#2 Wildcats Stunned by #5 Massachusetts
Oct. 25, 2003
VILLANOVA, PA. - In a battle of undefeated Atlantic 10 foes, Massachusetts scored a late touchdown on a fumble recovery to defeat Villanova, 19-14 in front of a homecoming crowd of 9,125 at Villanova Stadium. The Wildcats had a chance to come back and re-take the lead, but Marvin Burroughs' fourth-and-12 pass to John Dieser fell incomplete.
The 'Cats were poised to run out the clock and seal a 14-13 victory, after a 51-yard field goal try by the Minutemen sailed short and left. But Shannon James recovered a fumbled snap on the ensuing drive for a 39-yard touchdown, giving UMass the lead with 2:08 remaining in the game.
The Wildcats took over with 2:01 to go and two timeouts, but the drive stalled after ten plays and 27 yards.
The game was dominated by the defense, with the Wildcats trailing 13-7 entering the fourth quarter. The Minutemen forced four turnovers in the game and registered seven sacks.
An eight-play, 54-yard drive culminated with a Terry Butler two-yard score to give Villanova the lead with 6:36 to go. A pass interference call on third-and-goal gave the 'Cats the ball at the two, setting up Butler's plunge.
The junior tailback finished the night as the game's leading rusher with 47 yards on nine carries.
Burroughs relieved Joe Casamento at quarterback in the third quarter and completed 11-of-20 passes for 146 yards.
UMass struck first in the game, scoring on the longest play in the history of Atlantic 10 football, a 97-yard completion from Jeff Krohn to Jimmie Howard. Michael Torres made the first of his two field goals on the night to give the Minutemen a 10-0 lead late in the second quarter, but Villanova scored just nine seconds prior to intermission on a 17-yard pass from Casamento to Dieser.
Dieser's eight receptions were a career high, and his 129 receiving yards were a game-high.
Villanova falls to 6-1 overall on the season, 4-1 in the Atlantic 10. The Minutemen remain undefeated in conference at 5-0, 7-1 overall. UMass returns to action this Saturday, Nov. 1 as it hosts Northeastern on Football Alumni Day with kick off slated for 12:30 p.m.
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