Army clinched a must-needed win Saturday after giving a beating to UMass, 63-7, bringing their five-game losing streak to an end.
The Black Knights triple option got off to an early start with a 4-yard TD run by Sandon McCoy, who would put up three scores on 14 carries by the end of the afternoon. Army (4-6) played a complete game like no other that we’ve seen this season against UMass (1-9), finishing the matchup with a total of 498 rushing yards and 48 passing yards. The Black Knights nearly doubled the Minuteman in the possession battle, controlling the ball for 41:13 minutes in comparison to 18:47 on the part of UMass.
After 12 plays and a 75-yard drive, McCoy’s TD runs put Army up ahead 21-7 going on the second half. In true Army playing style, fullback Connor Slomka also got some of the action in the second quarter. Capitalizing off a Minuteman turnover, Firstie Ryan Velez intercepted a pass by UMass quarterback Andrew Brito at their 28-yard line and returned it for 16 yards. Slomka would complete two short 9 and 3-yard rushes on the next drive for a touchdown.
The offensive line sailed through UMass with sophomore quarterback Jabari Laws who totted the ball eight times for 140 yards. At the top of the second half, he bested a career-high 83-yard touchdown rush, arguably one of the most beautiful plays of the game.
UMass was held to only 125 yards on 48 plays and that’s thanks to the Army defensive effort which total three sacks, and eight tackles—five of which were made by Arik Smith.
Kelvin Hopkins Jr. and freshman quarterback Jemel Jones also netted a touchdown run each. This was the bounce-back victory Army needed after coming off a close-call loss against Air Force (7-2)
Next weekend, Army will see VMI for the last home game of the season at 12:00 pm EST.