No. 8 UMass Dominates Delaware, 35-7
Nov. 5, 2005
NEWARK, Del. - No. 8 UMass dominated Delaware defeating the Blue Hens, 35-7 at Delaware Stadium on a sunny Saturday afternoon. It was UMass' largest margin of victory in the series with the Blue Hens which dates to 1958 as the Minutemen have beaten Delaware five times in 28 meetings.
UMass' secondary picked off four Delaware passes including three by Delaware's QB Sonny Riccio, who had thrown just two interceptions all season, in eight games. Senior All-American Shannon James picked off his 20th career pass which leads all active Division I-A and I-AA players and is the UMass career record. Senior Steve Costello had his 12th career pick-off and junior Tracy Belton had his 10th career interception in the win. Jason Hill added the first of his career to seal the game.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Liam Coen was sensational all afternoon as he completed 21-of-26 for 3 18yards and one touchdown. It was his second straight 300-yard passing game as he had 401 last week against New Hampshire.
Tailback Steve Baylark ran for more than 100 yards for the third week in a row, picking up 109 yards on 26 carries. It was his 16th career 100-yard game and fifth this season.
Coen hooked up with Rasheed Rancher for an 84-yard scoring pass early in the third quarter to make it 28-0. The play was the second-longest pass play in UMass history behind a 97-yard pass from Jeff Krohn to Jimmie Howard against Villanova on Oct. 19, 2003.
Rancher had his second straight 100-yard receiving game with 126 yards on three catches.
The Minutemen controlled the first half in every way, outgaining Delaware 243-78, running 42 plays to 21 for the Blue Hens, leading in time of possession 20:16-9:44 and most impressively in passing yards led by Coen, who had 158 while Delaware had just 29 yards - just three in the first 29:30 of the half. Coen completed an impressive 14-of-16 in the first half.
Delaware was held scoreless in the first half for the first time in 21 games, dating to Sept. 11, 2004 against Towson.
Tracy Belton picked off his first pass of the season and 10th of his career and dashed down the right sidelines 45 yards for a touchdown to make 19-0. It was his first career touchdown. UMass successfully converted a two-point conversion as Coen hit Rasheed Rancher to make it 21-0 at the half.
Steve Costello closed the half with his 12th career interception as Riccio threw up a Hail Mary.
Steve Baylark made it 13-0 as he busting in from one-yard out with 50 seconds left in the quarter. It was his seventh rushing TD of the season and 25 of his career, fifth-most at UMass. That drive lasted 4:50 over 76 yards on 11 plays.
After getting off to a penalty-ridden start to the game (four flags in the first four minutes) UMass settled down and completed a 17-play drive which covered 81 yards (actually 119 of total yards after penalties) and 7:35. The drive finished with Coen running in from three yards out on a bootleg to the right side of the end zone. Coen was 6-of-7 for 82 yards on the drive.
The drive was longest for a UMass team in terms of plays since an 18-play drive against Northeastern (9/21/02), coached by current UMass coach Don Brown. It was the longest drive in terms of time since a drive of 7:52 against Northeastern (10/9/99).
The loss was the largest for Delaware coach K.C. Keeler in his four years at Delaware. His previous largest loss was by 14 points at Division I-A Navy last season.
Coming into the game, Keeler was 25-3 at Delaware Stadium with the three losses coming by a total of 11 points with the largest margin four points.
It was the largest loss for Delaware overall since the 2001 season when the Blue Hens lost to Georgia Southern, 38-7.
UMass continues its three-game road swing with a visit to Division I-A Army next weekend. The Minutemen and Cadets kick-off at Noon on Nov. 12 in a game that will be televised nationally on ESPNU.
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