Lutrus, Defense Dominate Blue and White Game

EAST HARTFORD -- University of Connecticut head coach Randy Edsall may want to think about moving redshirt freshman linebacker Scott Lutrus to the offense also. Lutrus was the best defender in Saturday's Blue & White Spring game and also happened to be the best offensive threat.

Lutrus picked off three passes at outside linebacker and returned two for touchdowns. He returned a 68 yard touchdown in the second quarter and jumped coverage late in the third quarter taking a Dennis Brown pass 91 yards the other way for a touchdown.


It was a dominating performance by Lutrus as he led the White team defense to an 80-46 win over the Blue offense before over 9,000 fans at Rentschler Field.


The Husky Blue & White game had a modified scoring format this year with six points for a touchdown, three for a field goal and one point each for a first down and extra point for the offense. The defensive scoring was also six points for a touchdown, three for a turnover, three for a 3-and-out, two for a drive stop and one point for a sack.


Lutrus was the star of the game, taking back to errant Brown throws.


"He had a tremendous day," UConn coach Randy Edsall said. "Scott is a tremendous worker. His good days are ahead of him because he is a little wet behind the ears."


Lutrus was an All-State selection out of Brookfield High in Connecticut gaining over 2,000 yards as a high school senior and leading Connecticut in scoring.


He sat out last season as a redshirt, and is now the favorite to take over for the departed Donta Moore at the strong side, or Husky, linebacker position.


"It was nice being out there and playing," Lutrus said. "It's unfortunate that (Moore) was kicked off the team (for academics), but I saw the window open up.  I am ready for the challenge (to play right away)."


The Huskies quarterback position is still going to be undecided until the summer. Brown was up-and-down in his snaps with the first team passing for 241 yards on 17-of-35 and one touchdown and three interceptions.


With JUCO transfer Tyler Lorenzen out for the spring game because of injury, the Huskies will hold of on naming a starter until the summer.


"Nothing has been decided yet," Edsall said. "You can't make a decision after one of the players competing has only 11 practices. There are so many things to develop and can happen in the three months. We won't name a starter, maybe even until the Thursday (before the opener at Duke)."


Brown showed some flashes connecting with Terrence Jeffers (7 catches, 118 yards) for a 37-yard catch on the games first drive. He followed that up with his only touchdown throw, capping the drive with a 4-yard TD pass off play action to Steve Brouse.


There were also times he forced things, like getting the ball out into the flat when Lutrus had it covered.


"I would have liked to have done better" Dennis Brown said. "I was pressing too hard and should have just taken advantage of what the defense gave me."




-- D.J. Hernandez made his first catch midway through the first quarter with a 29-yard reception from Dennis Brown on fourth down and 10 that put the ball at the 11-yard line. Hernandez had two catches for 46 yards.  


--Safety Donnell Ford laid out Larry Taylor along the sideline in the first quarter.


--Freshman linebacker Jarrell Miller stopped Andre Dixon a yard short on a fourth-and-3.


--Robert McClain broke a 31 yard cutback run in the second quarter. McLain had 109 yards rushing. Andre Dixon also had a strong game with 100 yards rushing and a 45 yard touchdown reception.  


--Lindsey Witten and Cody Brown each had two sacks. Witten was on the second team with junior Julius Williams moving onto the first team at left defensive end.


---Tony Ciaravino missed a 25-yard field goal wide right. He later missed 26 yard field goal wide left. 


--Desi Cullen shanked a punt that ended up going 20 yards in the second quarter.


--Walk-on quarterback Matt Vollono tried to catch the defense offside with a quick snap in the first quarter. He snapped the ball and kneeled down. The officials didn't call the off sides, losing a down for the offense.  


---The second team offense couldn't punch in the ball inside the 5-yard line settling midway through the second quarter for a short Ciaravino field goal.


--Donald Brown had eight carries for five yards in the first half. Brown did have a 60 plus yard touchdown run called back in the third quarter because of holding. He finished with 21 yards on 11 carries.


---The offense was 1-of-15 on third down conversions in the first half.


Six Captains Named


The Huskies players elected six captains for the 2007 season. Seniors Dan Davis, Larry Taylor, Danny Lansanah and juniors Darius Butler, Keith Gray and D.J. Hernandez were selected as captains.

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