Cincinnati quarterback Zach Collaros passes against Connecticut in the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2009, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

Given the way the UConn Huskies defense played in the first half, the Cincinnati Bearcats should have blown them out. The Bearcats held a 30-10 lead. But the Huskies showed a lot of character and heart as they rallied to cut the lead to two at 40-38.

Unfortunately their rally fell short though as Cincinnati quarterback Zach Collaros had 575 yards of total offense, including one touchdown pass and two rushing touchdowns to lead the Bearcats to a 47-45 win over the Huskies at a sold-out Nippert Stadium on Saturday night.

UConn has always had trouble with mobile quarterbacks and it showed on Saturday night with Collaros running for 75 yards and the two scores. However, it was the right arm of Collaros that did most of the damage. He threw for a career-high 480 yards and had the one touchdown pass.

Any other night, UConn would have probably won this game with 462 yards of total offense. But it was all for naught.

Defense is normally UConn’s strong suit. On Saturday night, they were far from perfect as the Bearcats racked up 711 yards of total offense. And that folks was the difference in the game.

The defense did make the plays in the second half and the Zach Frazer-led offense started to roll in the second half. Most of the damage the Huskies did was by Jordan Todman out of the backfield. Todman rushed for career-best 162 yards and a career-high four touchdowns.

Frazer wasn’t bad either as he carried the momentum he built up in the second half of the loss to Rutgers when he started to look comfortable in the offense. He was 19-of-32 for 261 yards and a touchdown pass.

But on a night where the offense was better than we’ve seen all year, the defense played it’s worst game.

They allowed Cincinnati to score points on their first six possessions of the game. They let Collaros throw for 333 yards in the first half, 112 of them to Mardy Gilyard, who finished with six catches for 172 yards.  It just wasn’t pretty at all in the first half.

Some adjustments though at halftime and the defense turned itself around. They held Cincinnati to just 17 second half points. Considering they gave up 30 points in the first half, this is a good thing. The Huskies contained Collaros and the running game in the second half but in the end, it just wasn’t enough.

This is the fifth loss of the season for UConn (4-5, 1-4) and they now lost by a grand total of 15 points in those five games. To have any chance of making a bowl game this year, the Huskies will have to win their last three games of the season.

And that will be a tall task in itself.

Still on the schedule for the Huskies are games against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on the road and two home games against Big East opponents in the Syracuse Orange and South Florida Bulls.

The Notre Dame game is certainly a game the Huskies can win if their offense shows up like it did on Saturday ngiht. But if the same “swiss cheese” defense shows up, in the words of the great television show The Sopranos, fuhgetaboutit.

They should beat the Orange and they have a chance against the Bulls although they’ve been a Jekyll and Hyde team this season but are playing well as of late.

This Huskies team has been through the ringer and back this season. You have to really wonder how much more they can take. But as long as they continue to believe in themselves and the fans as well, they can do this.

It may take a hail mary and a prayer but it can happen. But the big question remains, will it?


Team 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
UConn Huskies 7 3 14 21 45
Cincinnati Bearcats 10 20 7 10 47

1st quarter

CIN – Isaiah Pead 1 Yd Run (Jake Rogers Kick) – Cincinnati 7 UConn 0

CON – Jordan Todman 6 Yd Run (Dave Teggart Kick) – UConn 7 Cincinnati 7

CIN – Jake Rogers 41 yard field goal – Cincinnati 10 UConn 7

2nd quarter

CIN – Zach Collaros 4 Yd Run (Jake Rogers Kick) – Cincinnati 17 UConn 7

CON – Dave Teggart 42 yard field goal – Cincinnati 17 UConn 10

CIN – Jake Rogers 27 yard field goal – Cincinnati 20 UConn 10

CIN – Armon Binns 41 Yd Pass From Zach Collaros (Jake Rogers Kick) – Cincinnati 27 UConn 10

CIN – Jake Rogers 34 yard field goal – Cincinnati 30 UConn 10

3rd quarter

CON – Jordan Todman 46 Yd Run (Dave Teggart Kick) – Cincinnati 30 UConn 17

CIN – Zach Collaros 28 Yd Run (Jake Rogers Kick) – Cincinnati 37 UConn 17

CON – Robert McClain 87 Yd Punt Return (Dave Teggart Kick) – Cincinnati 37 UConn 24

