For the third straight week, the UConn Huskies shot themselves in the foot. Last week, they were fortunate enough to sneak out a victory. This week, not so much.
The Boise State Broncos took advantage of three UConn turnovers turning them into 21 points as they went on to a 38-21 road win in front of 30,098 at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, CT on Saturday afternoon.
UConn falls to 1-2 on the season while Boise State improves to 2-1.
“14 uncontested points where the defense or the special teams is not on the field against any opponent we are going to play, it becomes impossible to win the games, let alone a nationally branded powerhouse.” said UConn head coach Bob Diaco. “When you factor in another plus-field turnover, you’re talking about 21 points. That has to get solved. We are working hard to solve it and it’s hard to win football games when you do that. Those are the things that cause losing.”
In the game against BYU, Max DeLorenzo fumbled and BYU scored on it. Last week, Joshua Marriner fumbled and Stony Brook scored on it. This week, it was Arkeel Newsome who fumbled and Boise’s Tanner Vallejo scooped it up and took it to the end zone to put Boise out in front.
Give the Huskies credit though, they didn’t lay down or fold their cards.
They battled back and took the lead in the second quarter at 10-7 when Chandler Whitmer found Alec Bloom for a 16 yard touchdown. Unfortunately, the lead didn’t last as Boise scored 14 unanswered points to enjoy a 21-10 halftime lead.
After the kickers exchanged field goals during the third quarter, the Huskies cut the lead to eight when Whitmer hit Geremy Davis for a 10 yard pass and then hooked up with Newsome on a pass for the two point conversion. This got the Rent rocking.
The UConn defense did its job in holding Boise. But the offense went three and out. Again the defense stepped up and kept the Broncos from pay dirt.
Then the one thing that has plagued Whitmer during his career at UConn, untimely interceptions, happened. He tried to hit Deshon Foxx but Jonathan Moxey under cut the route and picked it up. Boise made the Huskies pay when Grant Hedrick hit Matt Miller for the second time to put the visitors up 31-21.
Any chance of a comeback took a hit when Donte Deayon picked off Whitmer (actually ripped the ball out of Davis’ hands) and returned it 50 yards for the touchdown.
Honestly, UConn had its chances but the things that cause losing happened. They had the crowd behind them after scoring to make it 24-21 and then they go three and out. They need to find a way to score points. They need to find a way to protect their quarterbacks. The combo of Whitmer and Tim Boyle were sacked eight times (Whitmer 7, Boyle 1).
Most importantly, they need to hold on to the football.
As Diaco said, you can’t spot the team a lead. UConn did its best to keep the Boise offense off the field early on. The problem was when they took the field for the first time, the Broncos were leading 7-0.
“We fought.” said Whitmer. “We were competitive. We overcame adversity. It is a four-quarter game and we have to find a way to finish in the end. We just can’t let it fall apart. We have to put this behind us.”
The Huskies now enter conference play starting next Friday night when they travel to Tampa, FL for a matchup with the South Florida Bulls. Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m.
|Boise State Broncos||7||14||3||14||38|
BSU – 12:24 – Tanner Vallejo 31 Yd Fumble Return (Dan Goodale Kick)
CON – 6:46 – Bobby Puyol 39 Yd Field Goal
CON – 9:54 – Alec Bloom 16 Yd pass from Chandler Whitmer (Bobby Puyol Kick)
BSU – 5:03 – Matt Miller 35 Yd pass from Grant Hedrick (Dan Goodale Kick)
BSU – 0:32 – Grant Hedrick 7 Yd pass from Matt Miller (Dan Goodale Kick)
CON – 7:30 – Bobby Puyol 24 Yd Field Goal
BSU – 3:26 – Dan Goodale 38 Yd Field Goal
CON – 1:09 – Geremy Davis 10 Yd pass from Chandler Whitmer (Chandler Whitmer Pass to Arkeel Newsome for Two-Point Conversion)
BSU – 9:19 – Matt Miller 9 Yd pass from Grant Hedrick (Dan Goodale Kick)
BSU – 4:00 – Donte Deayon 50 Yd Interception Return (Dan Goodale Kick)
Offensive Players of the Game:
Boise State WR Matt Miller had five catches for 74 yards and two touchdowns. He also had one touchdown pass for seven yards to his quarterback Grant Hedrick.
