#1 Richmond Tops #14 UMass, 34-12 in Slop
Oct. 24, 2009
RICHMOND, Va. - In a wet and sloppy game, #14 UMass suffered a 34-12 loss at #1 Richmond on Saturday afternoon at UR Stadium. The Minutemen turned the ball over seven times and struggled to move the ball in the mud and muck in Virginia. The defending national champion Spiders (7-0, 5-0 CAA) scored 21 points off turnovers by UMass (4-3, 2-2).
The win extended Richmond's overall win streak to 16 games. The run started with a win at UMass last season on Oct. 18 in a 30-15 victory.
Richmond quarterback Eric Ward gained 114 overall yards (62 on the ground and 52 through the air). The CAA's top tailback Justin Forte gained 118 rushing yards and scored two touchdowns.
In his state homecoming, UMass sophomore linebacker and Blacksburg native Tyler Holmes had a career-high 17 tackles including four tackles for loss and his third interception of the season. Fellow linebacker Eric Dickson had 10 tackles.
The Minutemen used two quarterbacks as Scott Woodward (11-of-23 for 137 yards with a touchdown and an interception) relieved Kyle Havens (10-of-25 for 78 yards and four interceptions). UMass' Jonathan Hernandez and Chris Zardas both ran for 37 yards on the ground as Tony Nelson didn't make the trip due to an injury.
After UMass opened the game with a 33-yard field goal by Armando Cuko, 4:02 into the first quarter, Richmond reeled off 27 consecutive points. The Spiders capitalized on UMass turnovers or misplayed balls for their first three scores.
After the first of Kyle Havens' interceptions in the game, Ben Keating rumbled in from 1-yard out with 6:18 in the first quarter to give Richmond a 7-3 lead. The Spiders moved it to 14-3 after a bad exchange from center to quarterback led to a 17-yard rushing TD by Justin Forte with 7:38 left in the second quarter.
Richmond added two field goals to end the first half as Andrew Howard connected from 29 and 22 yards for a 20-3 halftime edge for the Spiders. The first of those scores came on a bad snap from center on a punt giving Richmond the ball at the UMass 17-yard line.
Richmond increased the lead to 27-3 as senior defensive lineman Parker Miles intercepted Scott Woodward's first pass of the game and returned it 15 yards midway through the third quarter.
The Minutemen finally got back on the board as Richmond snapped a ball over the punters head and through the end zone on the first play of the fourth quarter to make it 27-5. It was UMass' first safety since 2007 at Rhode Island.
UMass started to move the ball in the fourth quarter and scored its first touchdown of the game as Woodward connected with Cruz on a 20-yard touchdown with 13:14 left in the fourth quarter.
UMass travels to Maine next Saturday for a 3:30 p.m. clash with the Black Bears. The game will air live on Comcast SportsNet.