Minutemen Suffer 52-14 Loss At Western Michigan
Oct. 6, 2012
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - A set of rushing touchdowns from Michael Cox and Jordan Broadnax highlighted a 52-14 UMass football defeat at Western Michigan's Waldo Stadium on Saturday afternoon. WMU improves to 3-3 overall and 1-1 in Mid-American Conference games with the win while UMass drops to 0-6 on the season and 0-3 in MAC contests.
WMU jumped on the scoreboard first with a 12-yard touchdown pass with Tyler Van Tubbergen hitting Brian Fields with 5:34 left in the first half.
The Broncos scored again just 14 seconds into the second quarter to cap an eight-play, 84-yard drive that started at the end of the first quarter. Van Tubbergen found Justin Collins from 13-yards out after a holding penalty pushed the Broncos back from the three-yard line.
A squib kick by Western Michigan deflected off a UMass player on the ensuing kick-off with the Broncos recovering. That set-up a quick four-play, 54-yard drive that WMU capped with a 7-yard touchdown reception by Matt Cutler with 13:11 left in the second quarter.
Nearly four minutes later, the Broncos used a 66-yard double-reverse run by Josh Schaffer to drive down to the UMass two-yard line. Antoine Scriven punched home the touchdown to give Western Michigan a 28-0 lead.
The Minutemen gained some momentum going into halftime when Deion Walker appeared to score on a 15-yard touchdown reception, however, the play was reviewed and his knee was called down at the half-yard line. Two plays later, Mike Cox scored on a sweep to the right as he once again dove over the top of two Bronco defenders for the score.
The UMass scoring drive was set up by a 38-yard Darren Thellen interception return, his second pick of the season and the ninth of his Minuteman career. Thellen's 231 career interception return yards ranks the redshirt-senior defensive back second all-time in UMass history.
Despite UMass heading into the half with momentum, Van Tubbergen put the contest out of reach during the third quarter, using two passing scores and a rushing touchdown to extend the Western Michigan advantage to 49-7 entering the fourth stanza. Van Tubbergen found Scriven from three years out to push the lead to 35-7 with 11:57 left in the quarter. Van Tubbergen added an 18-yard toss to Jaime Wilson on the following drive at the 9:22 mark before diving in from 1-yard out with 38 seconds left in the third to go up 49-7.
After WMU kicker Andrew Haldeman notched a 30-yard field goal with 8:33 left in the fourth, Broadnax secured his first collegiate touchdown. On second-and-five, Broadnax took the handoff from 10 yards out and fought his way into the endzone to reach the final score, 52-14.
Van Tubbergen went 23-for-28 for 283 yards and five passing touchdowns and one rushing score to spearhead the WMU offensive effort.
UMass Redshirt-freshman quarterback Mike Wegzyn went 12-for-19 for 88 yards without a touchdown or interception while freshman A.J. Doyle also saw time at QB, throwing for 47 yards on 5-for-10 passing while being picked off once. Doyle also led the team in rushing yards with 33 on five carries while Wegzyn picked up 11 yards on the ground on 13 attempts.
Graduate student Deion Walker led all UMass receivers with 81 yards on nine receptions. Marken Michel - who missed the previous three games due to injury - followed with 31 yards on three catches in his first contest since Sept. 8.
Senior linebacker Perry McIntyre and redshirt-junior defensive back Christian Birt each notched double-digit tackle performances, with 13 (7-6) and 11 (2-9), respectively. Thellen added a 38-yard interception return and five tackles (3-2) while redshirt-sophomore defensive lineman Stanley Andre forced a fumble and secured four tackles (1-3), including two tackles-for-loss.
Following the upcoming bye week, the Minutemen continue the 2012 season with their homecoming contest on Oct. 20 at Noon when Bowling Green visits Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.