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Western Michigan routs winless UMass football

  • Western Michigan's Johnnie Simon,left,  hits UMass' Deion Walker just short of the end zone in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday Oct. 6, 2012, in Kalamazoo, Mich. (AP Photo/The Gazette, Matt Gade)

    Western Michigan's Johnnie Simon,left, hits UMass' Deion Walker just short of the end zone in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday Oct. 6, 2012, in Kalamazoo, Mich. (AP Photo/The Gazette, Matt Gade) Purchase photo reprints »

  • Jamie Wilson, right, of Western Michigan tries to shove away Tom Brandt of the University of Massachusetts after a reception Saturday in Kalamazoo, Mich. Western Michigan won 52-14. (AP Photo)

    Jamie Wilson, right, of Western Michigan tries to shove away Tom Brandt of the University of Massachusetts after a reception Saturday in Kalamazoo, Mich. Western Michigan won 52-14. (AP Photo) Purchase photo reprints »

  • Jamie Wilson, back, of Western Michigan catches a pass  in front of Randall Jette of the University of Masssachusetts on Saturday in Kalamazoo, Mich. Western Michigan won 52-14. (AP Photo)

    Jamie Wilson, back, of Western Michigan catches a pass in front of Randall Jette of the University of Masssachusetts on Saturday in Kalamazoo, Mich. Western Michigan won 52-14. (AP Photo) Purchase photo reprints »

  • Matt Cutler, top, of Western Michigan University scores over the University of Massachusetts defense Saturday n Kalamazoo, Mich. Western Michigan won 52-14. (AP Photo)

    Matt Cutler, top, of Western Michigan University scores over the University of Massachusetts defense Saturday n Kalamazoo, Mich. Western Michigan won 52-14. (AP Photo) Purchase photo reprints »

  • Western Michigan's Terry Easmon tackles UMass quarterback Mike Wegzyn in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday Oct. 6, 2012, in Kalamazoo, Mich. (AP Photo/The Gazette, Matt Gade)

    Western Michigan's Terry Easmon tackles UMass quarterback Mike Wegzyn in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday Oct. 6, 2012, in Kalamazoo, Mich. (AP Photo/The Gazette, Matt Gade) Purchase photo reprints »

  • Dareyon Chance, center, of Western Michigan is swarmed by the University of Massachusetts defense Saturday in Kalamazoo, Mich. Western Michigan won 52-14. (AP Photo)

    Dareyon Chance, center, of Western Michigan is swarmed by the University of Massachusetts defense Saturday in Kalamazoo, Mich. Western Michigan won 52-14. (AP Photo) Purchase photo reprints »

  • Brian Fields, right, of Western Michigan, carries the ball as Antoin Scriven, center, blocks Trey Dudley-Giles of the University of Massachusetts on  Saturday in Kalamazoo, Mich. Western Michigan won 52-14. (AP Photo)

    Brian Fields, right, of Western Michigan, carries the ball as Antoin Scriven, center, blocks Trey Dudley-Giles of the University of Massachusetts on Saturday in Kalamazoo, Mich. Western Michigan won 52-14. (AP Photo) Purchase photo reprints »

  • Justin Collins, left, of Western Michigan runs downfield as Jovan Santos-Knox of the Universtiy of Massachusetts closes in for the tackle  Saturday in Kalamazoo, Mich. Western Michigan won 52-14.(AP Photo)

    Justin Collins, left, of Western Michigan runs downfield as Jovan Santos-Knox of the Universtiy of Massachusetts closes in for the tackle Saturday in Kalamazoo, Mich. Western Michigan won 52-14.(AP Photo) Purchase photo reprints »

  • Josh Schaffer, center, of Western Michigan breaks free from the University of Massachusetts defense Saturday in Kalamazoo, Mich. Western Michigan won 52-14. (AP Photo)

    Josh Schaffer, center, of Western Michigan breaks free from the University of Massachusetts defense Saturday in Kalamazoo, Mich. Western Michigan won 52-14. (AP Photo) Purchase photo reprints »