Defensive Player of the Game:
Boise State’s Donte Deayon had six tackles and a 50 yard interception return for a touchdown.
Turning Point(s) of the Game:
With UConn trailing by just three points, Boise’s Jonathan Moxey picked off UConn QB Chandler Whitmer at the UConn 37. Boise needed four plays after that to find the end zone and take the wind out of the sails for the Huskies.
Chandler Whitmer was 16-of-29 for 209 yards and two touchdowns. He also had two interceptions and was sacked seven times. Tim Boyle saw his first action of 2014 and was 6-of-9 for 33 yards. Two of the misses were drops by wide receivers that should have been caught including one in the end zone by Dhameer Bradley. Max DeLorenzo had 10 carries for 43 yards. Deshon Foxx led the Huskies with six catches for 107 yards. Thomas Lucas had five catches for 35 yards while Geremy Davis had catches for 47 yards and a touchdown. Alec Bloom caught the other touchdown pass from Whitmer.
Obi Melifonwu led UConn with 10 tackles while his safety partner Andrew Adams had nine. Marquise Vann had nine tackles of his own while Graham Stewart had seven. Cole Ormsby had the only Huskies sack of the day.
Special Teams Notes:
Bobby Puyol hit both of his field goals (39 and 24 yards). He had one kickoff go out-of-bounds which is unacceptable. Justin Wain averaged 42 yards on seven punts. Fortunately for him, the one he shanked didn’t cost the team. Jon Hicks had a fumble recovery on a punt when it a Boise player.
Here are the postgame notes courtesy of the UConn Athletic Communications Department:
Saturday marked the first game between Boise State and UConn.
- UConn is now 49-26 all-time at Rentschler Field and 27-13 in non-conference games there.
- With his 12-yard catch in the first quarter, Connecticut wide receiver Geremy Davis extended his streak of games with at least one catch to 29.
- Wide receiver Thomas Lucas’s 10-yard reception in the first quarter was his first career catch. Lucas finished the day with five catches for 35 yards.
- Sean McQuillan recorded his longest catch (15 yards) of the season in the opening quarter.
- Davis became the seventh receiver in program history to eclipse 2,000 career receiving yards after a 25-yard catch in the first quarter.
- Connecticut kicker Bobby Puyol, who connected on field goals of 24 and 39 yards today, remains a perfect 5-for-5 in field goal attempts this year.
- Redshirt freshman linebacker Cole Ormsby recorded his first career sack in the second quarter, taking down quarterback Grant Hedrick for an 11-yard loss to force a Boise State punt.
- UConn quarterback Chandler Whitmer’s 48-yard completion to wide receiver Deshon Foxx in the first half was the longest play from scrimmage for the Huskies this season. It was also a yard shy of Foxx’s longest career reception.
- Freshman tight end Alec Bloom hauled in his first career touchdown in the second quarter on a 16-yard pass from Whitmer.
- Running back Max DeLorenzo’s 19-yard run in the third quarter was his longest rush of the season.
- Foxx registered his third career 100-yard game on Saturday, finishing the contest with six catches for 107 yards.
- The Broncos, who came in averaging 537.5 yards per game, gained just 292 total yards against the Huskies.
- In the last two games, UConn’s opponents (Boise State and Stony Brook) have converted a combined 7-for-31 third down plays.
- The Huskies held Boise State running back Jay Ajayi to 39 rushing yards and 52 total yards today. He came into the game averaging 152.5 yards rushing and 229.5 total yards a contest this season.
- Freshman Ron Johnson’s 13-yard run in the fourth quarter marked his longest career rush.
- Marquise Vann recorded nine tackles, and has at least nine stops in every game this season. He leads the huskies with 29 tackles through three games.
Graham Stewart suffered an undisclosed injury during the first half but returned to the game.
AAC Games and Results:
Thursday, September 11
(25) BYU 33
Friday, September 12
Saturday, September 13
Central Florida 10
East Carolina 28
(17) Virginia Tech 21
North Carolina State
South Florida, 3:30 p.m.
Florida Atlantic, 7 p.m.
Tulane, 8 p.m.
Things to Work On:
- Continue to work with the offensive line as they were ineffective allowing eight sacks
- Continue to eliminate the things that cause losing
UConn takes to the road for the first time this season as they open up American Athletic Conference play against the South Florida Bulls on Friday night at 8 p.m.
photo credit: ian bethune – sox & dawgs