outgained Delaware 301-104 in total yards in the first half, but the game stood tied at 7-7, as the Minutemen had three red zone turnovers, all in the second quarter.
The Minutemen were hindered by those three miscues and could have led by as much as 28-7. But the Minuteman defense was stout on each occasion, forcing Delaware to go 3-and-out on the first two drives followed by a short Blue Hen drive which saw the ball move just 16 yards, aided by a UMass roughing the passer penalty.
First on a trick play receiver Joe Sanford threw a 37-yard pass to Tony Nelson, as Nelson was tackled at the Blue Hens 8-yard line, he fumbled the ball which was recovered by Delaware's Charles Graves, who returned it 33 yards just 15 seconds into the second period.
Then more bad luck came UMass' way as a near 15-yard touchdown pass from Coen to Victor Cruz was tipped in the end zone and intercepted by Fred Andrew who downed the ball in the end zone, just 2:29 into the quarter.
Coen threw another interception, into coverage as Brian Brown intercepted Coen at the Delaware 18-yard line as another UMass chance went by the boards.
Delaware tied the game at 7-7 with 3:42 left in the first quarter as Robby Schoenhoft hit Robbie Agnone from eight yards out.
UMass moved right down the field as Coen was a perfect 4-of-4 for 80 yards on the opening drive finishing with 40-yard bomb to Horne to give UMass a 7-0 lead, 2:08 into the game.
UMass will continue its CAA schedule at Northeastern next Saturday, Oct. 11, at 12 Noon on Comcast SportsNet.
Jeromy Miles' 52-yard interception return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, was the first by a Minuteman since Sean Smalls' 90-yard run back against Towson last year on Sept. 15, 2007.
Tony Nelson had his fourth-career 100-yard game with 164 and third of the season. He was the CAA's third-leading rusher coming into the game with a 100.8.
True freshman back Korrey Davis had a career-long 18-yard carry in the third quarter.
Liam Coen continued to add to his NCAA FCS career leading touchdown total with one against Delaware. Coen's total of 76 is the career record at UMass.
Jeremy Horne had his second-career 100-yard receiving game with 114.
UMass' defense had seven 3-and-outs forcing punts against Delaware. In the first four games, UMass had just nine.
Coming into Saturday's game Delaware's defense allowed just one rush of more than seven yards in 100 carries. UMass' Tony Nelson had four of more then seven yards in the first half alone.
Delaware's offense had just one second half completion.
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