UMass blows out Eagles, 55-20

Thomas Jilk

Error-prone Georgia Southern allowed formerly winless UMass to score 48 points in the first half as the Eagles struggled with penalties and turnovers again on their way to a 55-20 loss and an 0-6 record.

First half nightmare

The first offensive play for GS was a sign of things to come. Redshirt junior quarterback Kado Brown, starting for the injured Shai Werts, hit his sophomore receiver Mark Michaud streaking down the middle of the field. Michaud picked up 71 yards before being caught from behind and losing the football, which the Minutemen then recovered.

UMass then drove a methodical 97 yards on 11 plays and capped it with a touchdown pass to senior tight end Adam Breneman.

After a GS punt, UMass redshirt sophomore quarterback Ross Comis hit junior receiver Andy Isabella for a 68-yard touchdown strike, then GS return man Myles Campbell fumbled the ensuing kickoff return, giving UMass the ball back deep in its own territory armed with a 14-0 lead.

Comis threw a 26-yard touchdown on the very next play and the rout was on.

Brown scored a 12-yard rushing touchdown for the Eagles, but the Minutemen answered with a touchdown drive ending in a 19-yard scoring run by sophomore tailback Bilal Ally. After the first quarter of play, the score was 28-10 in favor of UMass.

In the second quarter, UMass continued to pile it on. Touchdowns by Ally, redshirt freshman receiver Brennan Dingle and junior running back Marquis Young added to the UMass lead.

Another rushing touchdown for Brown and the Eagles would only be enough to make the score 48-17 at halftime. Here are some samples of Twitter angst from Saturday.

Second half

The scoring waters calmed significantly in the second half. After GS kicker Tyler Bass made his second field goal, UMass cracked the half-century mark, going up 55-20 on Ally’s third touchdown run of the game.

The second half featured six punts, while there were only two in the opening half. The score would finish 55-20.


GS allowed 48 points in the first half, and the defense allowed 670 total yards. UMass may have been better than their winless record suggested, but no team looking to contend in the Sun Belt should ever give up that monstrous amount of yardage.

UMass had 33 first downs, while GS managed only 12. It is essential for GS to pick up first downs consistently for the offense to get in a rhythm that allows them to score more quickly and regularly. That did not happen against UMass.

The Eagles were outrushed, 320 to 136. Clearly a blowout is in store when a rushing-dominated team gets more than doubled up in terms of rushing yardage.

GS fumbled the ball five times and lost three of them. They had four turnovers in all, and the first two fumbles led directly to UMass touchdowns.

The Eagles committed 11 penalties that cost them 114 yards and an ejection. Junior linebacker Tomarcio Reese, for the second consecutive game, was thrown out on a debatable targeting call.

Next up

GS will visit 5-2 Troy next Saturday for another 3:30 p.m. game, which will be broadcast on ESPN3.