UConn Rallies to Beat Louisville

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. – Louisville's Earl Heyman was rumbling into the end zone. UConn running back Donald Brown sat on the turf devastated. The Huskies, who had already tasted a crushing defeat a week earlier against Virginia were at it again, suddenly watched it all crash down at Rentschler Field.

Heyman's 32-yard touchdown return of a Brown fumble pushed the Cardinals lead to 17-7 with 12 minutes to go, and the Huskies offense had yet to put a point on the board.


This UConn football team is different than past years. No longer are the Huskies wondering if they belong with the big boys. They are one of the big boys.


When things looked dire, the Huskies looked inward, and in 12 minutes went from a second consecutive crushing loss to the top of the Big East.


Andre Dixon's 5-yard touchdown run with 1:22 left capped a two touchdown fourth quarter rally as UConn scored the last 14 points to knock off Louisville 21-17 in a Big East game before a rain soaked announced crowd of 40,000 at Rentschler Field on Saturday night.


The Huskies are now 6-1, and 2-0 in the Big East as it hosts No. 2 South Florida next Saturday at home.


"It's a great team victory for us," UConn coach Randy Edsall said. "All three phases of our team did a great job and contributed. I am proud of our coaches, kids for what they did."


"This is not just a win for the University of Connecticut football team, this is a win for the State of Connecticut."


After Heyman's fumble return, things looked dead.


The Huskies had come up with zeros on a pair of red zone trips and the only points came on a disputed 74-yard punt return for a touchdown from Larry Taylor in the third quarter when he appeared to give a fair catch signal before running for the score. 


The Cardinals then took the lead late in the fourth quarter when Brian Brohm orchestrated a 14 play drive that stalled inside the 10. Art Carmody gave the Cardinals a 10-7 lead with a 23-yard field goal with 12:30 left in the fourth quarter.       


Then disaster struck. Brown went to his let and had the ball knocked out by a helmet and picked up by Heyman for what appeared to be the decisive score.


Then the Huskies got going. Taylor returned the ensuing kickoff to midfield and Tyler Lorezen orchestrated a quick touchdown drive going five plays in 1:33 cutting the lad to 17-14 on a 7-yard touchdown pass to D.J. Hernandez.


The Huskies defense got to work. The Louisville offense was ranked No. 3 in the nation and averaging early 559 yards a game. But UConn, with help from a slow field on a rainy day, kept Brohm in check all day. