FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — While BYU is fresh off a painful, last-second loss at Boise State, UMass is coming off a thrilling, dramatic victory.

The two teams collide Saturday (10 a.m., MST, BYUtv) at Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots.

The Minutemen rallied from a 45-31 deficit in the fourth quarter against Liberty last Saturday at McGuirk Stadium in Amherst. UMass tied the game with 25 seconds remaining in regulation and eventually won in triple overtime, 62-59.

“We’ve got to keep him bottled up as a whole as a secondary.”

BYU defensive coordinator Ilaisa Tuiaki on UMass star receiver Andy Isabella

Cooper Garcia booted a 22-yard field goal in that third overtime period to lift the Minutemen (4-6) to victory.

It was a record-setting performance for UMass, as the Minutemen racked up a school-record 777 yards of total offense.

UMass’ 5-foot-10, 190-pound senior wide receiver Andy Isabella, who leads the nation in receiving yardage with 1,394 yards, caught nine passes for a school-record 303 yards and two touchdowns. He had TD catches of 89 and 61 yards.

“You’ve seen his numbers. He’s a phenomenal player, really fast, a good player,” BYU defensive coordinator Ilaisa Tuiaki said of Isabella. “We’ve got to keep him bottled up as a whole as a secondary.”

The previous school receiving record was held by Victor Cruz, who had 262 receiving yards in a game in 2008. Cruz was part of the New York Giants team that helped beat the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI in 2012.

In last year’s 16-10 win over BYU in Provo, Isabella caught seven passes for 84 yards, including a 40-yard touchdown.

UMass senior quarterback Ross Comis completed 29 of 44 passes for 540 yards, four touchdowns and one interception against Liberty and he also ran for 82 yards and had a pair of rushing touchdowns.

Comis took over as the starter earlier this season when Andrew Ford went down to an injury.

UMass averages 35 points and 457 yards of offense per game.

“I’ve seen a lot of points put up. They have a very good slot receiver. They have some good receivers in general. They can air it out, they can run the ball, they can put up a lot of points,” said BYU safety Austin Lee of the Minutemen offense. “We’re going to have to be really disciplined in how we do that. The key for us is to start out fast. That’s the biggest thing. The games that we have …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News


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