The UMass Minutemen have joined the majority of college football teams by winning their first game of 2013-14, holding on for a 17-10 win over the Miami (Ohio) RedHawks. UMass improves to 1-5 (1-1 in MAC) on the season, while Miami falls to 0-6 (0-2).
Even in victory there were causes for concern for UMass as they missed out on several opportunities to put points on the board. That being said, UMass was able to score enough to win and the defense showed signs of life in the second half which bucked the trend that had been following them through the first five games.
A.J. Doyle was effective after throwing an interception on the game's first drive, throwing for 249 yards and two touchdowns and adding 22 yards on the ground. Jamal Wilson wrestled back control of the running back position, running for 82 yards on 23 carries and got the call on the last drive of the game. Rob Blanchflower was a huge part of the passing game, catching five balls for 98 yards and a touchdown, but three others players also hauled in four catches apiece showing the balance that this team has struck through the air.
Austin Boucher wasn't all that bad and although he certainly didn't lose them the game, he really didn't help. Boucher threw three interceptions, including one with 6:40 left in the game that gave UMass an opportunity to run a ton of clock and set up a game-sealing field goal (which it missed). He was able to make some plays with his feet, but going 14-for-34 with three interceptions (including one in the end zone) isn't going to get it done.
At the end of the day, UMass did its best to give the game back to Miami but Miami just didn't seem to want it. The Minutemen have joined the rest of the country with their first win of the season and that's all that really matters.