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It was another tough day in Orono, Maine for the Black Bears who fell to the Minuteman 38-7.
UMass won their 40th game against Maine all-time. The Minuteman have now won nine of the last 10 games vs. Maine, including six in a row.
For the first time in history, UMass has started the season scoring more than 35 points in each game leading them to a 4-0 start on the season. Also, it’s the first time the Minutemen started 4-0 since the 1986 season.
It seemed almost too easy for the Minutemen on Saturday, scoring 3 touchdowns in the first 5 minutes of the game. And they never looked back for the rest of the game.
Senior Matt Lawrence rushed for 176 yards on 20 carries while redshirt sophomore Tony Nelson spelled him for 104 yards on 18 carries. On the second play from scrimmage, Lawrence broke off a career-long run for 62 yards through a porous Maine secondary, breaking through 3 tackles along the way. Lawrence would go on to score 2 more times for a career-best three touchdowns. If this game was at home in Amherst, the Cannon Boys would have been busy (and most likely deaf) and the cheerleaders would have been swoll after all those push ups.
But it wasn’t just the offense who shined this game.
On Maine’s first play of the ensuing drive, sophomore defensive back Jeremy Miles forced a fumble which was recovered by fellow hard hitting redshirt junior Michael Meggett at the Maine 2-yard line.
The UMass defense held Maine to just 22 passing yards in the first half. The Minutemen stopped the Black Bears on their longest drive of the half, lasting 5:38 as Maine’s new kicker Bobby Donnelly missed a 25-yarder with 40 seconds left in the first half.
Redshirt senior J.J. Moore had seven catches to pass Arizona Cardinal Marcel Shipp (126) to move to third in career receptions in UMass history with a catch in the third quarter and now has 130. Quarterback Liam Coen was not to be forgotten about amidst this run-heavy day. In addition to moving to second in career touchdown passes, he finished 15-of-19 for 142 yards before leaving the remaining 10 minutes of the game in the hands of redshirt sophomore QB Scott Woodward.
This win has set the stage for what should be a great game this Saturday between the Boston College Eagles and UMass Minutemen. Both teams are 4-0 and looking to continue their winning ways.
With what Appalachian State has done for Division 1-AA Football, anything can happen in this game, and both the Eagles and Minutemen know that.