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Rockets Launch Past Minutemen to Victory 41-24

Updated: Oct 11, 2023

by Kevin McCaskill Jr.

10/11/23 * 1:25 PM




(AMHERST, MA) - Early Saturday afternoon, the Minutemen hosted the Toledo Rockets. These two schools were conference-mates in the MAC in the 2010’s.




Coming into the game, Toledo was 4-1. Conversely, the Minutemen came into Saturday’s matchup losing 5 consecutive games. QB Taisun Phommachanh is working through his injury. Backup QB Carlos Davis is likely out for the year. The secondary group is battered and overloaded.


UMass got out to a good start early in the game. RB Kay’Ron Lynch found open running lanes and broke off two big runs, the second of which was a 47 yard TD. The Minutemen led early 7-0.


Toledo scored 17 unanswered points after that TD. K Luke Pawlak made a FG; RB Peny Boone weaved through the Minutemen defense for a 21 yard TD; QB Dequan Finn found WR Jerjuan Newton in the end-zone for a 8 yard pass TD.



The Minutemen finally answered with a score after allowing three scores. Phommachanh found WR Anthony Simpson on a fade route. The ball traveled over Simspon’s head and fell into his hands, in stride. He avoided a shoe-string tackle by a Toledo defender and sprinted to the endzone for a 71 yard pass TD. The Minutemen pulled closer 17-14.


The Minutemen defense forced Toledo to punt. On the next UMass offensive possession, they drove the ball down the field and got to just outside the red-zone. Phommachanh took the snap, faked a handoff to the RB and faked a handoff for the reverse. He hid the ball from the defenders and delayed like he had handed the ball off. The Toledo front-7 bit hard on the fakes and left WR George Johnson III wide open. Phommachanh found Johnson for a 31 yard TD. After the EP, UMass led 21-17.


UMass DB Juan Lua intercepted Finn on the Toledo’s next offensive possession. K Cameron Carson missed a 58 yard FG before halftime. This was the first game of the season that the Minutemen went to the locker room with a halftime lead.


In the second half, Toledo scored 3 TDs and one FG to the Minutemen’s 1 FG. The Minutemen defense was worn down by Finn & Boone’s run attack. As the game went on, it was harder for the UMass defenders to tackle the big RB and the elusive yet strong QB.


The Minutemen dropped their 3rd straight home game, and 6th straight game overall, to Toledo 41-24.


Saturday was the 1st time Phommachanh threw for 2 TDs.


Lynch-Adams ran for a career high 157 yards. He is one of the best RB in the FBS. He should be on every NFL teams radar for next year’s draft.


After the game, UMass HC Don Brown said the the football team “is still together”. He went on to say,



“I’m just gonna say this and you guys can go write about it tomorrow and say, ‘He’s an idiot’. We’re getting better and we’re getting closer. [Hits table] There’s things happening in this building that if you came and spent time and [watched] these guys work, you’d feel pretty good about The University of Massachusetts. That’s all I’m gonna say”.


UMass heads to State College, PA to take on Penn State next weekend. They are currently +42.5 underdogs for that game.




Stats


UMASS:


T. Phommachanh - 20/31, 272 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT


Kay’Ron Lynch-Adams - 20 car, 157 yards, 1 TD; 1 rec, 9 yards


A. Simpson - 7 rec, 140 yards, 1 TD


G. Johnson III - 3 rec, 60 yards, 1 TD




Toledo:


D. Finn - 15/23, 139 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT; 13 car, 172 yards, 1 TD


P. Boone - 17 car, 129 yards, 2 TD


J. Newton - 4 rec, 43 yards, 2 TD




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