Saturday, November 24, 2012

UConn works overtime to stun Louisville

It wasn't always pretty and probably a little more dramatic than it needed to be but the UConn football team got its biggest win during head coach Paul Pasqualoni's two seasons in Connecticut with a 23-20 triple-overtime victory over preseason Big East favorite Louisville on Saturday.

Senior cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson's first interception of the season in the third overtime set up UConn in the position of only needing a field goal to win its first Big East road game of the season. After three Lyle McCombs runs netted 12 yards, the Huskies went for the win on second goal. Chad Christen set off a wild celebration from his teammates and coaches when he connected from 30 yards.

The victory, the first back to back wins during Pasqualoni's time with the Huskies, means UConn needs to beat Cincinnati on Dec. 1 to become bowl eligible.

There are pretty of individual players to highlight in the win for the Huskies. Trevardo Williams had three sacks and four tackles for losses, Dwayne Gratz had 11 tackles and broke up three passes while Jory Johnson and Yawin Smallwood also had 11 tackles while Sio Moore had a couple of tackles behind the line if scrimmage and was his normal offense disrupter.

The offensive line stepped up to the challenge allowing just one sack and helped Lyle McCombs run for 133 yards.

Also, punter Cole Wagner averaged 43.8 yards on 10 punts and got the Huskies out of danger more than once with clutch punts.

UConn should have won the game in regulation. The Huskies led 10-3 when Louisville opted to go for a fake punt near midfield but needing 10 yards, the Cardinals' Preston Brown was stopped five yards short of the first down by Jory Johnson and Julian Campenni to give the Huskies the ball at their own 46. Needing a field goal to make it a two-score game, UConn got as far as the Louisville 34 but Max DeLorenzo was thrown for a four-yard loss on second down and Johnny McEntee (in at quarterback for an injured Chandler Whitmer) could not convert on third down.

Cole Wagner pinned the Cardinals at the 8 but Louisville drove 92 yards and tied the game on Teddy Bridgewater's 6-yard TD to Devante Parker with 21 seconds left in the fourth quarter.

The teams exchanged field goals in the first OT while McEntee and Bridgewater both threw touchdown passes in the second overtime setting the stage for the third overtime.


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