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GAMEDAY: UMass at No. 16 MSU




Halftime: UMass 20, MSU 13 




Total Yards: UMass 212, MSU 154 


Rushing Yards: MSU 85, UMass 84 


Passing Yards: UMass 128, MSU 69 


Yards Per Play: UMass 6.6, MSU 4.3 


Third Down Conversions: UMass 2-7, MSU 2-8 




Nick Fitzgerald: 8-16, 69 yards, 0 TD, 2 INT; 5 carries, 45 yards 


Aeris Williams: 12 carries, 35 yards 


Jordan Thomas: 2 catches, 20 yards 


Deddrick Thomas: 2 catches, 18 yards 


Osirus Mitchell: 1 catch, 18 yards 


Jesse Jackson: 2 catches, 11 yards 


J.T. Gray: 5 tackles, 1 INT, 1 PBU 


Johnathan Abram: 4 tackles 


Montez Sweat: 3 tackles, 1 sack 


Fletcher Adams: 3 tackles, 1 TFL 


Jamal Peters, Gerri Green, Dez Harris, Jeffery Simmons: 2 tackles each (Green and Simmons shared a sack) 




- There has to be an advantage the MSU offense can exploit, it simply hasn't found it yet. UMass was keeping the run game bottled up by letting its linebackers be very active with little responsibility in pass defense, then MSU had some success out there before the pick-6 recalibrated everything. The obvious talent differential between the two tells you there is something MSU can exploit, it's just not obvious where that is yet. 


- On that subject: is it just me or has MSU not challenged UMass with perimeter runs? 


- The MSU defense has done more than its part. UMass' two offensive scores were field goals, one set up by a fluke 66-yard run and the other set up by a failed fourth-down conversion that gave the Minutemen the ball around the 50. (See what I had typed out before the UMass touchdown? Didn't it look so good? Even that score was created by a collision of two MSU defensive backs as the routes crossed each other. I'll have to go back tomorrow to see if that was a miscommunication or if UMass deserves credit for that.) Point still stands: the defense is playing well enough to win this game, I think. 




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