On Friday night, UConn Huskies basketball coach Kevin Ollie said his team had hit bottom after losing to Yale. You have to figure the UConn Football team might be right there with them.
The SMU Mustangs came into the game on Saturday not having won a game. But when the final whistle blew, they found themselves with their only win of the season when they beat UConn 27-20 in front of an announced crowd of 22,921 at rainy Rentschler Field in East Hartford, CT.
UConn finishes the season at 2-10 (1-7 American). SMU ends their season at 1-11 (1-7 American).
So how did UConn lose this one, especially after being up 20-6. As has been the case for now eight of their ten losses, they beat themselves with turnovers.
The Huskies had five turnovers (four fumbles, one interception).
“You can’t beat anybody when you turn the ball over five times,” said head coach Bob Diaco. “It’s impossible.”
UConn had built up a 20-6 lead at the half on the strength of their run game and defense. In the second half, they failed to show up on both sides of the ball. Plus the turnovers didn’t help matters.
The Huskies were to receive the ball to start the second half but on the kickoff Arkeel Newsome fumbled it and the Mustangs recovered. They would go in to score to cut the lead to 20-13.
After going three and out, then holding on SMU on their ensuing drive, Deshon Foxx fumbled the ball and it was recovered by the Mustangs. Seven plays later, the game was tied at 20-20.
After moving the ball their ball 21 yards after a Brian Lemelle kick return to his 26 yard line, Max DeLorenzo fumbled the ball on a hit from Kevin Pope. UConn would get the ball back after Andrew Adams forced a fumble but the inept offense went three-and-out.
From there, the SMU offense ran out the final 4:13 of the game although they did have some trouble executing the victory formation at the end. They were called for two penalties of illegal formation and finally went to a normal one that saw their QB Matt Davis take a knee that way.
I guess that’s what happens when you haven’t won a game until that point.
“We have to eliminate the things that cause losing,” said Diaco.
Well until the Huskies figure out how to do that, they won’t be any good next year either.
SMU – 12:01 – Cody Rademacher 44 Yd Field Goal
SMU – 5:15 – Cody Rademacher 28 Yd Field Goal
CON – 9:29 – Max DeLorenzo 46 Yd Run (Bobby Puyol Kick)
CON – 1:10 – Ron Johnson 13 Yd Run (Bobby Puyol Kick)
SMU – 13:03 – Prescott Line 4 Yd Run (Cody Rademacher Kick)
SMU – 3:50 – Matt Davis 26 Yd Run (Cody Rademacher Kick)
SMU – 9:22 – Prescott Line 12 Yd Run (Cody Rademacher Kick)
Offensive Players of the Game:
SMU QB Matt Davis ran 22 times for 191 yards and a touchdown. He also had 145 passing yards with an interception.
Defensive Player of the Game:
UConn S Andrew Adams had three tackles, a fumble return for a touchdown and forced fumble.
Turning Point(s) of the Game:
Pick a turnover in the second half, any UConn turnover.
While the weather wasn’t optimal for passing, Tim Boyle showed he’s probably not the answer at QB as he was 4-of-11 for just 29 yards. Chandler Whitmer threw three passes, completing one for 38 yards. His last collegiate pass was an interception. Ron Johnson had 23 carries for 101 yards and a touchdown. Deshon Foxx had 68 yards rushing while Max DeLorenzo had 66 yards and a touchdown. Geremy Davis finished his college career with three catches for 22 yards. Joshua Marriner had one catch for 38 yards.
Graham Stewart led the Huskies with 11 tackles. Marquise Vann had nine tackles and a forced fumble while Junior Joseph had seven tackles. Jhavon Williams had five tackles and two forced fumbles. Mikal Myers had UConn’s only sack with Andrew Adams adding three tackles, a fumble return for a touchdown and forced fumble.
Special Teams Notes:
Bobby Puyol made two-of-three extra point attempts and had his only field goal attempt blocked (47 yards). Deshon Foxx had a fumble on a punt as did Arkeel Newsome on a kick return. Justin Wain averaged 37 yards on six punts and had two downed inside the 20.
Here are the postgame notes courtesy of UConn Athletic Communications:
- UConn is now 0-3 all-time against SMU.
- The Huskies conclude their 2014 home slate with a 2-5 record. UConn is now 50-28 all-time at Rentschler Field, its home since the 2003 season.
- The Huskies recorded a season-high 249 rushing yards. It was UConn’s first 200-yard rushing game since Oct. 12, 2013 vs. USF.
- Ron Johnson set a new career-high with 101 yards on the ground. He also became the first UConn running back to record 100 yards in a game this season. Deshon Foxx, a wide receiver, rushed for 102 yards vs. UCF on Nov. 1.
- Max DeLorenzo’s 46-yard touchdown run in the second quarter was the longest rush of his career. DeLorenzo finished the day a season-high 66 yards on the ground on seven carries.
- DeLorenzo’s run was the longest for a UConn running back this season. Deshon Foxx had the longest run for any player, a 68-yard score vs. UCF.
- Andrew Adams returned a fumble 32 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter. It was the first touchdown of his career.
- The defensive touchdown was UConn’s first since a 70-yard interception return for a score from Byron Jones against USF on Sept. 19.
- Josh Marriner’s 38-yard reception in the second quarter was the longest catch of his career.
- Jamar Summers recorded his first career interception in the second quarter.
- Jhavon Williams forced two fumbles and recovered another.
- Geremy Davis’ second-quarter catch gave him at least one reception in 36 consecutive games played to close his career .
- Davis finished his career with 165 receptions, fifth all-time, and 2,292 receiving yards which is sixth-most in program history. Both marks are the highest of any player in UConn’s FBS era.
- UConn had 165 rushing yards in the first half, most in a half this season. The Huskies also set a first-half high with 20 points in the first 30 minutes.
SMU beat UConn to escape a winless season, and it’s not the first time the Mustangs program has been in a low place and gotten a win over the Huskies. When SMU returned from the Death Penalty in 1989, their first win was a 31-30 victory over UConn (ESPN Stats & Info).
No major injuries for the Huskies during the game.
AAC Games and Results:
Thursday, December 4
East Carolina 30
Saturday, December 6
Things to Work On:
Keep bringing in recruits.
Figure out how to hold on the dang ball.
Stop beating themselves
The season is over for the UConn football team.
photo credit: ©2014 Ian Bethune