Updated: Sunday, 06 Sep 2009, 6:37 PM EDT
Published : Sunday, 06 Sep 2009, 6:37 PM EDT
MANHATTAN, Kan. (WWLP) - UMass battled hard scoring back-to-back touchdowns in the second half after trailing by 18 at halftime, but lost 21-17 at Big 12 foe Kansas State on Saturday night before 50,750 fans at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. The Minutemen will open the 2009 home schedule against Albany next Saturday at 6 p.m.
Tony Nelson led UMass with 107 yards on the ground, while Kyle Havens made his first start in the Maroon & White at quarterback going 10-of-34 with one touchdown.
Daniel Thomas was the workhorse for Kansas State with 104 rushing yards on 23 carries, while Keithen Valentine added 89 more yards on 11 carries. Carson Coffman was 14-of-27 with two touchdowns.
UMass was opportunistic in the second half as the Minutemen scored off a fumbled punt and a blocked punt. First Ke'Mon Bailey recovered a fumble at the K-State 18-yard line which led to an Andrew Krevis 4-yard touchdown with 29 seconds left in the third quarter. That cut the Wildcats lead to 21-10.
Then less than 2 minutes later, UMass got to within one score at 21-17, as Jeremy Horne blocked Ryan Doerr's punt and it was recovered by redshirt freshman D.J. Adeoba, who returned it 26 yards for a touchdown just 59 seconds into the fourth quarter.
Neither team, however, would score again in the fourth quarter. The Minutemen were able to a three-and-out on the second KSU possession of the quarter, but were unable to move the ball themselves offensively to get into scoring position. The Wildcats were able to run out the final 5:41 of the game, thanks in part to a 20-yard, first-down scramble by Coffman on a third-down play to keep the clock ticking.
In the first half, the Minutemen were able to take a 3-0 lead with 3:22 remaining on a Caleb Violette 35-yard field goal after both teams traded turnovers early on.
The second quarter was dominated by Kansas State which scored all three touchdowns with a Coffman rush and a pair of TD tosses. After Coffman's rush touchdown 40 seconds into the quarter, UMass drove down to the KSU 11 where it appeared the Minutemen would retake the lead on a touchdown pass that was waived off due to an offensive pass interference call. Following the 15-yard penalty, Viollette's 43-yard field goal was blocked and KSU drove down the field in five-plays for a Coffman to Attrail Snipes 40-yard TD pass.
With three seconds left in the second quarter, Coffman again found Snipes for a 12-yard touchdown pass making the score 21-3 heading into halftime.