After winning last week, the goal for the UConn Huskies was to continue their winning ways to end the season. On a crisp, late fall Saturday at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, CT, they did just that.
Casey Cochran threw for two touchdowns and Max DeLorenzo had the game-winning touchdown as the Huskies beat the Rutgers Scarlet Knights 28-17 in front of 22,163 and a nationally televised audience on ESPNU.
UConn improves to 2-9 (2-5 American) while Rutgers falls to 5-6 (2-5 American).
With Cochran at the helm, these past three weeks you can see the improvement of the offense. He spread the ball around to six different receivers with his favorite target being Deshon Foxx (nine catches, 117 yards).
The Huskies fell behind early after the Scarlet Knights faked field goal and scored a touchdown. But Cochran, who had started off slowly the last two games, led the Huskies on a scoring drive using his arm. He hit true freshman Dhameer Bradley for 18 yard touchdown.
It didn't take long for the Huskies to score again as Martin Hyppolite forced a fumble on the kickoff that was recovered by Brandon Steg as the Scarlet Knights 31. Five plays later, DeLorenzo punched it in from 12 yards to give the Huskies the lead.
The offense stalled in the second quarter but the defense was strong allowing the Scarlet Knights just a field goal.
The UConn of old may have folded. But this time around they battled right back and drove the down the field again. DeLorenzo punched it in from the one yard line at the start of the fourth quarter and the Huskies never looked back from there.
You wonder why UConn couldn't have played this way for the entire season. But you can't play the woulda, coulda, shoulda game. Instead, you want to see them continue this momentum into next week's game, hope for the same result and go out on a positive note.
If they do what they did on Saturday, they should be able to do just that on Senior Day next Saturday and send them off with a win.
|Rutgers Scarlet Knights||7||3||7||0||17|
CON – 06:29 – Dhameer Bradley 18 Yd Pass From Casey Cochran (Chad Christen Kick)
CON – 03:57 – Max DeLorenzo 12 Yd Run (Chad Christen Kick)
RU – 00:41 – Kyle Federico 34 Yd Field Goal
RU – 02:27 – Justin Goodwin 3 Yd Run (Kyle Federico Kick)
CON – 14:22 – Max DeLorenzo 1 Yd Run (Chad Christen Kick)
CON – 03:04 – Brian Lemelle 3 Yd Pass From Casey Cochran (Chad Christen Kick)
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Offensive Player of the Game:
UConn QB Casey Cochran was 25-of-33 for 311 yards and two touchdowns.
Defensive Player of the Game:
UConn CB Taylor Mack had seven tackles and two interceptions along with a pass breakup.
Turning Point(s) of the Game:
After Rutgers scored late in the 3rd quarter to take the lead, Cochran took the Huskies down the field culminating with a touchdown run by Max DeLorenzo.
Casey Cochran was 25-of-33 for 311 yards and two touchdowns. Max DeLorenzo had 15 carries for 52 yards with two touchdowns. He also had two catches for 21 yards. Deshon Foxx had nine catches for 117 yards. Geremy Davis had five catches for 98 yards. Brian Lemelle had five catches for 28 yards and a touchdown. Dhameer Bradley had three catches for 41 yards and a touchdown.
Yawin Smallwood and Andrew Adams led the Huskies with nine tackles each. Smallwood also had three pass breakups. Taylor Mack had seven tackles including one for a loss and also had two interceptions. Obi Melifonwu had six tackles, a pass breakup and a forced fumble.
Special Teams Notes:
Chad Christen converted all four extra points. Cole Wagner averaged 37.2 yards on six punts with three of them downed inside the 20. Lyle McCombs had 70 return yards (14 on one punt return, 56 total on three kick returns).
Here are the postgame notes courtesy of the UConn Athletic Communications Department:
- UConn is now 11-22 against Rutgers in a series dating back to 1940. The Scarlet Knights have played Connecticut more than any other 2013 opponent and the series is the seventh-most played in UConn history.
- The Huskies have now won back-to-back games for the first time this year.
- Casey Cochran finished the day 25-of-33 for 311 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. Cochran becomes the third UConn quarterback to throw for 300-plus yards this season (Chandler Whitmer 349 vs. Maryland on Sept. 14, Tim Boyle 310 vs. Cincinnati on Oct. 19) and did so for the first time in his career.
- Dhameer Bradley’s 18-yard touchdown reception was the first score of the true freshman’s career. He finished with career-highs in receptions (3) and receiving yards (41).
- UConn’s touchdown on its first drive of the game was the first it had scored on an opening drive this year. The feat last occurred against Pittsburgh on Nov. 9, 2012.
- Max DeLorenzo’s two touchdown runs were his third and fourth of the season and his career. All four scores have come in UConn’s last five games. It was the first multi-score game of his career.
- Taylor Mack’s two interceptions were his second and third of the season and mark the first multi-interception game for a UConn player this season. It last happened on Sept. 25, 2010, when Jerome Junior had two against Buffalo.
- UConn’s 14 points in the first quarter was the most it has scored in opening period this season.
- The Huskies led at halftime for the first time this season.
- Foxx set new career-highs with nine receptions and 117 yards. He became the third UConn receiver, joining Geremy Davis and Shakim Phillips, to post a 100-yard receiving game this season.
- UConn held Rutgers to 68 yards on 31 rushes. It marks the third time this season the Huskies have held an opponent under 100 yards on the ground (UCF, Temple).
- Brian Lemelle set a new career-high with four catches.
- Andrew Adams had a career-high nine tackles.
Jesse Joseph suffered an elbow injury and didn't return to the game.
AAC Games and Results:
Friday, November 29
(19) UCF 23
Saturday, November 30
Things to Work On:
At this point, do what you did the previous week of practice to keep momentum going for the season finale.
UConn finishes off the 2013 season next Saturday as they'll host the Memphis Tigers on Senior Day. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.
photo credits: ian bethune – sox & dawgs