AMHERST, Mass. - Tajae Sharpe led UMass with a career-high 239 yards on 13 receptions, while Shadrach Abrokwah and Lorenzo Woodley each scored rushing touchdowns to lead Massachusetts to a 24-10 victory over Ball State on Wednesday night.
Blake Frohnapfel was 28-of-44 for 424 yards for UMass (3-7, 3-3 Mid-American).
The Minutemen defense forced two fumbles and had two interceptions against the Cardinals, who entered the game 18th nationally with just 11 turnovers. Nine of those turnovers have occurred in the last two outings.
Ball State (3-7, 2-4) was led by sophomore QB Jack Milas, who was 23-of-37 for 210 yards and a touchdown through the air. Senior running back Jahwan Edward, coming off his fourth 100-yard-plus game of the season, was held to a season low 36 yards on 16 carries. Junior wideout Jordan Williams led BSU receivers with seven catches for 84 yards and the Cardinals’ only touchdown.
The Minutemen jumped out to a quick lead in front of the mid-week crowd at McGuirk Stadium, taking the opening possession of the game 77 yards in three plays to go up 7-0 in the first 62 seconds of play. A 61-yard catch-and-run by Sharpe was the key play of the drive, with Abrokwah finishing from three yards out.
Just as quickly as UMass was able to score on its opening possession, Ball State responded with an eight-play, 68-yard drive to tie the game 7-7. Jordan Williams hauled in a 33-yard reception from Milas for the score despite being heavily covered by a UMass defender.
The second quarter saw the Minutemen pitch a shutout defensively while the offense added 10 points. At the 9:12 mark of the quarter, Lorenzo Woodley punched the ball over the goal line from a yard out, capping an 80-yard drive putting UMass up 14-7. Logan Laurent later added a 24-yard field goal as time expired in the first half, extending the lead to 17-7 at the intermission.
The third quarter was a defensive battle just one score. A 37-yard field goal by the Cardinals' Scott Secor allowed BSU to pull within 17-10.
The Minutemen, however, found their offense in the fourth quarter, ultimately converting a Trey Seals interception into a seven points on an Elgin Long rush with 5:40 remaining to ice the game at 24-10.
UMass will travel to Akron on Tuesday, Nov. 18 for its final road game of the season. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. Eastern Time.
Ball State if off until Saturday, Nov. 22 when it hosts Eastern Michigan (2 p.m. ET).
(Courtesy of UMass Athletics/MRO Edit)