It is unusual for a game to be decided by an opening coin toss, but it may have occurred today when UMass decided to take the wind instead of the football at Kelly/Shorts Stadium. UMass had difficulty just kicking off to CMU to start the game due to high winds, It was a bad omen for the Minutemen.
Cooper Rush and the Chippewas heated up immediately once things got under way. The freshman quarterback completed a 38 yard pass to Titus Davis and a 22 yard pass to Connor Odykirk en route to a touchdown drive capped by a three yard run by Zurlon Tipton.
At the end of the first quarter, UMass launched its best drive of the game. The Minutemen moved the ball on the ground all the way to the Central Michigan 29 yard line. From there A.J. Doyle attempted a pass which was picked off by CMU corner Jason Wilson, who returned the interception all the way to the UMass 28 yard line.
After the teams traded sides at the end of the first quarter, Ron Coluzzi kicked a 33 yard field goal to give the Chips a 10-0 lead. Then came the weather that makes Kelly/Shorts Stadium a notoriously miserable place to play football in November.
Minuteman quarterback A.J. Doyle missed a wide open receiver due to a fluttering pass being taken over by the wind. The pass was tipped and intercepted by CMU freshman Tony Annese and returned 34 yards for a touchdown. The CMU lead was extended to 17-0. The UMass misery was just getting started.
A 17 yard UMass punt that was jinxed by the wind gave CMU a short field at the Minuteman 38 yard line. From there, Cooper Rush and Titus Davis began a game of pitch and catch which resulted in a 34 yard touchdown and a 24-0 CMU lead.
Another short UMass punt set CMU up for a drive that culminated in another 33 yard field goal and Titus Davis caught a second touchdown pass to salt the game away