Akron improved to 4-5 overall (2-3 MAC), while the Minutemen fell to 1-8 overall (0-5 MAC).
Sophomore QB Thomas Woodson was 15-of-27 for 174 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 58 yards. Senior RB Conor Hundley led all rushers with 92 yards on 23 carries, while sophomore WR Jerome Lane was the top receiver with 56 yards on four receptions.
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UMass QB Blake Frohnapfel went 19-of-43 for 173 yards.
UMass jumped on the scoreboard first as RB Jamal Wilson ran for nine yards to top a five-play, 40-yard drive with 7:50 remaining in the first quarter.
The Zips responded with a TD of their own to tie the game. Following back-to-back first downs, including a 19-yard pass to sophomore WR Jerome Lane,Woodson connected with sophomore WR Austin Wolf on a 27-yard touchdown pass, the second touchdown of his career.
With 6:52 to go in the second quarter, Woodson was picked off on the first play of the second drive by SS Trey Dudley-Giles. The turnover led to a UMass field goal six plays later as Logan Laurent booted a 36-yarder to put the Minutemen ahead 10-7.
On their next drive, the Zips fumbled and it was recovered by Dudley-Giles.
On the very next play, however, junior DE Se'Von Pittman forced a fumble, pushing the Minutemen back 10 yards. UMass continued its drive, finishing with a 40-yard field goal by Laurent to go ahead 13-7.
Akron got the ball back with 24 seconds remaining in the half, but Woodson was picked off again to close the stanza. UMass took a six-point advantage into the locker room at halftime.
Momentum shifted to start the second half. On the Minutemen's opening drive, senior LB Jatavis Brown had an eight-yard sack, forcing UMass to punt on a 4th-and-17 from its own 23.
On the next drive, Akron took 10 plays to drive 73 yards over 4:52 as Woodson ran into the end zone for a 15-yard touchdown, giving the Zips their first lead on the day, 14-13.
The Minutemen suffered two sacks on their next posssession. First, redshirt junior DE Jamal Marcus had a six-yard sack, pushing UMass back on a third-and-nine. A UA penalty, however, gave the Minutemen a first down. UMass was going for it on a fourth-and-10 when senior NT Cody Grice sacked Frohnapfel for a loss of eight yards.
On their next drive, Grice was brought in at fullback on a third-and-one. On a fourth-and-inches, Grice gave the Zips a first down to keep the drive alive. UA finished the 13-play, 32-yard drive with a 42-yard field goal attempt by senior PK Robert Stein, but it went wide right. The Zips ended the third quarter up by one, 14-13.
In the fourth quarter, Zips' DB Kris Givens had an interception. UA took advantage, recording three straight first downs en route to a 36-yard field goal by Stein to give the Zips a 17-13 cushion.
With 1:52 to go, UMass started its final drive. After converting a fourth-and-one, Frohnapfel threw a long bomb, which was intercepted by DB DeAndre Scott, sealing the Zips' win. UA took a knee on its next possession, ending the game.
Akron continues MAC road play on Saturday, Nov. 14, with its final regular-season road game at Miami (Ohio). Kickoff is set for Noon ET on ESPN3.
UMass heads to Eastern Michigan Saturday.
(Courtesy of UA Athletics)