  • Western Michigan quarterback Tyler Van Tubbergen delivers a pass against the University of Massachusetts on Saturday in Kalamazoo, Mich.  Western Michigan won 52-14. (AP Photo)

    Western Michigan quarterback Tyler Van Tubbergen delivers a pass against the University of Massachusetts on Saturday in Kalamazoo, Mich. Western Michigan won 52-14. (AP Photo) Purchase photo reprints »

  • Massachusetts' Michael Cox scores the team's lone touchdown of the first half of an NCAA college football game against Western Michigan, Saturday Oct. 6, 2012, in Kalamazoo, Mich. (AP Photo/The Gazette, Matt Gade)

    Massachusetts' Michael Cox scores the team's lone touchdown of the first half of an NCAA college football game against Western Michigan, Saturday Oct. 6, 2012, in Kalamazoo, Mich. (AP Photo/The Gazette, Matt Gade) Purchase photo reprints »

  • Western Michigan's Terry Easmon tackles UMass quarterback Mike Wegzyn in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday Oct. 6, 2012, in Kalamazoo, Mich. (AP Photo/The Gazette, Matt Gade)

    Western Michigan's Terry Easmon tackles UMass quarterback Mike Wegzyn in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday Oct. 6, 2012, in Kalamazoo, Mich. (AP Photo/The Gazette, Matt Gade) Purchase photo reprints »

  • Western Michigan's Johnnie Simon,left,  hits UMass' Deion Walker just short of the end zone in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday Oct. 6, 2012, in Kalamazoo, Mich. (AP Photo/The Gazette, Matt Gade)
  • Jamie Wilson, right, of Western Michigan tries to shove away Tom Brandt of the University of Massachusetts after a reception Saturday in Kalamazoo, Mich. Western Michigan won 52-14. (AP Photo)
  • Jamie Wilson, back, of Western Michigan catches a pass  in front of Randall Jette of the University of Masssachusetts on Saturday in Kalamazoo, Mich. Western Michigan won 52-14. (AP Photo)
  • Matt Cutler, top, of Western Michigan University scores over the University of Massachusetts defense Saturday n Kalamazoo, Mich. Western Michigan won 52-14. (AP Photo)
  • Western Michigan's Terry Easmon tackles UMass quarterback Mike Wegzyn in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday Oct. 6, 2012, in Kalamazoo, Mich. (AP Photo/The Gazette, Matt Gade)
  • Dareyon Chance, center, of Western Michigan is swarmed by the University of Massachusetts defense Saturday in Kalamazoo, Mich. Western Michigan won 52-14. (AP Photo)
  • Brian Fields, right, of Western Michigan, carries the ball as Antoin Scriven, center, blocks Trey Dudley-Giles of the University of Massachusetts on  Saturday in Kalamazoo, Mich. Western Michigan won 52-14. (AP Photo)
  • Justin Collins, left, of Western Michigan runs downfield as Jovan Santos-Knox of the Universtiy of Massachusetts closes in for the tackle  Saturday in Kalamazoo, Mich. Western Michigan won 52-14.(AP Photo)
  • Josh Schaffer, center, of Western Michigan breaks free from the University of Massachusetts defense Saturday in Kalamazoo, Mich. Western Michigan won 52-14. (AP Photo)
  • Western Michigan quarterback Tyler Van Tubbergen delivers a pass against the University of Massachusetts on Saturday in Kalamazoo, Mich.  Western Michigan won 52-14. (AP Photo)
  • Massachusetts' Michael Cox scores the team's lone touchdown of the first half of an NCAA college football game against Western Michigan, Saturday Oct. 6, 2012, in Kalamazoo, Mich. (AP Photo/The Gazette, Matt Gade)
  • Western Michigan's Terry Easmon tackles UMass quarterback Mike Wegzyn in the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday Oct. 6, 2012, in Kalamazoo, Mich. (AP Photo/The Gazette, Matt Gade)

Instead, the Minutemen took a step in the wrong direction.

