UConn 37, UMass 0: Minutemen Drop First FBS Game In Connecticut

Things didn't go as hoped for the UMass Minutemen, who gave up 37 points and were kept off the scoreboard in the first FBS game in school history against the Connecticut Huskies in the opener Thursday at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, CT.

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UMass Vs. UConn Final Score: Minutemen Drop First FBS Game, 37-0

EAST HARTFORD, CT - Charley Molnar and his UMass Minutemen were unable to break onto the scoreboard and fell short in the first FBS game in school history on Thursday night, losing to the UConn Huskies, 37-0, in the season opener inside a packed Rentschler Field.

"There was a number of issues. It's really hard to point a finger," said the first-year head coach Molnar about his team's offense, which totaled 59 yards. "We didn't throw the ball very well. We didn't run the ball very well. We didn't pass protect very well. I can't really say that there's one area of concern that's greater than the other. ... I'm disappointed in tonight."

UMass (0-1) kept their opponents within range through one quarter, trailing by seven, but UConn (1-0) broke the game open with 13 second-quarter points to go up 20-0 at the break. The Huskies scored 17 points in the second half to conclude the game and earn the win.

Chandler Whitmer completed 15-of-25 passes for 219 yards and two interceptions in his first career FBS start (and game) for UConn. Lyle McCombs rushed for 84 yards and one touchdown on 24 carries while Geremy Davis had five catches for 79 yards.

Mike Wegzyn, also making his FBS debut, threw for 56 yards on 9-of-22 passing and was intercepted. A.J. Doyle also saw time under center, but he did not complete a pass. Chris Burns, whose nine-yard rush in the final minute of the second quarter moved the chains for the first time in the FBS for UMass, rushed for 17 yards on 11 carries.

"Definitely played a good team in UConn," said Wegzyn. "Didn't go the way we planned, obviously. We've got a lot of things to correct. Hopefully we can just go back tomorrow, start watching film and correct what we need to and do a better job next week."

The lone highlight for the Minutemen was a first-quarter interception in which Darren Thellen tipped a Whitmer pass that was headed out of bounds back inbounds to Tom Brandt.

"That was just luck," Thellen said. "I was in a cover two coverage, the quarterback threw it out of bounds. I wanted to get the pick, but I knew I couldn't make it so I just jumped up and I saw one of my teammates close by [and] I tried to throw it to him. Fortunately, he caught it."

UMass returns to Massachusetts to face Indiana next Saturday in its first home game at Gillette Stadium as an FBS team. UConn will face N.C. State next Saturday in Connecticut.



For more UMass Football coverage, visit our team page. For more UConn Football coverage, visit our team page and blog, The UConn Blog. Also visit SB Nation NCAAF.

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UMass Vs. UConn Score Update: Huskies Sitting Pretty, Up 27-0 After 3rd

EAST HARTFORD, CT - After putting up 13 points in the second quarter and 20 in the first half, the UConn Huskies could only muster seven points in the third quarter and took a 27-0 advantage over the UMass Minutemen entering the fourth quarter of the season opener on Thursday night at Rentschler Field.

The lone score came on a blocked punt, with Taylor Mack blocking the UMass punt and Max DeLorenzo recovered the ball in the end zone for the touchdown, giving the Huskies a 27-point cushion. Chandler Whitmer had 169 passing yards and two interceptions through three quarters for UConn.

Mike Wegzyn has thrown for 56 yards on 9-of-21 passing for UMass, which has not been shut out since the 1995 season. Through the first three quarters, UConn has outgained UMass in total yards, 272-51.

For more UMass Football coverage, visit our team page. For more UConn Football coverage, visit our team page and blog, The UConn Blog. Also visit SB Nation NCAAF.

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UMass Vs. UConn Halftime Score: Huskies Leading Minutemen, 20-0

EAST HARTFORD, CT - Darren Thellen and Tom Brandt teamed up to provide the most impressive play of the young season, but that was about the only thing that went right for the UMass Minutemen in their first ever FBS game as the UConn Huskies took a 20-0 lead in to halftime on Thursday night at Rentschler Field.

UConn scored the first points of the fresh campaign when star running back Lyle McCombs found the end zone on a one-yard rush, capping off a 12-play, 75-yard drive, to put the Huskies up 7-0 with 5:59 to play in the first quarter.

Chad Christen tacked on two field goals in the second quarter, connecting from 36 yards out with 9:04 to go in the second quarter and again from a career-long 47 yards with 2:47 remaining. Dwayne Gratz picked off UMass quarterback Mike Wegzyn and returned the ball 37 yards for a touchdown with 1:49 to play, making it 20-0.

