The Huskies took the early momentum on the opening kickoff, as Nick Williams jolted down the right sideline for 61 yards to set up UConn in prime position. Quarterback John McEntee then completed a pass to get Connecticut to the 15-yard line and he found tight end John Delahunt two plays later for the opening score.
Syracuse nearly made a disastrous mistake on its second play from scrimmage when the exchange between Ryan Nassib and Antwon Bailey was botched. UConn's Jory Johnson recovered the fumble, but the SU defense got it right back on a Phillip Thomas interception to salvage some points. The ensuing drive was just 24 yards in distance, before a good punt from Jonathan Fisher.
The sloppy play continued throughout the first quarter, as UConn's backup QB Scott McCummings could not handle a shotgun snap that ended up in the hands of a ‘Cuse defender. Shortly after, Nassib was intercepted on an over-thrown pass intended for a wide-open Nick Provo. Surprisingly, there weren't any points scored off of the four total turnovers in the first 12 minutes of the game.
The second quarter began the same way, as Syracuse was able to force a third turnover when Chandler Jones stripped running back Lyle McCombs, who was already nearing 100 yards on the afternoon. Rishard Anderson recovered to get SU in prime position, but Nassib proved ineffective on third down on one of his many passes that came off too high.
Despite the uninspiring early effort from the offense, the Syracuse defense continued to limit Connecticut on the ground to provide more opportunities for Nassib and company. The unit got going in the latter stages of the half, and put together two good drives. A sack derailed the first push, but Nassib completed a 20-yard pass to Alec Lemon to even the game at 7 on the next chance.
SU's Jones made an even bigger play on the ensuing possession, strip-sacking McEntee to give the Orange the ball in plus-territory. However, the drive stalled soon after Nassib missed on consecutive throws. The defense rose up yet again, as Thomas came up with a second interception. The offense moved into scoring position, but Ross Krautman missed the 34-yard attempt wide-left.
UConn ran the clock out on the next play.