Daily Sports Smile: UMass football savors first win in two years with epic postgame celebration

Massachusetts quarterback Brady Olson (12) signals touchdown as UMass' Ellis Merriweather runs into the end zone in the first quarter during an NCAA college football game against Connecticut, Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, in Amherst, Mass. (J. Anthony Roberts/The Republican via AP)
Jaylon Thompson
USA TODAY Sports Plus

The University of Massachusetts Minutemen waited two years to taste victory on the gridiron. The Minutemen hadn’t won a game since Sept. 28, 2019 and carried a 16-game losing streak into a matchup against winless UConn on Saturday.

Both teams were winless this season. It set the stage for something special and the Minutemen made sure to seize the opportunity.

UMass rolled to a 27-13 victory in front of their home faithful. The victory snapped the losing streak and was a cause for celebration. Players and coaches were hype in the locker room after the game.

UMass head coach Walt Bell was overcome with gratitude after the win.

"Huge team win. Happy for our players more than anything," Bell said. "Just everything they've been through. It's been a long time for these guys. In 2019, we had 52 scholarship players and traveled 49 to our last game. We only had 65 players on the entire team and didn't even have scouts to practice against a year ago for our games.

"Everything those guys have been through from an adversity standpoint, incredibly excited for them. Great win."

UMass began the 2021 season with five losses. The win over UConn was a special moment for all the fans and supporters on campus.

The Minutemen will be back in action against Florida State on Oct. 23.