4th quarter

CIN – Jake Rogers 35 yard field goal – Cincinnati 40 UConn 24

CON – Jordan Todman 1 Yd Run (Jordan Todman Pass To Marcus Easley For Two-Point Conversion) – Cincinnati 40 UConn 32

CON – Jordan Todman 2 Yd Run (Two-Point Pass Conversion Failed) – Cincinnati 40 UConn 38

CIN – Isaiah Pead 14 Yd Run (Jake Rogers Kick) – Cincinnati 47 UConn 38

CON – Marcus Easley 9 Yd Pass From Zach Frazer (Dave Teggart Kick) – Cincinnati 47 UConn 45

Offensive Players of the Game:

This is a no brainer but I’m awarding two of them.

UConn running back Jordan Todman had 26 carries for a career-high 162 yards and career-best four touchdowns. He also threw for two-point conversion.

Cincinnati quarterback Zach Collaros was 29-of-37 for 480 yards and a touchdown. He also had 13 carries for 75 yards and two touchdowns.

Defensive Player of the Game:

In a game with 1,173 yards of total offense, it’s really hard to pick a defensive player of the game. However, I’m going with UConn linebacker Lawrence Wilson who had the most tackles of anyone with eleven.

Turning Point(s) of the Game:

  • The failed two-point conversion with 5:03 to go in the game turned out to be the difference.
  • Robert Vaughn’s missed tackle of Pead on the touchdown late in the game. If he makes that tackle, Cincinnati probably kicks a field goal making it 5 point lead instead of 9.

Offensive Notes:

Zach Frazer completed 19-of-32 passes for 261 yards and a touchdown. He didn’t turn the ball over at all. In fact, neither team had a turnover. Jordan Todman had 26 carries for a career-best 162 yards and a career-high four touchdowns. Marcus Easley had six catches for 87 yards and a touchdown.  Kashif Moore had caught four balls for 77 yards, including a 52 yard reception that set up one of Todman’s four TD’s.

Defensive Notes:

Lawrence Wilson led the Huskies with 11 tackles. Blidi Wreh-Wilson and Scott Lutrus both  had nine tackles while Robert McClain had

Special Teams Notes:

Robert McClain had an 87 yard return for a touchdown. He was untouched the whole way. Jordan Todman had six kickoff returns for 124 yards. Desi Cullen averaged 44.2 yards on five punts. After missing badly the past few weeks, Dave Teggart made his only field goal attempt.


Andre Dixon came up limping early in the game. He did come back in the game but wasn’t used that much.


Referee: Dennis Hennigan – Umpire: Bruce Palmer – Linesman: Steve Matarante- Line judge: Kevin Codey – Back judge: Gary Dancewicz – Field judge: Tony Tarantini – Side judge: Howard Curry – Scorer: Shawn Sell

Game Notes:

UConn Huskies @ Cincinnati Bearcats 11.7.09 box score

Game notes courtesy of the UConn Huskies

The Huskies are now 1-5 all time against Cincinnati and 1-4 against the Bearcats in BIG EAST Conference action.

The Huskies are 0-3 at Nippert Stadium.

Sophomore wide receiver Kashif Moore set a career high in receiving yards with 77 on four catches.

The kickoff return for a touchdown by Robert McClain in the third period, was the first of his career.

McClain destroyed his return yards record of 68 set against Cincy last season (10/25/08) by returning the ball 116 yards with one touchdown.

Marcus Easley recorded a touchdown for the fifth-straight game as he brought the Huskies within two with 13 seconds remaining.

Big East Games and Results:

Syracuse 10
(13) Pittsburgh 37

Louisville 9
West Virginia 17

Things to Work On:

  • Tackling, tackling and tackling. I can never stress this enough. If the Huskies continue to miss tackles, they’re going to continue to have their hearts broken.
  • Working on the defense. 711 yards of total offense is completely unacceptable in my book.
  • Continue to develop the offense with Frazer. The offensive line did a great job of opening up holes for Todman and that allowed Frazer to have time to find the open receiver.

Up Next:

The Huskies are off this week and will be preparing for a trip to South Bend, IN on November 21st against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in another nationally televised tilt.