Indiana (1-0) at Massachusetts (0-1)|
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, September 8, 3:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Gillette Stadium (35,000) -- Foxborough, Massachusetts.
Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: Indiana 1-0, UMass 0-0. Away Record:
Indiana 0-0, UMass 0-1. Neutral Record: Indiana 0-0, UMass 0-0. Conference
Record: Indiana 0-0, UMass 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: Two teams coming off differing results in rivalry games will meet
up when the Indiana Hoosiers travel to Foxborough to face off with
Massachusetts in the Minutemen's home opener.
It was a Hoosier State showdown for Indiana in its season-opener last week
against Indiana State and it was the Hoosiers who came out on top with a
24-17 victory. The Hoosiers have now matched their entire win total for the
2011 season when they managed just one win in 12 games. The only victory
Indiana managed last season also came against an FCS opponent as the
Hoosiers posted a 38-21 win at home against South Carolina State.
Massachusetts was unable to really enjoy its debut as an FBS program for
more than a few minutes, as the Minutemen were routed 37-0 by former Yankee
Conference rival Connecticut. The loss extended the Minutemen's current
losing streak to four games which dates back to last season when the squad
finished 5-6 in its final season at the FCS level.
This marks the first time these two squads have met on the gridiron.
After only averaging 360.4 yards per game last season (83rd nationally),
Indiana was a bit more effective offensively last weekend, totaling 451 yards
on the day.
Leading the charge for the Hoosiers was sophomore quarterback Tre Roberson,
who threw for a career-high 280 yards, while completing an impressive
26-of-36 pass attempts. Those completions included a 71-yard scoring strike
to Shane Wynn for Indiana's first score of the season. It was the first time
the Hoosiers have had a reception of at least 70 yards since 2008. Roberson
also ran for 19 yards and a score. The big gain made up the majority of
Wynn's career performance which included personal bests in receptions (six)
and yards (95).
Under second-year coach Kevin Wilson the offense has normally relied heavily
on the running game which remained true against Indiana State. The Hoosiers
rushed the ball 47 times for 178 yards and two scores. Indiana averaged
161.0 yards per game on the ground during Wilson's first season and look to
continue the trend this season. D'Angelo Roberts was the primary ball carrier
with 22 attempts for 73 yards.
The defensive side of the ball had less to be excited about after allowing
Indiana State, a team that went 6-5 last season, to put up 387 total yards
and remain within striking distance throughout. In fact the Sycamores were
the first team to get on the scoreboard with a touchdown early in the first
quarter. The unit did shore up on third down, holding Indiana State to a
3-for-12 performance on third down conversions.
The Hoosiers did create pressure throughout the game, totaling five sacks, led
by defensive tackle Larry Black's two. Drew Hardin led the team with eight
total tackles and also recovered a fumble.
There wasn't a whole lot to cheer about offensively for UMass in its FBS
opener. The Minutemen managed only 59 total yards and three first downs
against a tough UConn defense and wound up going scoreless for the first
time since 1995. UMass couldn't get anything going, especially on the ground
with the squad rushing for only three yards. Pittsburgh-transfer Chris Burns
led the team with 26 yards on 11 carries but three different ball carriers had
rushing totals of less than zero.
With returning starter Kellen Pagel sidelined with a concussion, freshman
Mike Wegzyn got the start at quarterback. His first start didn't go
particularly well, as he completed 9-of-22 pass attempts for 56 yards and
Although the 37 points might imply otherwise, the UMass defense put forth a
solid effort. Connecticut had 372 total yards in the game but also scored a
touchdown on defense and special teams which cannot be blamed on the
Minutemen's defensive unit.
UMass was able to get into the backfield often in the game to bust up
running plays and held Lyle McCombs, the second leading rusher in the Big
East last season to a 3.9 yards-per-carry average and 89 yards total. Last
season UMass gave up 156.6 yards per game on the ground. The Minutemen also
had four tackles for loss and were led by Perry McIntyre, who racked up 12
tackles in the game.
Perhaps the biggest highlight for the Minutemen also came from the defense.
In the first quarter, UConn quarterback threw a pass down the right sideline
that was tipped back in bounds by cornerback Darren Thellen and then
intercepted by linebacker Tom Brandt.
Indiana may not be a powerhouse like some of its brethren in the Big Ten,
but the Hoosiers will not need to be against a UMass team that is still
finding its FBS bearings.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Indiana 20, Massachusetts 7
09/05 10:35:47 ET