Tough ending to UConn's season
As valuable as the extra month of practice was, the goal was to end the season with the program's first winning season since 2010.
The defense did what it could to make that happen but as has been the case in the last few years, the offense simply could not do enough to win.
All you need to know about what kind of day it was came when kicker Bobby Puyol was named UConn's MVP of the game (and I was one of the people who voted that way). Puyol booted a 52-yard field goal which is tied for the sixth longest in team history and is the longest in UConn's bowl history. He also had two touchbacks on three kickoffs.
However, UConn's main offensive weapons simply did not make an impact.
Leading receiver Noel Thomas didn't have a catch and Arkeel Newsome, who had at 100 all-purpose yards seven times in an eight game stretch finished with just 65 yards (32 on nine carries and 33 on a team-high five catches). In fact, the first catch by a UConn receiver came with 1:37 left in the game.
Perhaps most astonishing of all, the first senior to play an offensive snap was linebacker Graham Stewart, who was used as a fullback.
From the time when there was 1:51 left in the first quarter until 2:37 remained in the third quarter Marshall had 253 yards on 56 plays while UConn managed only 55 yards on 13 plays.
"We need more yards, we know that, we will get it, the future is bright," .UConn coach Bob Diaco said.
"Defense played strong lights out football against a strong, formidable opponent. Even that, a couple of missed tackles on a second down and a third down and that eliminates a field goal. That is the next step for our program is playing the plays in the situation that is better to finish. That is an honest depiction of where we are at and where we are going to go."
With the decision to start Trey Rutherford over Tyler Samra at guard and Max DeLorenzo only seeing time on special teams, everybody who played on offense is coming back except for Stewart whose offensive playing time was a one-time only deal.
Andrew Adams finished with 14 tackles giving him a team-leading 103 this season. He finished 22nd in program history with 263 career tackles.