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Connecticut 49, Massachusetts 16

November 15, 1997

AMHERST, Mass. (AP) _ Shane Stafford passed for three touchdowns and set a school single-season record for touchdown passes to lead Connecticut to a 49-16 victory over Massachusetts on Saturday at McGuirk Alumni Stadium.

Connecticut used a 65-yard drive for its first touchdown and capitalized on turnovers for two more on the way to a 21-3 first half advantage.

It was the final game of the season for UMass, which lost its last four games and finished 2-9 overall and 1-7 in the Atlantic 10. UConn, which has a game remaining, is 7-3 overall and 4-3 in the A-10.

After the game, UMass coach Mike Hodges announced his resignation after six seasons with the Minutemen, finishing with a 34-31 mark. He had four winning seasons in his six years, including an 8-3 record in 1992, when he was named New England Division 1 Coach of the Year.

``UMass is a championship program,″ said Hodges. ``That’s why I came here and that’s why I’m resigning as head coach. It’s time to make a change so we can get back to a championship level.″

UMass scored a 30-yard field goal by Matt Murphy on its first series of the game.

UConn then drove 65 yards on its first possession to take the lead for good, 7-3. Chad Martin scored from the one.

The Huskies’ Labon Marsh intercepted UMass’s Anthony Catterton to set up another touchdown in the first quarter. Chris Atkinson ran the final yard for the score.

UConn scored again in the second quarter, this time on a 25-yard pass from Stafford to Dan Deignan.

Stafford, the 6-3 senior from Reading, Pa., who now has 22 TD passes for the season, wound up with 14 for 26 completions for 312 yards. The previous record of 21 was set by Matt DeGennaro in 1990.

In his team’s 28-point third quarter, he completed a 77-yard touchdown pass to Carl Bond and a 31-yarder to Tory Taylor.

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