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UMass 36, Rhode Island 27

AMHERST, Mass. -- Kirk Nelms' 80-yard interception return for a touchdown highlighted a 20-0 fourth-quarter run as Massachusetts rallied for a 36-27 victory over Rhode Island on Saturday night.

In the Colonial Athletic Association opener for both teams, UMass (2-0) trailed 21-16 after three quarters. Quarterback Kellen Pagel scored on an 8-yard run to give the Minutemen the lead for good and Nelms electrified the home crowd with his 80-yard return of a Steve Probst pass. Probst threw for 279 yards and four touchdowns, but the second of his two interceptions cost the Rams (0-2) dearly.

With 1:58 left, Julian Talley caught a 22-yard pass from Pagel for UMass' last touchdown. Pagel finished 21 of 32 for 259 yards and an interception. Following a Rhode Island touchdown with 32 seconds left, UMass recovered an onside kick. Jonathan Hernandez had his second 100-yard game, carrying 32 times for 188 yards and two touchdowns for Massachusetts.

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2015 Colonial Athletic Association Standings

TEAMCONFOVR
Richmond6-210-4
James Madison6-29-3
William & Mary6-29-4
Towson5-37-4
New Hampshire5-37-5
Villanova5-36-5
Stony Brook3-55-5
Delaware3-54-7
Elon3-54-7
Maine3-53-8
Albany2-63-8
Rhode Island1-71-10