New coach. New starting quarterback. Another UConn Huskies loss. And it was the same mistakes from the previous regime that cost them in this one. Plus one big one from the interim head coach.
Marvin Kloss' 44 yard field goal into the wind with four minutes remaining turned out to be the difference as the South Florida Bulls beat the Huskies 13-10 in front of 37,861 at Rentscher Field on Saturday afternoon.
UConn drops to 0-5 (0-1 American) while the Bulls improve to 2-4 (2-0). It's the second straight win for USF in which they didn't score an offensive touchdown.
The Huskies had the opportunity to tie this game up at the very least but poor clock management killed them.
Mattias Ciabatti pinned the Huskies deep at their own five yard line with 1:46 to go. True freshman QB Tim Boyle slowly drove them down the field. He hit Dhameer Bradley for 16 yards that gave UConn the ball at the USF 49 with 16 seconds left. A
After a quick stop of the clock to move the chains, Boyle waited for a play call from interim head coach and offensive coordinator T.J. Weist. Nine seconds later, Boyle had to burn the final timeout. His hailmary pass was broken up by the Bulls to end the game.
"I'm disappointed in my execution on the last drive of the game," said Weist. "We were put in a position to move the ball down the field and get a field goal. I hesitated making a call and we didn't get it in on time. That's on me. I am man enough to say what I did right and what I did wrong. We'll get that corrected, there's no hiding from any of that."
Boyle shouldered a little of the blame too.
"We had a good play, thought Coach was going to call a time-out," said Boyle. "Just a little bit of miscommunication that will get worked out."
When you look back at it though. You can't place the blame solely on that one misstep.
The receivers dropped a ton of balls, including two sure touchdowns and another at the USF 5 yard line. The offensive line played better on the run but the only touchdown of the game came Ryne Giddens blew by his man and strip-sacked Boyle.
Aaron Lynch picked up the loose ball and brought back 44 yards to put the Bulls up 7-3.
Offensively, they got the run game going. Defensively, they didn't get burned really for any big plays.
In the end, it came down to a lack of execution. And that's what cost UConn the game.
The schedule doesn't get any easier either for the Huskies.
They go to Cincinnati next week, a place they've never won. Then they go down to Orlando to take on a tough Central Florida team followed by a bye week.
UConn will return from the bye week and face the nationally ranked Louisville Cardinals.
Bowl hopes were dashed (in my opinion) a long time ago.
We can only hope that Boyle continues to improve, the offensive line continues to give Lyle McCombs holes to run and that Weist figures out that double duty in college is hard to do. If that happens, it's quite possible the Huskies could pull off a win or two over that three-game stretch.
I'm not holding my breath on that though.
|South Florida Bulls||7||3||0||3||13|
CON – 08:43 – Chad Christen 32 Yd Field Goal
USF – 01:33 – Aaron Lynch 44 Yd Fumble Return (Marvin Kloss Kick)
CON – 14:48 – Lyle McCombs 52 Yd Run (Chad Christen Kick)
USF – 11:50 – Marvin Kloss 47 Yd Field Goal
USF – 04:03 – Marvin Kloss 44 Yd Field Goal
To continue reading, the South Florida Bulls @ UConn Huskies recap, click on the read more button below if you're on the home page.
Offensive Player of the Game:
In game where it felt like the punters were featured, UConn RB Lyle McCombs rushed for 164 on 20 carries with a touchdown.
Defensive Player of the Game:
USF DE Aaron Lynch had three tackles, including 1.5 tackles for a loss. He had a 44 yard fumble return for a touchdown, a sack and two quarterback hurries.
Turning Point(s) of the Game:
The poor clock management with 16 seconds to go.
In his first career start, Tim Boyle was 15-of-43 for 149 yards and was sacked three times. Lyle McCombs had 20 rushes for 164 yards and a touchdown. Geremy Davis had six catches for 80 yards while Sean McQuillan had six catches for 44 yards.
Jefferson Ashiru led the Huskies with 10 tackles. He also had a pass breakup and quarterback hurry. Yawin Smallwood had nine tackles, including 1.5 tackles for a loss. He also had a pass breakup and quarterback hurry. Shamar Stephen had eight tackles including a sack. Julian Campenni had a sack and Byron Jones had an interception.
Special Teams Notes:
Cole Wagner had an outstanding day punting the ball. He averaged 44 yards on seven punts and six of them were downed inside the 20. Chad Christen was 1-of-3 on field goals. He had a make from 32 yards, a miss from 49 yards and he had one blocked.
Shakim Phillips tried to give it a go but his hamstring didn't respond well during warmups.
Brian Lemelle suffered an undisclosed injury and was seen in street clothes in the second half.
Here are the postgame quotes from UConn interim head coach T.J. Weist and South Florida head coach Willie Taggart as well as players from both teams.
Here are the postgame notes courtesy of the UConn Athletic Communications Department.
- With the loss, UConn falls to 0-5 on the season, and 0-1 in the American Athletic Conference.
- Connecticut freshman quarterback Tim Boyle's first ever pass was completed to Geremy Davis for 10 yards on UConn's opening drive.
- Connecticut redshirt junior cornerback Byron Jones made his second interception of the season early in the first quarter. Jones has five career picks.
- Boyle's 12 rushing yards were the most by a Connecticut quarterback this season.
- UConn redshirt junior running back Lyle McCombs' 52-yard touchdown run in the second quarter was his longest rush of the season.
- McCombs' 164 rushing yards in the game were a career high for him. It was the first 100-yard rushing performance for him since last year's game against Louisville.
- UConn redshirt sophomore defensive tackle Julian Campennin recorded his first sack of the season late in the second quarter. He has two career sacks.
- Connecticut redshirt defensive tackle Shamar Stephen had his first sack of the season in the third quarter. Stephen now has three career sacks.
- UConn redshirt junior linebacker Yawin Smallwood recorded his third tackle for loss this season in the fourth quarter. Smallwood has 20.5 tackles for loss as a Husky.
AAC Games and Results:
Thursday, October 10
(8) Louisville 24
Friday, October 11
Saturday, October 12
Things to Work On:
Is stick'em legal? Get the receivers some softer hands. The Huskies could have easily beaten the Bulls had a few of the receivers made the catches.
Clock management . Weist needs to have his next play called already so that Boyle isn't put in that situation again. On the other hand, Boyle needs to recognize the clock and spike the ball in a situation like the one he faced.
Protection. While UConn did a good job for the most part, it can be better especially given that the Bulls only touchdown came on a strip-sack of Boyle.
Get healthy. If Shakim Phillips can get that balky hamstring healthy, it would give Boyle another target besides Davis that has "sure hands".
The Huskies travel to the Queen City for a noon kickoff with the Cincinnati Bearcats next Saturday.
photo credits: ian bethune – sox & dawgs