Sept. 5, 2010

Courtesy of UMass

AMHERST, Mass. - One area that UMass came into 2010 with depth was tailback and it was on display in the conference opener as the Minutemen downed No. 4 William & Mary, 27-23, before 10,072 fans at McGuirk Stadium. Senior tailback John Griffin rushed for two touchdowns and junior Jonathan Hernandez  gained 201 yards of total offense (132 rushing and 69 receiving) as the Minutemen posted their eighth season-opening win in the last 10 contests.

UMass (1-0) has now won four of its last five home games against teams ranked No. 4 in the country and the Minutemen are 8-5 in their last 13 games vs. teams in the Top 5, dating to 2002. The Tribe falls to 0-1.

Griffin had the go-ahead score with 3:23 as he ran up the middle from five yards out. The Minutemen attempted a two-point conversion, but failed. Junior All-American Tyler Holmes clinched the win with an interception with 2:05 left in the fourth giving UMass the ball at the Tribe's 31-yard line.

The Minutemen secured the win, converting a fourth-down as Hernandez ran for seven yards with 1:36 left in regulation. The Tribe had used all its timeouts at that point and UMass was able to run out the clock.

The senior transfers Griffin and Anthony Nelson made immediate impacts scoring three of UMass' four touchdowns. Hernandez ran for more than 100 yards for the third time in his career with 132 on 25 carries and scored a touchdown.

William & Mary took a 16-14 lead just prior to halftime on a 17-yard field goal by David Miller as the Tribe took advantage of two UMass penalties in the final minute.

The Minutemen had failed on a fourth-down attempt deep in William & Mary territory with 1:22 left in the third quarter. The Tribe proceeded to go 96 yards in 1:34 as Mike Callahan connected with Cameron Dohse from 34-yards out to extend William & Mary's lead to 23-14 with 14:27 left in the fourth quarter.

The Minutemen inched closer at 23-21 as Hernandez rumbled in from two yards out with 9:40 left in the fourth quarter. He had five carries for 32 yards on the drive.

Nelson scored his touchdown on a 36-yard pass from Kyle Havens while Griffin had a 4-yard rushing score, both in the second quarter.