A defensive stop on a two-point conversion attempt and two long touchdown returns gave Massachusetts a 42-26 victory Saturday over Central Connecticut State.
The Minutemen (3-2) broke a two-game losing streak on spectacular, fourth-quarter plays by Jesse Julmiste and Darren Thellen. Quarterback Gunnar Jespersen had pulled Central Connecticut (2-4) within 28-26 on a short touchdown pass to tight end Raul DeBenendittis. The two-point conversion attempt failed. Then Julmiste returned the ensuing kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown.
On the next Blue Devils possession, Jespersen was picked off by Thellen. He returned his second interception of the evening 85 yards for a touchdown. Those 14 unanswered points spoiled an otherwise good night for Jespersen, who also ran for 93 yards and two touchdowns.
In his second start, UMass quarterback Brandon Hill hit Emil Igwenagu for a 58-yard touchdown. Jonathan Hernandez rushed for two TDs.