Chandler Whitmer threw for 93 yards on 8-of-16 passing and was picked off once in his first half of FBS football for UConn. McCombs rushed for 55 yards and a score on 14 carries and Michael Smith had three catches for 30 yards to lead all Huskies receivers.

Wegzyn completed 5-of-12 passes for 21 yards and an interception. Chris Burns, who's nine-yard rush late in the second quarter accounted for the only Minutemen first down, had 14 rushing yards on six carries. Rob Blanchflower had two catches for 17 yards.

UMass did not record its first first down until the final minute of play in the first half.

For more UMass Football coverage, visit our team page. For more UConn Football coverage, visit our team page and blog, The UConn Blog. Also visit SB Nation NCAAF.

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VIDEO: UMass' Darren Thellen, Tom Brandt Team Up For Interception

One quarter into the new college football season, and we have one of the best plays you're going to find all season long. Not bad, huh? To top it all off, it was the UMass Minutemen -- the team playing its first ever FBS game -- that provided it. OK, here's what went down.

Darren Thellen tippped a pass from UConn quarterback Chandler Whitmer, which was about one yard out of bounds, back inbounds to teammate Tom Brandt for the interception. UMass couldn't do anything with the new possession, as it went three-and-out, but the play itself was incredible. You have to watch it to understand (hat tip to Jason Kirk for finding).


Amazing. Just amazing. And we're only one night one. This season is going to be fun.

For more UMass Football coverage, visit our team page. For more UConn Football coverage, visit our team page and blog, The UConn Blog. Also visit SB Nation NCAAF.

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UMass Vs. UConn Score Update: Minutemen Trail Huskies, 7-0, After 1st

UMass' first quarter as an FBS team left a lot to be desired, but it also could have been much worse, as UConn took a 7-0 lead after one quarter in the season opener in East Hartford, CT.

The Huskies' lone score came on a one-yard rush from sophomore back Lyle McCombs, which capped off a healthy 12-play, 75-yard drive that spanned 7:29. McCombs finished the first quarter with 13 rushing yards on six carries and Nick Williams had 24 rushing yards on three carries. Chandler Whitmer, starting and playing in his first FBS game ever for UConn, completed 3-of-4 passes for 38 yards in the quarter. Williams and Michael Osiecki each had one catch for 16 yards to lead the Huskies' receiving game.

UMass was unable to record a first down in the quarter, but did come close on a nine-yard pass from true freshman quarterback Mike Wegzyn to junior redshirt tight end Rob Blanchflower. Wegzyn was 3-for-4 for 11 yards in the quarter while Blanchflower had just the one catch. Chris Burns had one carry for one yard for UMass.

Despite trailing on the scoreboard, the Minutemen had the play of the quarter (by far) -- one that will likely wind up on Friday morning's SportsCenter -- when defensive back Darren Thellen tipped a Whitmer pass (that was about one yard out of bounds) back inbounds to Tom Brandt for the interception.

For more UMass Football coverage, visit our team page. For more UConn Football coverage, visit our team page and blog, The UConn Blog. Also visit SB Nation NCAAF.

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UMass Vs. UConn: Game Time, TV Schedule, Spread And More

The UMass Minutemen and UConn Huskies are ready to play some football. Both teams are scheduled to open their season against one another on Thursday at Rentschler Field.

Once upon a time, this was a tremendous rivalry that started all the way back in 1897. Thursday's contest will mark the 72nd time that these two foes have pitted themselves against one another and the first time since 1999 when the Huskies became a FBS school.

UConn is expected to have a much improved offense with a new quarterback in junior-college transfer Chandler Whitmer. The bell-cow of the unit undoubtedly remains running back Lyle McCombs who gained 1,152 yards on the ground in 2011 as a freshman.

Defensively, the Huskies are a tale of two parts. The rushing defense was 4th in the nation last year as Gethin Coolbaugh points out. Unfortunately, they were undone by the pass, ranking 113th in that department.

For the Minutemen, 2012 is all about getting their feet wet in Division-I. A first-year member of the Mid-American Conference (MAC), UMass is looking to gain a foothold as an up-and-coming program.

Redshirt freshman quarterback Mike Wegzyn will lead the Minutemen, getting an opportunity to prove his value to the squad after winning the starting job for the opener, while true starter Kellen Pagel comes back from a concussion.

All-time, UMass leads the series 36-33-2.

TV: SNY

Time: 7:30 p.m. ET

Odds: UCONN -25

For more on UMass and UConn, please be sure to check out our site The UConn Blog and SB Nation Boston for all the latest news and updates.

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UMass Vs. UConn: Minutemen, Huskies Open Season In Connecticut

Gameday is finally here. UMass and UConn issue in the new season on Thursday night Rentschler Field in East Hartford, CT.

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