Recap: Massachusetts vs. Colorado
Foxboro, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - Sefo Liafui passed for 318 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Colorado Buffaloes to a 41-38 victory over the Massachusetts Minutemen in a non-conference shootout at Gillette Stadium.
Liufau connected on 26-of-42 pass attempts, while Nelson Spruce paced Colorado (1-1) with 145 yards and two touchdowns on 10 receptions. Christian Powell contributed 80 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries and Tony Jones turned seven attempts into 47 yards and a score. Tedric Thompson anchored the Buffaloes' defense with 11 total tackles, a forced fumble and an interception.
For UMass (0-2), Blake Frohnapfel finished 20-of-38 for 267 yards with three touchdowns under center. Tajae Sharpe reeled in five catches for 83 yards, Jean Sifrin made a pair of touchdown grabs and Jamal Wilson racked up 47 yards on 10 carries. Jovan Santos-Knox recorded 12 total stops, including 1.5 tackles for loss and a sack.
Colorado opened up the contest with a nine-play, 48-yard drive which resulted in a 35-yard field goal by Will Oliver.
The Minutemen took their first lead of the contest near the six minute mark of the opening frame when Frohnapfel completed a 14-yard pass for a score to Rodney Mills.
The Buffaloes went back in front in the early stages of the second quarter, as Liufau connected with Shay Fields for a 19-yard touchdown pass. Oliver's successful extra-point attempt gave the visitors a 10-7 advantage on the scoreboard. Oliver then added three more points with a 47-yard field goal at the 8:31 mark of the second stanza.
UMass responded on its next drive, as Frohnapfel connected with Sifrin on a 12-yard touchdown pass that concluded a six-play, 70-yard drive. Colorado answered right back with a nine-play, 85-yard drive which Jones ended with a five-yard rush across the goal line.
After a pair of unproductive drives by both sides, the Minutemen took over control of the ball at the 30-yard line with only 48 seconds left before the intermission. Frohnapfel opened up the drive with a 36-yard pass to Marken Michel, who lost control of the ball before recovering his own fumble at the Buffaloes' 28-yard line. Four plays later, Frohnapfel hooked up with Sifrin on a 14-yard scoring pass that sent UMass into halftime with a 21-20 lead.
The Minutemen carried their momentum into the second half as Blake Lucas converted a 34-yard field goal attempt to notch the first points of the third quarter. Randall Jette intercepted Liufau on Colorado's next drive and returned the pick to the Buffaloes two-yard line before Wilson punched it in for six points on the following play to give the hosts a 31-20 lead.
Colorado began its climb back on its next drive by marching 63 yards on nine plays to set up a 14-yard touchdown run by Powell. The Buffaloes' defensive unit then came up with a clutch play, as it stopped UMass on 4th-and-two in Colorado territory.
The Buffaloes regained the lead at the 4:24 mark of the third frame, as Liufau completed a 70-yard touchdown strike to Spruce. Oliver's successful extra- point try put the visitors in front, 34-31.
Colorado extended its advantage in the fourth period, as Liufau found Spruce for a three-yard touchdown pass to finish off a nine-play, 81-yard drive.
UMass narrowed the gap with a six-play, 80-yard drive that Marken Michel ended with a six-yard touchdown run, but Colorado ran out the remaining 2:55 on the clock to clinch its first decision of the campaign.
The Buffaloes moved the chains on 10 out of their 18 third-down plays compared to the 5-of-15 third-down conversion efficiency of UMass.Game Notes