Second Half Rally Carries Buffalo Past UMass, 29-19
Nov. 17, 2012
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - After a strong opening half, the UMass football team took a 13-0 lead into the locker room, but four second-half touchdowns helped Buffalo rally past the Minutemen, 29-19 at Gillette Stadium on Saturday evening. UMass will wrap up its inaugural FBS season on Friday, Nov. 23, at home against Central Michigan at 3 p.m.
Buffalo improves to a 4-7 record while UMass falls to a 1-10 record.
Coming off a career day against Akron last week, Blake Lucas continued his success, kicking two field goals, including a career-long 39-yarder, and converting one extra point.
Mike Wegzyn threw for 215 yards for the Minutemen, completing 20-of-40 with one touchdown, while Deion Walker paced UMass' receiving corps with 83 yards on five catches. Tying a career high with seven receptions, Alan Williams followed with 62 yards, while Rob Blanchflower had four catches for 44 yards, including a touchdown. Michael Cox, the leading rusher for the Minutemen, ran for 31 yards and a TD on 13 carries.
Defensively for UMass, Perry McIntyre had 13 tackles and one sack, while Ed Saint-Vil made 11 stops. Randall Jette finished with seven tackles and recorded an interception for a second-straight contest.
With the teams wrapped up in a scoreless deadlock, Lucas put the Minutemen on the board with his 39-yard field goal with 3:42 to play in the first quarter.
UMass' defense held Buffalo inside its own 30 until the second quarter when the Bulls managed to reach the red zone for the first time. However, the Minutemen denied Buffalo once more, with Hafis Williams forcing a fumble at the UMass 17-yard line.
Another Lucas field goal, from 32 yards, brought the advantage to 6-0 at the 5:59 mark of the second quarter, while Wegzyn closed out the half with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Blanchflower in the final minute of play.
The Bills' first points of the contest came with 10:31 to go in the third quarter as Kyn Minniefield returned a blocked punt 33 yards for a touchdown.
UMass answered less than five minutes later to bring the score to 19-7. After an illegal touching call was overturned, resulting in a 38-yard touchdown catch by Walker down to Buffalo's three-yard line, Cox ran in his fourth of the year with 6:49 remaining in the frame.
The Bills then proceeded to score touchdowns on their next three drives and possessed the ball for nine minutes, thirty-five seconds of the fourth quarter. Buffalo cut its deficit to five on a three-yard pass from Joe Licata to Jimmy Gordon with 2:13 remaining in the third. Licata later connected with Alex Neutz from six yards out with 12:45 left in the fourth to give Buffalo a 22-19 advantage following a successful two-point conversion.
The Bills wrapped up the scoring with a 12-yard rushing touchdown from Brandon Murie with 2:00 remaining in the contest.
Murie and Rashad Jean combined for 163 yards on the ground for Buffalo with 90 and 73, respectively. Licata finished 18-for-30 with 226 yards and two TDs. Neutz had nine catches for 76 yards and Fred Lee totaled 93 yards on three catches.