Justin Henderson was electric for the Dawgs. He scored four total touchdowns, three rushing and one receiving, all in the first half. Tech finished with 385 rushing yards and 304 passing yards. UMass was held to 347 total yards in the game.
J’Mar Smith threw for 239 yards with three touchdowns and no picks. Backup Aaron Allen added his second career touchdown pass in the second half to go with 49 yards.
The Bulldogs raced out to a 42-0 lead after just over a quarter of play. Amik Robertson intercepted UMass quarterback Michael Curtis on the opening drive and took it to the house for the game’s first points. Tech’s offense would then score on its first five drives.
UMass scored a couple of touchdowns after that thanks in part to some special teams errors from Tech, but Connor Taylor halted the visitors’ momentum before it started with another interception, this time against backup quarterback Randall West.
The Bulldogs brought the starters back out for the second half’s opening drive, but brought in back ups after that with the score sitting at 55-14.
Tech’s 69 points was its highest since scoring 76 against Rice in 2014.
While the Bulldogs looked the best they have all season, it must be remembered that UMass has not been good at all this year. Despite the massive score, there are still things that need to be cleaned up.
UMass was able to go on a miniature run after Tech gave up a huge kickoff return that saw UMass start a drive at the Tech 10-yard line. After UMass got its first points a couple of plays later, Tech fumbled just short of the goal line, allowing UMass to take over. While the Minutemen went three and out, Tech muffed the punt, giving UMass good field position again. The Minutemen scored their second straight touchdown after this.
While those errors didn’t mean much in this game, those kinds of mistakes can be the difference in winning or losing in closer games. Tech will need to clean those up with some tough games coming up.
For UMass, this season has looked bleak for a while, so this doesn’t really change much. The Minutemen are one of the youngest teams in the nation, however. They just need to focus on getting better and learning down the stretch.
The Minutemen now have an off week before hosting UConn. Louisiana Tech, meanwhile, now turns its attention to the Rivalry in Dixie showdown against Southern Miss in Ruston next week. With the Bulldogs and Golden Eagles being the last two teams in the west without a conference loss, that game could have massive implications for the division title race.