Michael Cox's career day on the ground was overshadowed by Zac Dysert's dual attack as the UMass Minutemen failed to win their first game once again, falling to the host Miami (OH) Red Hawks, 27-16, in their Mid-American Conference opener on Saturday afternoon.
Cox racked up a career-best 188 rushing yards after rushing for just 108 yards in UMass' first three games and scored his first touchdown of the season on a nine-yard scamper with 5:08 remaining in the third quarter, capping off an impressive 14-play, 72-yard drive.
Dysert, meanwhile, completed 12-of-22 passes for 192 yards and three touchdowns passes and rushed for 76 yards and one score on 12 carries. Dawan Scott (92 receiving yards, three catches) was successfully targeted by Dysert on his first two touchdown passes, connecting on a 49-yard score at 14:03 of the second quarter and again hooking up on a 17-yard score with 9:22 left before halftime. UMass was held to three first half points on a Brendon Levengood 30-yard field goal at 12:48 in the second. Miami led 14-3 at halftime.
Dysert's rushing score came on a seven-yard run with 9:16 to go in the third quarter, and following Cox's first touchdown rush later in the frame, the Minutemen trailed 21-10 entering the fourth quarter. Dysert found Spencer Treadwell for his final touchdown pass, a 33-yard score, putting the Red Hawks up 27-10. Cox tacked on another touchdown on his final rush of the game from two yards out with 3:21 to go. UMass attempted the onside kick on the ensuing kickoff, but it could not recover, and Miami ran out the clock to improve to 2-2.
Mike Wegzyn completed 19-of-40 passes for 213 yards and one interception for UMass (0-4), which outgained Miami, 471-408. Deion Walker caught six passes for 81 yards and Rob Blanchflower had five grabs for 50 yards. Wegzyn also rushed for 52 yards on 14 carries.
UMass returns to Gillette Stadium for its MAC home opener next Saturday against Ohio.