UMass Runs Over Northeastern, 37-7
Nov. 7, 2009
AMHERST, Mass. - The Minutemen and senior tailback Tony Nelson made a triumphant return to McGuirk Stadium as UMass pounded Northeastern, 37-7 on a beautiful fall Saturday in New England. Payton Award Candidate Nelson, who has been hindered by leg injuries for much of the season, gained 116 yards and scored three touchdowns. UMass remains perfect at home, moving to 5-0 at McGuirk in 2009. Overall, the Minutemen are 5-4, 3-3 in the CAA. Northeastern fell to 1-8 overall, 1-5 in the league.
UMass dominated in all aspects of the game as it outgained Northeastern, 452-145 in total offense. The Minuteman defense was stellar all afternoon as it limited the Huskies to just 69 passing yards. Other than tailback John Griffin gaining 58 yards, the rest of the Huskies picked up just 18 yards. Northeastern's furthest offensive penetration through the first three quarters was to its own 45-yard line. The Huskies first made it into UMass territory with 7:30 left in regulation.
Senior placekicker Armando Cuko set the school record for field goals made in a season with three makes in the game. He now has 18 field goals made this season. With his three kicks, he is now also tied for the career made field goals mark in UMass history with 30. He is tied with Silvio Bonvini (1985-88).
Nelson went over the 100-yard plateau for the third time this season and 10th time in his career. It was also the second time he scored three TDs in a game in his career.
Nelson scored two second-quarter 1-yard touchdowns as the Minutemen built a 17-0 lead on his second score with 10:10 left in the first half.
The Minutemen rolled down the field late in the quarter as Cruz hauled in an 11-yard TD from Havens with 2:57 left in the first half for a 24-0 lead.
Cuko added his second field goal of the game, from 36 yards away, with four seconds left in the first half for a 27-0 halftime lead. The kick was Cuko's 17th made field goal of the season to set a new UMass single-season record.
Demonstrating the first-half dominance, UMass outgained Northeastern 299-55 as The Minutemen held the Huskies to minus-2 yards passing. Aside from Griffin (52 yards), the remainder of the team compiled five yards.
Nelson scored his third touchdown of the game on a 9-yard dash in the third quarter for a 34-0 lead.
The Huskies got on the board as Chad Hunte intercepted Scott Woodward and returned the ball 51 yards on the first play of the fourth quarter.
Cuko added his third field goal of the game, to tie the UMass career made field goals record with his 30th. He connected from 35 yards out with 8:34 left in the fourth for a 37-7 lead.
UMass hosts its final regular-season game of the season next Saturday Nov. 14, as James Madison comes to McGuirk Stadium for a 12 Noon kickoff in a game televised on Comcast SportsNet.