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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

UMass Achieves Goals

With the ranks of the unbeaten now having dwindled to two, the
Miami Hurricanes and the Ohio State Buckeyes control their own
destiny

With the ranks of the unbeaten now having dwindled to two, the Miami Hurricanes and the Ohio State Buckeyes control their own destiny

After taking a 21-0 lead in the first quarter, University of Massachusetts football coach Mark Whipple began liberally substituting his second-string players into Saturday’s 52-3 win over Central Connecticut State.

“The objective was to win the game and get a lot of guys playing time which is what we did,” said Whipple, whose team plays host to American International College at 1 p.m., Saturday.

But he blamed that move for his players’ lack of sharpness the rest of the way.

“What does that say when you’re up 21-0 in the first quarter and then we put our seconds in?” Whipple said. “We’re saying the game is over. If I had to do it again maybe I wouldn’t have done it. Maybe we should have just put the hammer down and gone off.”

“It’s difficult at times to stay focused,” senior captain Corey Potter said. “You feel like no matter what you do somebody will come and bail you out. There’s a tendency to lose focus.”

Despite several Minuteman mistakes in the final three quarters, the game was essentially over after the first quarter.

Sophomore tailback Jason Peebler had 128 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries and also caught a nine-yard TD. Redshirt freshman Raunny Rosario produced 116 yards on his 12 carries and crossed the goal line once.

Junior quarterback Jeff Krohn threw four touchdown passes in his UMass debut, completing 15-of-30 attempts for 198 yards and was intercepted twice in three quarters of play.

“Jeff was average. He has a tendency to get complacent and bored,” said Whipple, who blamed one of Krohn’s interceptions on a receiver running a wrong route. “It’s the same at practice. At least he knows that’s a fault. But we’ll keep him.”

Krohn wasn’t impressed by his own effort.

“It was all right. It was a little mediocre. We need to execute a little better on offense,” he said. “We’ll just keep improving as we practice more.”

Krohn wasn’t bored in the first quarter and picked apart the CCSU secondary. He completed 6-of-9 passes for 69 yards while leading the Minutemen on three touchdown drives that put them ahead 21-0.

Central put together a 71-yard drive that crossed from the end of the first quarter to the beginning of the second, but Lamar Monterio’s diving break-up thwarted a would-be touchdown pass and forced the Blue Devils to settle for a 20-yard Derek Pearson field goal.

UMass stretched its lead to 28-3 before halftime when senior Adrian Zullo hauled in a 28-yard TD.

On the opening kickoff in the second half, UMass redshirt freshman Bobby Boyer drilled returner Derek Rose to force a fumble. Brandon Brudzinski recovered, giving the Minutemen the ball on the CCSU 24-yard line.

Four plays later, Krohn rolled left and lofted the ball to DeShon

Hardy in the right corner of the end zone for a 9-yard TD to make the score 35-3.

UMass added 17 more points to complete their best offensive output since defeating UConn 62-20 in the final regular season game of 1999.

Central dominated time of possession, keeping the ball for 41 minutes and 38 seconds.

“That stat to me is overrated,” Whipple said. “Hopefully we’re going to make big plays, then run it at the end to win.”