BOSTON (CBS) — The second home game of the year for UMass at Gillette Stadium was nearly a great one, but the Minutemen fell just short of upsetting the undefeated Ohio Bobcats, losing 37-34.
Quarterback Mike Wegzyn threw for 373 yards in the game, including 162 to Deion Walker and 127 to Alan Williams. Head coach Charley Molnar shared plenty of praise for both receivers with 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Marc Bertrand, but he admitted the false start penalty on Williams which pushed the Minutemen off the goal line was a huge mistake for his team.
“Oh my goodness. That was probably as critical of an error that occurred all afternoon, only because the ramifications were so great,” Molnar told Bertrand. “We just got ourselves in position where we had to kick a field goal. … We thought it was a good thing. Obviously, if I could do it again, I’d probably go for the touchdown, you know? But at the end of the day, that really hurt us.
“A team that’s still fragile in confidence, a team that hasn’t proven to be able to consistently move the ball under all sorts of down and distance situation, it just really made the road a little bit more difficult for us.”
Regarding the small attendance figure at Gillette over the weekend, Molnar said that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and the fans who were in attendance were great.
“It was loud. It was really loud at times,” Molnar said. “I think our team really felt the energy from the people that were in attendance. They were into it, they were loud, and they gave our team a number of really, really loud cheers. And I think our team really responded to it.”
UMass will face the 2-3 Western Michigan Broncos this Saturday in Kalamazoo, and Molnar said the 3-4 defense presents some unique challenges.
“They have a wide variety of blitzes, coverages and different games that they play in that defense. So it’s going to be a lot of work for our offensive line and our quarterback to recognize these things and really get ourselves ready with our schemes to attack it.”