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UMass trails Wisconsin, 17-0, at halftime

This halftime score seems cruel. UMass has managed to put together a solid effort on both sides of the ball but one weird series of events has taken this game from a 10-3 contest to a 17-0 blowout.

That being said, there have been some positive signs. The Minutemen have managed to keep the turnover numbers even, they've looked OK on third downs on offense and, with one glaring exception, have kept Wisconsin from getting big plays against their defense.

Wisconsin prides itself on physical style of play built around one or two solid running backs. The 2013 Badgers seem to have the latter as James White and Melvin Gordon have combined to hang 216 rushing yards on the Minutemen in the first half with Gordon getting 70 of those on the highlight play of the half.

That being said, the secondary has looked good in making sure Joel Stave can't get away with making bad throws. Where last year's secondary may have allowed some completed under or overthrows, this year's unit has made sure those balls find the turf.

Perhaps the most important play of the half for the defense was on a deep ball to Jared Abbrederis that Stave underthrew. Randall Jette was able to get himself back into the play after being beaten by Abbrederis and made a play on the ball to prevent a touchdown.

Wisconsin ended that possession with a missed field goal.

Save for a lost fumble, Stacey Bedell has looked solid at the running back position. He's got 45 yards on 13 carries, good for a 3.5 yard average that is, as I said, simply solid.

The second half will be a gut check for the Minutemen after the stomach-punch ending to the first half. This is where we will find out just what this team is made of and how competitive they can remain in the second half will go along way to building this team's character.

Halftime leaders

Passing - Mike Wegzyn: 7-15, 59 yards
Rushing - Bedell: 13 carries, 45 yards, lost fumble
Receiving - Ricardo Miller: 3 catches, 25 yards