Notebook: UMass QB Ross Comis makes debut in loss to No. 25 Florida

  • Massachusetts quarterback Ross Comis looks for a receiver during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Florida , Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

  • Massachusetts quarterback Ross Comis (2) runs for a touchdown against the Florida defense during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

  • Massachusetts quarterback Ross Comis (2) throws a pass against Florida during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

@MattVautourDHG
Published: 9/4/2016 1:29:03 AM

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – There were plays quarterback Ross Comis would like to have back from his debut as the starter, but like the UMass football team itself, he thought his first game had plenty to build on.

Comis was 9 for 17 for 141 yards in Saturday night’s 24-7 loss to No. 25 Florida. He didn’t throw a touchdown or an interception. He was sacked four times for 33 yards. He missed his first three throws, one of which was negated by a roughing-the-passer penalty, and looked a little too over energized to start the game.

But after his fourth-down, 24-yard completion to Jalen Williams kept a drive alive on the last play of the first quarter, the redshirt sophomore was more comfortable.

“That throw got me going and got this team some confidence,” Comis said.

UMass coach Mark Whipple saw some promise.

“I thought Ross showed some toughness and some ability there,” Whipple said. “He was really amped up as all the guys were. But he hung in there and did some things.”

Comis showed off his running ability on UMass’ only touchdown, slipping out of the hands of a defender for the 5-yard scoring run.

Comis said the Minutemen will be better going forward.

“I’m proud of these guys. We didn’t get down and we didn’t give up. We played hard all the way through,” he said. “This absolutely won’t be the highlight. We know how good we are.”

DEBUTS – Several Minutemen saw their first career action. Junior college transfer Ali Ali-Musa started as did true freshman offensive lineman Raquan Thomas.

JUCOs Malik Lee and Colbert Calhoun saw the field as did freshmen Sadiq Palmer, James Bowe Jr., Bilal Ally, Martin Mangram, Isaiah Rodgers and Mario Patton.

Junior college quarterback Andrew Ford made his Minuteman debut, leading the final series without throwing a pass.

KICKING, PUNTING – UMass junior punter Logan Laurent matched his career high with a 56-yarder on his first kick of the game. He finished with seven punts for 288 yards. Sophomore Michael Caggiano made the only extra point he attempt.

MISCELLANEOUS – Florida extended the longest season-opening winning streak to 27 games.

Peter Angeh, Shane Huber, Michael Boland and Bernard Davis served as the game captains for UMass.

The game clock was out for much of the first half. The referees kept time on the field and announced it every time the clock stopped.

UMass got four penalties prior to punts: three delay of games and an illegal formation.

SPURRIER HONORED – Legendary Florida player and coach Steve Spurrier was honored before the game when the surface of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium officially became Steve Spurrier-Florida Field.

The Gator marching band spelled out 1966 Heisman in his honor at halftime.

DUCASSE CUT – Former UMass offensive lineman Vlad Ducasse was cut by the Baltimore Ravens. Ducasse, a six-year veteran, will try to catch on elsewhere. If he doesn’t, receivers Tajae Sharpe and Victor Cruz will be the only former Minutemen in the NFL to begin the 2016 season.




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