Holmes, #15 UMass Pick Off Maine, 39-24
Nov. 6, 2010
AMHERST, Mass. - Buchanan Award Candidate Tyler Holmes became the first player in UMass history to return two interceptions for touchdowns in the same game, and the same season as #15 UMass played a happy tune on Band Day with a 39-24 win over Maine on Saturday afternoon at McGuirk Stadium. Holmes became the first player in 2010 in all of Division I football (FBS and FCS) to return two INTs for TDs and just the 23rd all-time in all of FCS. The last player to accomplish the feat was Kellin White, Southeast Missouri State vs. UT Martin on Oct. 30, 2004.
Redshirt freshman Ryan Carter took a reverse on a kickoff return and ran 97 yards on the game's opening play to give UMass a 6-0 lead and the Minutemen never looked back. UMass moved to 6-3 on the season, 4-2 in the CAA while Maine is now 3-6, 2-4. UMass hosts No. 5 Delaware next Saturday on Senior Day at McGuirk Stadium at 1 p.m., in a pivotal CAA clash with playoff implications.
Holmes, who now has a CAA league-tying best five interceptions this season, returned picks 18 yards in the second quarter and 50 yards in the fourth quarter. With the two interceptions for scores, he in fact became just the third player in UMass history with two interceptions for scores in a career. He joined Anton McKenzie (2000-03) and Jerard White (1996-99). For Holmes, the two touchdowns were the first of his career. The last player in the CAA to return two interceptions for scores was Allante Harrison of Towson in 2004.
Quarterback Kyle Havens was splendid all afternoon as he threw for 213 yards on 22-of-28 and a career-high three touchdowns in the win.
The Minutemen jumped out to a 32-10 halftime lead as Havens threw for three scores in the first 30 minutes. He completed scoring touchdowns to Hernandez (7 yards), Dan Sheeran (19 yards) and Julian Talley (4 yards). Havens was 19-of-23 for 180 in the first half alone.
Hernandez gave UMass a 12-0 lead on a shuttle pass from Havens that finished off UMass' longest drive of the season (19 plays, 72 yards, 8:56). Maine answered on the ensuing drive with a Pushaun Brown 40-yard rush for a score with 10:55 left in the second quarter, cutting the lead to 12-7.
Sheeran extended the Minuteman lead to 19-7 on a 19-yard receiving score with 6:11 left in the second quarter. Then Holmes saw clear sailing to the end zone on an 18-yard interception return for a 25-7 lead as UMass failed on its third point-after conversion. Talley finished a 9-play drive with another score for a 32-10 advantage.
It marked UMass' most points in a half since leading Rhode Island 35-0 on Nov. 1, 2008. Also, the 26-point second quarter was the highest-scoring period since UMass had a 28-point fourth quarter at William & Mary on Oct. 27, 2007.
Again, UMass hosts No. 5 Delaware next Saturday on Senior Day at McGuirk Stadium at 1 p.m., in a pivotal CAA clash with playoff implications.
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