AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) - In a battle of two high-powered offenses, top-ranked Delaware (No. 2 in the Sports Network Poll) posted a 45-27 win over #14/13 UMass at a sunny McGuirk Stadium on Saturday. The teams combined to piled up 935 total yards as UMass senior quarterback Kyle Havens threw for 228 yards with a career-high four touchdowns and Delaware QB Pat Devlin tossed for 240 yards and four TDs as well. UMass senior tailback John Griffin ran for a season-best 145 yards.
Anthony Nelson piled up 250 all-purpose yards: 137 on kickoff returns, 51 on punt returns, 44 receiving and 18 rushing.
The result, coupled with New Hampshire's 31-24 win at Villanova leaves four teams in the CAA with 6-4 overall record including UMass. The Minutemen are also one of five teams in the league with three losses, standing 4-3 in the CAA heading into next week's regular-season finale at Rhode Island. The Blue Hens are at the top of the roost in the league standing 9-1 overall and 6-1 in the league.
After Delaware led 24-14 at halftime, the second half fireworks continued right away as the teams notched three TDs in the first 4:57 of the half. Delaware jumped to a 31-14 lead on a Colin Naugle 31-yard pass from Devlin - to tie his career-high with his fourth TD pass. Then Havens converted another fourth-down as he pegged Julian Talley from four yards out to bring the Minutemen within 10 at 31-21 with 10:34 left in the half. Just 31 seconds later, David Hayes bolted 61 yards up the middle for a 38-21 lead with more than 10 minutes left in the third quarter.
The Blue Hens took a 45-21 lead on a 9-yard rush by Leon Jackson early in the fourth. Anthony Nelson hauled in a 7-yard reception from Havens to draw UMass within 45-27 with 6:50 left in regulation.
A bizarre play led to Delaware taking a 17-7 lead with 6:16 left in the second quarter. The Minutemen attempted their second fourth-down conversion of the game at the Delaware 27-yard line. The snap from center went awry and was recovered by Delaware's Kyle Hunte. As the twin of UMass' Chad Hunte returned the ball, he also fumbled it and the ball went out of bounds at the UMass 31-yard line. On the ensuing play, Pierce hauled a 31-yard pass from Devlin for a 10-point bulge.
The Minutemen answered with the longest drive of the season against the Blue Hens as Rob Blanchflower made a sensational catch in the back right corner of the end zone on a 4th-and-goal from the 5-yard line. That cut the deficit to 17-14 with 2:20 left in the first half. The drive was keyed by a 59-yard rush by Griffin, the longest rush by UMass this season and the longest play from scrimmage vs. the Blue Hens in 2010.
As quickly as UMass responded, Delaware came right back to take a 24-14 lead. Devlin led the Blue Hens to a 60-yard drive in 1:02 that finished with a 44-yard pass to Phillip Thaxton with 1:18 left in the quarter.
After two missed field goals earlier in the first quarter, UMass finally got on the board as Julian Talley hauled in a bomb from Kyle Havens on a flea-flicker from 45 yards out. With 1:31 left in the first quarter. The TD was the first allowed by Delaware this season, in the first quarter. The Blue Hens had outscored their opponents 81-3 in first quarters prior to the UMass score. The Minutemen took advantage of a fumble by Andrew Pierce, scoring on the following play.
Delaware took a 7-0 lead on a 10-yard pass from Pat Devlin 4:55 into the game after Violette missed a 40-yard field goal.
Three Minutemen had double digit tackles in the game. Mike Mele led the way with 18 total tackles, followed by Tyler Holmes with 16 and Perry McIntyre with 12.
Saturday's crowd was 10,057, which gave UMass a regular-season home average attendance of 13,004. That is the second-highest average attendance in UMass history, second only to the 1999 season (14,684).
UMass closes the regular-season at Rhode Island next Saturday with a 12:30 kickoff.