BOSTON (CBS) — The UMass Minutemen fell to 0-4 last weekend but made positive strides in a 27-16 loss to Miami (Ohio).

Head coach Charley Molnar told 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Marc Bertrand the fact that it was the closest loss of the year for UMass only makes it more frustrating, but he said there were some positives to take from the game. One was running back Michael Cox, who rushed for 188 yards and two touchdowns, and another was Kassan Mesiah, who had a sack in the opening series and finished the game with 10 tackles.

“I really believed he was going to be a really good football player down the road,” Molnar said of Messiah. “I just didn’t expect him to come out and get a sack on the second play of the game. He played beyond my expctations, to be frank.”

Molnar also liked what he saw out of quarterback Mike Wegzyn.

“Beyond a couple of ill-advised throws, he did a good job of going through his progression, taking what was there, and if not, he took the ball and tried to extend plays, either by leaving the pocket that was collapsing and keeping his eyes down the field, or he tucked it and ran,” Molnar said of Wegzyn. “Those are parts of our spread offense that a quarterback has to be able to do.”

This week’s opponent is Ohio University. The Bobcats enter the game with a 4-0 record, and Molnar said that Ohio’s success can help provide a bit of real motivation for his team to find its own success.

“They are a highly disciplined football team. The guys are always in the right place, they play hard, they have a minimal amount of penalties, a minimal amount of turnovers. They really play together as a team,” Molnar said of Ohio. “I think it’s a great example to our guys to see when you play hard, you don’t always have to be the biggest, fastest, strongest group of guys on the field. If you play hard and you stay together, and you stay disciplined on the field, you’ve got a chance to win every game you play.”


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