The University of Massachusetts Minutemen have been struggling on defense the last few weeks. In consecutive losses on the road, they gave up 52 points to CAA rival James Madison and 56 points to #7 Texas Tech.
Playing in front of the largest crowd at McGuirk Stadium since 1974, the Minutemen defense fed off the energy of the 16,422 in attendance. They controlled the game from the outset, making the Blue Hens offense look completely helpless on the field. The Delaware offense was only able to muster 167 yards of total offense.
The usual high-scoring Minutemen offense was held in check by a strong performance by the Delaware defense. They dropped linebackers into coverage all day, confusing UMass star quarterback Liam Coen into throwing three interceptions, two of them coming in the red zone. It is the only the third time in Coen’s career he has thrown three interceptions in a game, the most recent against Southern Illinois in the Football Subdivision Quarterfinal last season.
But, the UMass defense was putting points on the board as well. Cornerback Jeromy Miles intercepted Delaware’s Robby Schoenhoft and returned it 52-yards for the touchdown, putting UMass up 17-7 with only 10:52 left to play in the game. It was the icing on the cake. Delaware could not put together a drive on its final possession.
In a day where the Minutemen offense struggled, it was the defense’s time to shine and that is exactly what they did. They shook off some early season woes and look to continue the success next weekend @ Northeastern.