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(Friday, November 23)
Final Score: Central Michigan 42, Massachusetts 21
Foxborough, MA (Sports Network) - Zurlon Tipton scored four rushing touchdown to push to Central Michigan Chippewas to a 42-21 victory over the Massachusetts Minutemen in a Mid-American Conference regular season closer at Gillette Stadium.
Tipton gained 185 yards on 25 carries to record his sixth consecutive 100-yard game as Central Michigan (6-6, 4-4 MAC) raised its record back up to the .500 mark to become bowl eligible. Ryan Radcliff went 10-of-19 under center for 82 yards with a touchdown and interception. Jahleel Addae made an impact on the defensive side of the ball with eight stops, two tackles for loss, and one of the team's four interceptions.
A.J. Doyle completed 30-of-45 attempts for 253 yards and two touchdowns for UMass (1-11, 1-7), but was also guilty of three interceptions. Rob Branchflower made 10 receptions for 100 yards and a score while Michael Cox paced the team on the ground with 66 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. Perry McIntyre registered 18 total tackles in his final collegiate game.
Central Michigan struck first as Tipton punched it in from a yard out for the opening quarter's only touchdown.
The Chippewas added onto their advantage early in the second quarter when Radcliff completed a five-yard touchdown pass to Connor Odykirk.
UMass was unable to get anything going until it received a boost from its defense. Darren Thellen intercepted Radcliff and returned it to the CMU nine- yard line. The Minutemen then scored on third down when Cox rushed one yard across the goal like to make it 14-7.
The Minutemen then took over at midfield with just over two minutes left in the second frame. Doyle guided the offense down the field before he found Branchflower in the endzone for an eight-yard touchdown pass, which evened the score at 14 with seconds remaining before the intermission.
The home team appeared to be headed towards its second win in as many weeks as Doyle found Walker for an 11 yard touchdown pass at the conclusion of the Minutemen's opening drive in the third quarter.
Central Michigan trailed until the 2:21 mark of the third period when Tipton scored a three-yard run to even the score. Addae intercepted Doyle on UMass's ensuing possession and Tipton rushed it in from nine yards out on the next play to give his team a 28-21 advantage heading into the final quarter.
Saylor Lavallii scored on a six yard run just under three minutes into the fourth frame to give CMU some insurance. Tipton then scored his fourth and final touchdown with 6:19 remaining on a 61-yard dash to the end zone.
Three of the Minutemen's final five drives ended with an interception, one ended with a turnover-on-downs, and they also punted once over that span. CMU scored touchdowns on four of its last five possessions to become bowl eligible for the first time since 2010. The Minutemen's loss concluded their first season as a member of the FBS.
11/23 21:15:47 ET
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