During UConn's first full drive of the second quarter, Hyppolite entered the game on third-and-one with the ball at midfield for the Huskies. After the handoff from quarterback Chandler Whitmer, Hyppolite broke free and streaked up the right sideline for a 50-yard touchdown run, putting the Huskies up 17-7 with 10:56 left before halftime.
"That was a big play for our offense," running back Lyle McCombs said. "That was a vital score because we only won by a score."
McCombs and Hyppolite combined for 157 rushing yards. Hyppolite finished the game with a career-high six carries for 60 yards and a touchdown. McCombs carried a heaver workload Saturday, with 29 rushes for 97 yards and a touchdown.
During the critical big play, Hyppolite lined up at tailback and McCombs as the fullback. Instead of taking the handoff as McCombs is accustomed to, he threw the lead block out for Hyppolite, a big assist on the 50-yard touchdown run.
"It was a little disguise because when I line up at fullback I get the ball on a third and one play," said McCombs. "[Offensive coordinator George] DeLeone threw a little trick in there and decide to get me on a lead block. I did the best I could and it sprung Martin for the touchdown."
|Martin Hyppolite on his 50-yard TD run (US PRESSWIRE)|
Previous to that run, Hyppolite had only four rushes for five yards this season and 10 total yards in his career. He was averaging 1.25 yards per rush this season. He now has 10 rushes on the season for 65 yards, improving his average to 6.5 yards per rush. It was a career rushing day for Hyppolite, improving every rushing statistic for him.
"He's a bigger guy," coach Paul Pasqualoni said. "There's some situations and plays where we think maybe getting a guy in there who is a little bit bigger [helps]. He packs a little more lead in his pencil, so to speak. So we're trying to use Martin a little bit."
Hyppolite, a redshirt junior from Wakefield, Mass., missed all of last season because of a knee injury. In 2010, his first full season after redshirting his freshman year, Hyppolite had three rushes for five yards, all of which came in a 40-21 victory over Vanderbilt. Hyppolite played in all 13 games that season and saw time on special teams and as a linebacker, recording three tackles.
Hyppolite left Rentschler Field with his family soon after the end of the game and did not come to the interview room to speak with reporters.
UConnPlaybook.com Managing Editor and Beat Writer Ken Davis contributed to this story.