Failing to get any momentum while on offense and unable to stop the Broncos on defense, UMass left Kalamazoo with a 52-14 loss and plenty of questions entering the bye week.

“I don’t think we made any strides as a football team,” Minuteman coach Charley Molnar said. “Our special teams played OK, (but) offense, defense, if anything, we took a step back.”

UMass (0-6, 0-3 Mid-American Conference) forced a punt on Western Michigan’s first possession, but was unable to solve the Bronco offense on the next four drives. Following a 2-yard touchdown run by Antoin Scriven with 9 minutes, 24 seconds left in the second quarter, the Minutemen were in a 28-0 hole.

“They were just moving the ball at will,” said senior linebacker Perry McIntyre, who led UMass with 13 tackles. “We just needed to be a little more fundamentally sound, a little more disciplined.”

After their second touchdown, the Broncos (3-3, 1-1 MAC) attempted a squib kick that hit UMass up-man Tom Brandt and was recovered by Western Michigan. Four plays later, quarterback Tyler Van Tubbergen found tight end Matt Cutler to push the Bronco lead to 21.

“The guy just turned his back and started running back and it hit him. They already had momentum on their side,” Molnar said of the kick recovered by Western Michigan. “When that happened, I think that opened up the floodgates.”

The Minutemen were missing five key players — guard Nick Speller, wide receiver Alan Williams, tight end Rob Blanchflower and defensive backs Mike Lee and Antoine Tharpe — who did not make the trip.

Blanchflower (lower leg) and Tharpe (foot) were out with injuries.

“Most of the guys didn’t make the trip because of academic-related issues,” Molnar said. “Here’s one thing for sure — guys are going to class, guys are going to take care of their academic responsibility or they won’t play football here.”

Following an interception by Darren Thellen late in the second half, UMass was able to score when Mike Cox scored from 1-yard out to cut the lead to 28-7 heading into halftime. Cox finished with 19 yards on 11 attempts.

The momentum was short-lived for the Minutemen. The Broncos scored on their first possession after halftime and added two more touchdowns in the third quarter to push the lead to 49-7.

At that point, UMass made a change at quarterback, bringing in freshman A.J. Doyle to replace Mike Wegzyn. On Doyle’s first play, he faked a handoff and ran up the middle before a referee inadvertently blew the play dead for a 23-yard gain.

“It looked like he was ready to take it to the house,” Molnar said. “It wouldn’t have had any major impact on the outcome of the game. It would have been nice, but those are part of football, and I’m sure we’ll discuss those in private.”

Doyle finished as the Minutemen’s leading rusher with 33 yards on five carries. He was also 5-of-10 passing for 47 yards and an interception.

Wegzyn completed 12 passes for 88 yards, but was sacked four times and was pressured most of the game. Wegzyn did not blame the loss of Speller for the offensive troubles.

“That probably was a factor in the game, but even with that, we should have been able to handle them. We are not the team that played today, that was not UMass,” Wegzyn said.

Jordan Broadnax scored for the Minutemen on a 10-yard run with 1:41 left in the game to put a cap on the scoring. Broadnax had 15 yards on three carries.

The Broncos were led by redshirt junior quarterback Van Tubbergen, who got the start in place of injured Alex Carder. Van Tubbergen completed 23-of-28 passes for 283 yards and five touchdowns, and completed passes to 11 different receivers.

Molnar said coming off a solid week of practice, he was surprised by the outcome.

“If we didn’t have such a good week of practice, I’d stand in front of you and tell you I’m not surprised, but I am surprised,” Molnar said. “I knew Western was good … I just thought our guys would be more competitive.”

McIntyre said that the team will use its bye week to put in more work and come out ready to play the final six games of the season, starting with Bowling Green at noon Oct. 20 at Gillette Stadium.

“It’s frustrating, but we have six more games, so it’s not over. We’re not looking forward to next year, we’re just taking it one game at a time and trying to win,” McIntyre said.

Follow UMass coverage on Twitter at twitter.com/GazetteUMass. Get UMass coverage delivered in your Facebook news feed at www.facebook.com/GazetteUMassCoverage.

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