The Final: UMass 16, BYU 35
The Goat: Poor Production
The Stat: Comis 23/33 Passing
The Streak: L1
The Record: 4-7
The 12-Game Pace: 4-8
The Emoji: 🚌
UMass was just starting to get on a roll to close their season before traveling to Gillette to face off against BYU. Hopes were high for the Minutemen after stealing a win last year on the road versus BYU. Both teams brought a solid fan base and Gillette got loud. Unfortunately, things didn’t go as well this time around as UMass couldn’t hold on to their lead after a hot start.
UMass didn’t make any mistakes with zero lost fumbles and zero interceptions. Ross Comis was also fairly efficient with his completion percentage, going 23/33. However, he only averaged 5.5 yards per attempt for 183 total yards. The running backs didn’t contribute much either, only totaling 73 yards plus Comis’ 29. Andy Isabella had another solid game with 10 catches for 85 yards, but no other receiver had more than 20 yards.
The defense was nothing special either after the good start. They answered UMass’ first points with a fumble recovery on just one BYU play to allow UMass to go up 10 points. From that point on BYU didn’t have too much trouble on their five touchdown drives in part because they didn’t get any pressure on the quarterback.
Special Teams: C-
It’s hard to give too harsh of a grade to special teams when the worst thing they did was miss a field goal. Still, there was nothing special about their performance. George Georgopoulos booted a punt 54 yards, but UMass didn’t do much with their own kick returns. Undoubtedly, the missed field goal was a big turning point in the game as UMass had the opportunity to respond to losing their lead by bringing the score to 14-13 at half. Instead, UMass followed the missed 36-yard field goal with five straight punts before scoring a late fourth quarter touchdown.
If UMass can stay within 40 points in this one it’d be a surprise to everyone including the betting line. Playing a potential college football playoff team in their building isn’t something that you go into expecting to win. However, if UMass can go out with the intention of showing what they’ve got and playing free we could see Andy Isabella and the offense put together a reputable performance.