Saturday, September 8, 2012
Instant analysis: Indiana 45, UMass 6
By Jack McCluskey
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- In its first home game as a Division I-A team, UMass was completely outclassed by visiting Indiana 45-6 on Saturday at Gillette Stadium.
How it happened: Things did not start well for the UMass offense. After a dismal debut on the FBS level against UConn, scoring no points and totaling just 59 yards of offense, the Minutemen desperately needed a better beginning to their first home game as a Division I-A team.
They didn't get it.
After the defense forced Indiana to punt on the first series of the game, the offense got the ball on its own 18-yard line. The first play was a handoff to Michael Cox, who tried to take it around the left end and was stopped for no gain. The second play was a pass to Cox in the backfield, with quarterback Mike Wegzyn getting the short throw off under heavy pressure, and the back barely got back to the line of scrimmage before being stacked up.
The third play was a pass, and Wegzyn almost completed it ... to Indiana's Mark Murphy.
On fourth down, Colter Johnson's punt sailed out of bounds at the 50, giving the Hoosiers the ball at midfield.
It wouldn't take them long to capitalize. Tre Roberson kept the ball, broke an arm tackle at the line of scrimmage, juked two UMass defenders at the second level of the defense and was off to the races.
The 50-yard TD run put Indiana up 7-0.
For the Minutemen's offense, that would prove to be too much to overcome.
What it means: There is a long way to go for coach Charley Molnar's program.
That was to be expected, with the move up to Football Bowl Subdivision play. But this far? It's unlikely even the most pessimistic Minutemen fan saw this coming in the first two games.
What's next? UMass will head to Michigan for its second consecutive game versus a Big Ten team. The 3:30 p.m. kickoff will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network.
Jack McCluskey is an editor for ESPN.com and a frequent contributor to ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter @jack_mccluskey.