UConn beats Rutgers 28-17 for second win of season

Casey Cochran threw for 311 yards and two touchdowns and

Connecticut beat Rutgers 28-17 on Saturday, in the final conference

meeting between the two regional rivals.

Max DeLorenzo rushed for two scores for the Huskies (2-9, 2-5

American), who won for the second straight week after losing their

first nine games this season.

DeLorenzo’s second touchdown run, from a yard out, put the

Huskies in front 21-17 in the fourth quarter. Cochran then led

UConn on a 12-play, 56-yard drive on their next possession, sealing

the win with a 3-yard touchdown pass to freshman Brian Lemelle.

Senior Chas Dodd, making his first start of the season for

Rutgers (5-6, 2-5) threw for 286 yards and a touchdown. But he also

threw two interceptions to UConn cornerback Taylor Mack, including

one on the Husky 19-yard line with just 2 minutes left.

Connecticut led 14-10 at the half, its first halftime lead since

it led Michigan in September – a game the Huskies lost 24-21.

But Dodd, who got the start over team captain Gary Nova, helped

put Rutgers back in front in the third quarter. He found Quron

Pratt down the left sideline for an 84-yard completion, the longest

play of the season for the Scarlet Knights. That set up a 3-yard

touchdown run from Justin Goodwin.

Pratt beat third-string cornerback Tyree Clark, who was playing

because of injuries to David Stevenson and Jhavon Williams.

But Connecticut got a big play on its next possession. A screen

pass from Cochran to Deshon Foxx went for 41 yards, setting up

DeLorenzo’s touchdown run. Foxx caught nine balls for 117

yards.

Connecticut had not won a home game in more than a year, since

beating Pitt on Nov. 9, 2012.

Rutgers scored first. The Scarlet Knights took the opening drive

to the UConn 10 yard line then faked a 27-yard field goal. Holder

J.T Tartacoff threw the ball into the back of the end zone where

tight end Tyler Croft wrestled it from UConn defensive back Obi

Melifonwu for a touchdown.

UConn responded with an eight-play, 79-yard drive. Cochran hit

five of six passes, including an 18-yard throw over the middle to

freshman receiver Dhameer Bradley, the first touchdown catch of

Bradley’s college career.

Rutgers Quron Pratt was stripped of the ball on the kickoff

return, Rutgers’ 17th turnover of the season. UConn scored five

plays later on a 12-yard run by Max DeLorenzo.

Cochran, who was 25-33 for the game, had just one incomplete

pass in the first quarter, hitting five different receivers.

Rutgers appeared to have tied the game on a 26-yard touchdown

pass to Ruhann Peele, but that was called back by a hands to the

face penalty on Chris Muller.

The Scarlet Knights had the ball for more than 6 minutes on a

16-play drive that ended with a 34-yard field goal just before the

half.

Rutgers started the season 4-1, but is just 1-5 since, and must

win its final game of the year against South Florida next week to

become bowl eligible in their final season before heading to the

Big Ten.

Because of conference realignment, this was the last scheduled

game between the two programs, which have played 33 times since

1940. The Scarlet Knights, had won six of the last eight, and still

hold a 22-11 advantage.