There was a lot of hype and hope for the new look offense of the Massachusetts Minutemen this season. However UMass only managed 202 yards of total offense in their season-opener Saturday afternoon, as the Minutemen fell to Boston College 30-7. An anemic rushing attack that only garnered 55 yards made it hard to generate long drives. UMass only held the ball for 16:28 minutes of the 60 minute contest..
The Minutemen had an even tougher time on defense as the BC rushing attack ran around and over the UMass defenders as they rushed for 338 yards as a team. They were led by quarterback Tyler Murphy and running back Tyler Rouse on the ground. Team Tyler ran for 118 and 87 yards respectively. Murphy also added 173 yards through the air. BC only attempted one punt the entire game which came with less than two minutes left in the fourth quarter.
Although UMass let up over 200 rushing yards in the first half, the Minutemen were able to hold BC to only a 6-0 lead at the half. The defense employed a bend but don't break strategy that was aided by a few timely BC penalties. The UMass offense struggled to put a good drive together and squandered an interception by Randall Jette, that gave them the ball on the BC 19 yard-line, with a missed field goal.
UMass' lack in size up front on the defensive ends made it hard to contain the edge and allowed too many BC big gains on the outside.
In the second half BC finally found the endzone and the floodgates opened as the Eagles scored 24 second half points.
Tajae Sharpe made the only explosive play for the Minutemen offense when he and Blake Frohnapfel connected for a 77-yard touchdown in the 3rd quarter. Frohnapfel was 9-22 for 147 yards and had both an interception and a touchdown. Sharpe finished as the leading receiver with two catches for 90 yards. J.T. Blyden had 43 yards on the ground which made him UMass' leading rusher, followed by starting running back Jamal Wilson with 23 yards.
UMass also broke its home attendance record with an official announcement of 30,479. Anyone actually watching the game might have wondered where they all were hiding.
The Minutemen continue their homestand next week against the Colorado Buffaloes at Gillette Stadium at 3:00 PM.