AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) — The UMass Minutemen football team hosted Merrimack on Saturday for a matchup at 3:30 p.m. capping off Homecoming week on campus.

It was a big game for the football team, coming off an upset win over Army last Saturday. But, thousands of students and alumni stayed out of the stadium to party celebrating homecoming.

The parking lots and fields outside of McGuirk Alumni Stadium were packed all afternoon. 22News spoke to UMass Freshmen who got to experience their first ever homecoming game.

“It’s so fun, there’s so many people! I’ve never seen this many people at a tailgate before. “Everybody comes here for the tailgate but they don’t stay for the game, but we’ve gone to the games a couple times and it’s actually better than you think,” expressed three UMass Freshmen, Megan, Morgan, and Jayden.

UMass ended up winning the game 31 to 21, earning their second straight win and marking their first winning streak in over five years!

Heath Kalb is a reporter who has been a part of the 22News team since 2022. Follow Heath on X @HeathKalb and view his bio to see more of his work.