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.
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