It wasn't that Coastal Carolina throttled UMass on Saturday afternoon, and it wasn't the 53-3 final score that got to Minuteman coach Walt Bell.
The Chanticleers scored the first seven times they had the football, even getting a first-quarter touchdown after a blocked punt and a second-quarter safety following a bad snap on a fourth-down punt play that contributed to the blowout.
"The most disappointing thing for me is we had opportunities early in the football game," Bell said. "We weren't able to put ourselves and plant ourselves in the game early."
The 17th-ranked Chanticleers, who are now 4-0 against the Minutemen all-time, had 558 yards in total offense, compared to 158 yards in total offense for Bell's squad.
The Minutemen only crossed midfield once until the final drive of the second quarter. They went from their own 25 to the Coastal Carolina 15, but the drive stalled as the first half came to an end.
UMass won the toss, elected to receive and ran five plays before being forced to punt. The Minutemen did have to burn a time out before the first offensive play. That, in a typical game, could have come back to bite the team that called it. The way this one played out, the Minutemen never really needed the time out.
Coastal Carolina got a blocked punt after the UMass drive stalled. Mason Shelton blocked the kick and recovered the ball on the UMass 4-yard line. A high-powered offense like the one head coach Jamey Chadwell uses doesn't need a lot of time to score. It took Coastal only two plays to punch the ball in with quarterback Grayson McCall taking it in from three yards out. Kicker Kieran Colahan missed the PAT kick, giving Coastal a 6-0 lead. As it turned out, that was probably the only thing the Chanticleers did wrong on offense all day.
It was a really rough day for UMass freshman quarterback Brady Olson. Olson was 14 of 23 for only 86 yards. He was sacked three times and was in the stat book for minus-33 yards rushing. Garrett Dzuro relieved Olson late in the second half, because the UMass starter was taking a beating.
One week after running back Ellis Merriweather ran for 144 yards in the loss to Eastern Michigan, he was held to 30 yards rushing on six carries.
Up next for UMass is a home date on Saturday against Toledo. Kickoff is scheduled for noon. Toledo, another old Mid-American Conference rival of the Minutemen, brings a 2-2 record to McGuirk Alumni Stadium after beating Ball State 22-12 on Saturday.