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The 2009 season began with a tough loss to Kansas State Wildcats this weekend as UMass fell short of completing a second half comeback. There were a lot of question marks coming into this season as former Offensive Coordinator, Kevin Morris, has taken over as head coach and Kyle Havens was named the new starting quarterback since Liam Coen graduated. Despite the tough loss to the Big 12 team, UMass showed some positive signs that will carry over into the rest of the season.
After not scoring a touchdown in the first half, the Minutemen got some rhythm during the third quarter. After forcing a turnover, Kyle Havens threw his first touchdown of the season to tight end Andrew Krevis that cut the lead to 21-10. Aside from the touchdown pass, Havens needs to play better at quarterback. He was 10-34 with two interceptions and one touchdown. Tony Nelson finished with 107 yards on the ground, the eighth time in his career that he has surpassed the century mark.
Ke’Mon Bailey forced a fumble by quarterback Carson Coffman that was recovered by Michael Hanson, but unfortunately the Minutemen could not capitalize as Havens threw in interception the following possession. UMass forced two key turnovers that put the Minutemen in position to take the lead in the second half. Late in the third quarter, Bailey recovered a fumble on a punt return, which set up the four-yard touchdown pass from Havens to Krevis. Early into the fourth quarter, wide receiver Jeremy Horne blocked a punt by Ryan Doerr, which led to a touchdown by redshirt freshman D.J. Adeoba. Adeoba returned the ball for 26 and a score, which cut the Wildcats lead to 21-17.
UMass has their home opener next week against Albany (0-1).