The Final: UMass 49, Charlotte 31
The Star: Marquis Young (205 Yards, 3 TD)
The Stat: 21 Points in first 31 seconds of possession
The Streak: W1
The Record: 2-3
The 12-Game Pace: 5-7
The Emoji: 🏠💯
UMass stomps Charlotte early, Marquis Young shines as Minutemen snap 3-game losing streak
Michael Curtis took advantage of his first start as quarterback for the Minutemen with an efficient and balanced performance. Curtis’ two touchdowns a piece in the passing and running game got UMass out to a huge lead, allowing them to control the pace and style of play as they held off the 49ers. It wasn’t just the touchdowns that the Minutemen offense scored that were key to the victory, including 2 on the ground from senior running back Marquis Young, it was also their ability to play clean football by only turning the football over once.
Although the UMass defense did surrender 31 points in the final three quarters, the game was already well in hand by that points. It wasn’t just the offense that allowed UMass to run away with this game in the first quarter. On Charlotte’s first six drives the UMass defense only allowed 8 yards of total offense and even forced a fumble. That’s an incredibly solid start from a team that has struggled in recent weeks, especially in securing tackles. From that point forward, however, Charlotte out-gained UMass in yards over the course of the game while not being forced into another turnover. In a circumstance when your team gives you a 28-0 lead in the first quarter it’s difficult to keep your foot on the gas for the entire game, but there is still plenty of room for improvement for UMass to be able to hold smaller leads, or allow their offense to get back into a game, later in the season.
Special Teams: A+
Marquis Young returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown before the marching band could even get into the stands after their pregame performance. This arguably ended up being the play that sparked the early rampage by the UMass offense. The 93-yard return was one of Young’s two returns, totaling 113 return yards on the afternoon for the senior. Cooper Garcia and Mike Caggiano split the kicking duties and went a perfect 7/7 combined on extra points. Punts were also split between Travis Reynolds and George Georgopoulos as each punter recorded two punts for 77 yards all of which were covered well, only allowing two returns for 3 yards to Charlotte.
The Minutemen head back out on the road this Saturday, but they’ll have to bring the same level of play that they’ve been displaying at home if they want to come away with a win at Ohio. Despite both teams having remarkably similar stats, with Ohio even allowing more yards on the season, UMass has generally played an easier schedule. Nevertheless, UMass will have a great chance to take the momentum from the Charlotte game and pounce on the Ohio Bobcats who are coming off two straight losses.