FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Massachusetts coach Charley Molnar liked the energy and focus from his team as they warmed up prior to their home opener Saturday at Gillette Stadium.
The Minutemen seemed more distracted as the game wore on, the first at their new field since moving to the Football Bowl Subdivision.
Tre Roberson scored on runs of 50 and 39 yards before leaving with a broken left leg and Indiana spoiled Massachusetts' first home game since its upgrade with a 45-6 win.
"You can see when a team gets more interested in what's going on in the stands and waving and just peeking around to see what was going on. These guys during warm-ups were good. They were locked into what we were doing," said Molnar, in his first season as coach of the Minutemen.
"We need to bring our 'A' game every single week. There's not going to be many games where the talent level is going to be even on that field. It's just not going to be.
"So, for us to win the game, for us to stay in the game, we've got to bring our 'A' game. And if we brought our 'A' game, it quickly dissolved into a 'B' game or less for some guys."
Playing in front of an announced attendance of 16,304, about a quarter of the seats at the home of the three-time Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, the Minutemen were no match for one of the Big Ten's weaker teams. The Hoosiers led 21-6 midway through the first quarter and already had totaled 223 yards.
Massachusetts, though, mounted more offense in the first quarter Saturday than it did a week ago in its bowl subdivision debut, a 37-0 loss to Connecticut. The Minutemen mustered three first downs and 59 yards of offense, never taking an offensive snap in Huskies territory.
Massachusetts managed 155 yards of total offense and seven first downs in the opening 15 minutes Saturday, but finished with just 264 yards.
Redshirt freshman Mike Wegzyn completed 18 of 26 passes for 151 yards for the Minutemen, who moved to the Mid-American Conference after posting a 5-6 record last year, their fifth in the Colonial Athletic Association.
"Speaking from the offensive side, we really found our identity this week and I think it showed a little bit in spurts during the game, but we have things to polish up," Wegzyn said. "Little things that we kept doing wrong to stop our flow as an offense . So that kind of made it harder for us to keep drives sustained and keep moving.