UConn 40, Rutgers 22
Running back Lyle McCombs and quarterback Scott McCummings each
ran for two touchdowns as Connecticut upset Rutgers 40-22 on
Saturday, ending the Scarlet Knights’ hopes for a share of the Big
Nick Williams had 158 return yards, setting up the Huskies in
good field position all afternoon, and defensive tackle Kendall
Reyes returned a Chas Dodd fumble for a touchdown.
Brandon Coleman had 223 receiving yards and two touchdowns for
Rutgers (8-4, 4-3 Big East), which had an outside chance at a BCS
bowl bid if it had won. Mohammad Sanu caught nine balls for 133
yards, extending his conference record to 109 receptions this
UConn (5-6, 3-3) can become bowl eligible with a win at
Cincinnati next Saturday.
McCombs carried the ball 20 times for 95 yards. He now has 1,109
on the season, the fourth consecutive 1,000-yard season for a
Huskies running back.
Freshman Gary Nova threw two fourth-quarter touchdowns to
Brandon Coleman. His 17-yarder made it 40-16 and the pair hooked up
on a 92-yard catch and run with 2:15 left in the game. The
two-point conversion attempts failed.
Nova completed 11 of 18 passes for 298 yards, all in the fourth
quarter in relief of Dodd. He was 11 of 22 for 141 yards, but he
fumbled and was intercepted, and both turnovers turned into UConn
The Huskies held Rutgers to 26 yards rushing and had six sacks,
four by defensive end Trevardo Williams.
UConn had just 290 offensive yards, but started five drives in
Rutgers’ territory and two others near midfield.
Williams had three kickoff returns for 128 yards, and a 30-yard
He returned the second-half kickoff 54 yards and McCombs took a
handoff on the next play and ran right for 36 yards. His 4-yard run
up the middle two plays later gave the Huskies a 31-10 lead.
Williams’ long punt return set up UConn’s next touchdown, a 14-yard
option keeper by McCummings that put the Huskies up 37-10. The
extra point was blocked, giving Dave Teggart his first miss in 128
But Teggart came back to hit a 47-yard field goal after UConn
ate up almost six minutes of the clock on its next possession,
aided by a roughing the punter call on Rutgers.
Connecticut turned two early Rutgers turnovers into
UConn linebacker Sio Moore forced a fumble by Jawan Jamison on
the third play of the game, giving the Huskies the ball on the
Scarlet Knights’ 24-yard line. UConn then handed the ball off twice
to McCombs, who ran for 14 yards one first down and then went into
the end zone from 10 yards out to give the Huskies a 7-0 lead.
Safety Ty-Meer Brown intercepted a pass tipped by Byron Jones on
Rutgers’ next drive, giving UConn the ball at the 40. McCummings
ran the ball in from the 5-yard line, making a nice spin move after
keeping the ball on an option play.
Rutgers had just one yard rushing in the first quarter.
The Scarlet Knights put together a 13-play, 5 minute drive, but
had to settle for a 25-yard San San Te field goal that cut the lead
A second-quarter UConn punt pinned Rutgers at its own 1-yard
line. Dodd fumbled five plays later and the ball was picked up by
defensive tackle Kendall Reyes, who rumbled 9 yards for the Huskies
third score and UConn’s fourth defensive touchdown this season.
Rutgers’ Brandon Coleman out-jumped cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson
for a 45-yard reception during a seven-play 80-yard drive, which
ended with a 1-yard touchdown run by Jamison with just over four
minutes left in the half.
But UConn took the kickoff and drove 11 plays over the final
4:04 of the half. Teggart’s 33-yard field goal gave the Huskies a
24-10 halftime lead.
Rutgers had been giving up under 17 points per game.
McCummings ran 10 times for 47 yards and attempted just one pass
for UConn, a 22-yard one-handed completion to tight end Ryan
Griffin in the second half. UConn starter Johnny McEntee was 10 of
16 for 90 yards.
The Scarlet Knights were trying to become the first team in
league history to go from worst to first in consecutive seasons.
The eight-win season likely will mean a trip to the Pinstripe
UConn’s loss to Louisville last week took the Huskies out of the
Big East championship picture. But the Huskies are still hoping for
a .500 season and a bowl bid.
Rutgers had taken five of the last six games between the two
teams, including the last three by a total of nine points. Last
year’s win came on a 34-yard field goal with 13 seconds left. In
2009, Rutgers won on an 81-yard touchdown pass with 22 seconds