Plays That Mattered: Duquesne

  • University of Massachusetts senior quarterback Andrew Ford steps back to pass against Duquesne in the first quarter of the Minutemen's 63-15 win over the Dukes in their home opener at Warren McGuirk Stadium in Amherst on Saturday, August 25, 2018.

Staff Writer
Published: 8/27/2018 2:28:04 PM

AMHERST — Every Monday, I’m going to break down the three plays that mattered in the game the previous Saturday.  

Obviously UMass made plenty of big plays during its 63-15 steamrolling of Duquesne on Saturday, giving me plenty of choices for this week. The Minutemen had seven plays of 20-plus yards in the first half against the Dukes, but only one of them is going to appear on this list.

1. 32-yard touchdown pass from Andrew Ford to Brennon Dingle.

Situation: UMass 1st-and-10 from Duquesne 32. 14:05 left in first quarter.

Formation: Andrew Ford under center with Marquis Young in the backfield. Avian Peah is lined up as a tight end off the left tackle and Ford has two receivers to his right and one to his left.

The Play: Sadiq Palmer fakes the end around off the right side as Andy Isabella runs a simple crossing route about 10 yards downfield. Brennon Dingle beats Daquan Worley on a corner route and then elongates the route to the end zone once he sees the space in front of him. Ford rolls to his left and delivers the pass over Worley to the sideline in the end zone where the oncoming safety had no play on it. Dingle completes the play by hauling in the pass with both feet inbounds and maintaining control after the fall out of bounds.

2. 44-yard touchdown pass from Andrew Ford to Andy Isabella.

Situation: UMass 3rd-and-11 on Duquesne 44. 12:32 left in the third quarter.

Formation: Ford in shotgun formation with an empty backfield. He has two receivers on his left and three on his right.

The Play: We’ll ignore the other four receivers and just focus on Isabella because he’s the one who does all the work on this play. The senior realizes that Ford is scrambling to his side of the field and is aware enough to force the cornerback to flip his hips the wrong way, giving Isabella the chance to sneak in behind him to give Ford an open target. Once he catches the ball, however, the real fun begins as Isabella stutter-steps enough to freeze the safety, Spencer Demedal, and then slide past his lunging grasp before strolling into the end zone.

3. 60-yard interception return for a touchdown by Brice McAllister.

Situation: Duquesne 2nd-and-7 from UMass 49. 10:19 left in third quarter.

Formation: UMass lined up in a nickel package with two linebackers, four linemen and five defensive backs on the field.

The Play: Brice McAllister will get all the credit for this play, but the real star of this play is Xavier Steele. The sophomore did an excellet job confusing Duquesne quarterback Daniel Parr on the play with his movements pre-snap. Once Steele blitzes off the left side untouched, Parr has to get rid of the ball and chooses to target the man Steele was theoretically covering. However, McAllister read the play perfectly from his spot as a safety and jumps the route for an easy interception. Although McAllister likely would have scored anyway, the block from Chinedu Ogbonna was perfectly-timed to remove any threay of the Connecticut transfer being caught.

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