DURHAM, N.H.-- Steve Baylark rushed for 192 yards and three touchdowns on 43 carries -- all career highs -- to propel the University of Massachusetts football team to Saturday afternoon's 38-21 Atlantic 10 victory against seventh-ranked University of New Hampshire at Cowell Stadium. Baylark was awarded the Bill Knight Trophy as the game's MVP.
UNH is now 4-2 overall and 1-2 in Atlantic 10 and UMass is 3-4, 1-3.
The Minutemen entered the second quarter trailing 14-3, but Baylark's touchdown runs of five yards (at 11:08) and nine yards (2:22) gave the visitors a lead they would not relinquish, 17-14. UMass extended its lead to 24-14 with 33 seconds remaining in the half on a Tim Day-to-Brandon London nine-yard touchdown pass.
UNH trimmed the deficit to 24-21 at 10:45 when Mike Granieri (Linwood, N.J.) connected with David Ball (Orange, Vt.) on a 35-yard pass play. The Wildcats were held to 99 yards and committed four turnovers the rest of the half, however.
Day (18-for-33, 293 yards) threw his second touchdown pass of the game, this time a seven-yard completion to Mike Douglas, at 1:05 of the third quarter to extend the advantage to 31-21. Baylark's third TD run of the game, which came with 1:57 to play, capped the scoring.
Granieri, who had not played since incurring a knee injury in the season opener, entered the game in the second quarter and finished 19 of 31 for 170 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Ricky Santos (Bellingham, Mass.), who platooned with Granieri following his entry, went 16-for-32 for 98 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions.
London was UMass' top receiver with 136 yards on seven receptions. UNH's Ball was the game's leading receiver with 15 catches for 145 yards. Daivd Bailey (Bronx, N.Y.) also reached double digits in receptions with 10 for 69 yards for the 'Cats.
The Wildcats quickly took a 7-0 on the game's opening possession when Santos completed a seven-yard pass to Shaun Diner (Montreal, Quebec) at 12:00. A 49-yard interception return by Aaron Thomas (Lansdale, Pa.) gave UNH a 14-0 lead at 10:40.
UMass pulled within 14-3 on a 24-yard field goal by Michael Torres at 1:41 of the first quarter.
New Hampshire returns to action Oct. 23 at home vs. Hofstra University. Kickoff is 12 p.m.