Blake Lucas takes over field goals for UMass football team
Massachusetts running back Alan Williams (36) is tackled by Ohio defenders Nic Barber (97), Neal Huynh (93) and Keith Moore (38) during the third quarter of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012, in Foxborough, Mass. Ohio defeated Massachusetts, 37-34. (AP Photo/Stew Milne) Purchase photo reprints »
FOXBOROUGH — The revolving door at kicker landed Blake Lucas back in action Saturday for the University of Massachusetts.
The true freshman from Georgia won the job outright of camp, but didn’t get a chance to kick in the opener against Connecticut. A week later he missed a field goal and an extra point against Indiana, causing coach Charley Molnar to go back to Brendon Levengood, last year’s starter. The junior kicked well against Michigan with two field goals and an extra point, but then missed a PAT and was 1-for-2 on field goals against Miami (Ohio).
So Molnar made a half switch. Levengood remained on extra points and Lucas took over on field goals. Both players were successful. Levengood, who also kicks off, hit all four PATs, while Lucas made both kicks he attempted from 23 and 30 yards.
UMass, which fell 37-34 to Ohio at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, is now using four kicking specialists every game. In addition to Levengood and Lucas, true freshman Colter Johnson is punting and Jeff Strait, who started at punter last year and in the season opener, is still acting as the holder on place kicks.
HEALTH/ROSTER — True freshman Jovan Santos-Knox made his first career start at linebacker in place of injured starter Greg Hilliard (shoulder).
Jamie Cassleberry started at left guard in favor of John Wallace, who did see action. Freshman offensive lineman Michael Boland (concussion) and sophomore wide receiver Marken Michel (arm) were late scratches after Molnar had been optimistic that they might play. Joe Colton started at safety for Christian Birt (concussion) and made 12 tackles.
CROWD — The crowd of 8,321 was a significant drop off from the 16,304 that was at Gillette for the home opener against Indiana.
MISCELLANEOUS — UMass’ maroon jerseys and maroon pants combination was the fifth different uniform mixture they’ve used in five games. ... Antoine Tharpe’s blocked field goal was the first time the Minutemen blocked one since 2007.