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Both the offense and the defense did their part to secure an easy win over the Great Danes of Albany. The Minutemen put up the most points in a home opener since 2003 and it marked the eighth straight time UMass has won a home opener. On offense, Jonathan Hernandez and Tony Nelson combined for over 150 yards on the ground and three touchdowns. On the other side, the defense forced five turnovers, including three interceptions.
Offense working on all cylinders
UMass put up 473 total offensive yards, which included 189 yards on the ground and 284 through the air. Kyle Havens found his comfort zone as he went 20-32 with 284 yards passing and two touchdowns. Havens hooked up with Victor Cruz twice, once for a 67-yard touchdown pass and a 3-yard touchdown pass. In addition, Julian Talley had a career day with five receptions for 86 yards. The Minutemen were also productive on the ground with two different running backs. Tony Nelson had 77 yards and a score while red shirt sophomore Jonathan Hernandez had 88 yards and two touchdowns. Hernandez had the longest score of the day on the ground when he had a 58-yard run late in the fourth quarter to give the Minutemen a 41-7 lead. Senior kicker Armando Cuko had a productive day adding three field goals including his career long 47-yarder.
Defense shuts down Great Danes
The defense only allowed 208 yards total offense including only 84 yards on the ground. They were able to get to the quarterback as Michael Hanson and Brandon Collier each had a sack and forced the quarterback to throw three interceptions. Tyler Holmes, Jeromy Miles, and Perry McIntyre each recorded a pick and UMass had three forced fumbles and recovered two of them.
UMass open up conference play at home this Saturday at 3:30pm against Rhode Island.