EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut’s Jordan Todman ran for 175 yards and three touchdowns and the Huskies moved a step closer to a BCS bowl berth Saturday with a 38-17 win over Cincinnati.
UConn Defensive lineman Kendall Reyes had a key interception deep in Husky territory just before halftime, setting up a 1-yard Todman touchdown run that made it 24-10 UConn.
Todman, who carried the ball 31 times, scored twice more in the fourth quarter to put the game away.
Quarterback Zach Collaros threw for 288 yards and a touchdown and ran for 84 yards and another for Cincinnati (4-7, 2-4) but also had four interceptions.
The Huskies (7-4, 4-2), who started the season 3-4, have now won four consecutive conference games and control their own destiny.
A UConn victory next week at South Florida, would give UConn at least a share of the Big East championship, and their first ever BCS bowl berth. The Huskies hold tiebreakers over both Pittsburgh and West Virginia.
UConn never trailed, but Cincinnati came within seven points in the fourth quarter, when Collaros engineered an 8 play 88 yard touchdown drive to make it 24-17. He was helped by three pass interference penalties on UConn’s Dwayne Gratz.
But Robbie Frey returned the kickoff 42 yards to the Cincinnati 46 and Todman did the rest, following an 18 yard run with a 1-yard touchdown, his second of the game.
Blidi Wreh-Wilson’s interception and 58-yard return set up Todman’s third touchdown, a 9-yard run with just under 4-minutes left.
Armon Binns caught nine balls for 107 yards and a touchdown for the Bearcats.
A week after putting up 69 points and 661 yards on Rutgers, Cincinnati had 399 yards in this one, but just 111 on the ground.
UConn quarterback Zach Frazer was 11-of-24 for 121 yards, with a touchdown and one interception.
The Bearcats hurt themselves several times.
Their first drive ended on a fourth-and-1 at the UConn 23. The Huskies took over and drove 77 yards in six plays, going up 7-0 on a 16-yard pass from Frazer to Anthony Sherman, who stretched the ball over the goal line for his first career touchdown.
Late in the second quarter, with the Huskies up 17-10, Cincinnati drove to the UConn 6-yard line. But Reyes batted a Collaros pass and grabbed it out of the air. His 84-yard return was called back to the Cincinnati 15 on a blocking penalty.
Todman converted a fourth and one, and with just 4 seconds left in the half bounced the next play outside and into the end zone for a 24-10 Husky lead.
An almost 6 minute Bearcat drive in the third quarter ended when Jacob Rogers 44-yard field goal attempt went wide right.
Todman, who had 50-yards rushing in the first quarter, injured his right arm on a 5-yard run during the Huskies first scoring drive, and played sparingly the rest of the half.
He went over 100 yards for the ninth time this season on a 16-yard rush in the third period.
A roughing the passer call on Cincinnati’s Dan Giorano, set up UConn’s second score, a 6-yard touchdown run from Todman’s backup, Robbie Frey.
Collaros scrambled out of trouble and found Binns on a 15-yard touchdown pass that cut UConn’s lead to 14-10 midway through the second quarter.
Todman, the nation’s second-leading rusher, came in averaging over 26 carries and 145 yards a game.
Connecticut started the season 3-4, but has since reeled off wins over West Virginia, Pitt, Syracuse, and now Cincinnati.
The Huskies finish 6-0 this season at Rentschler field.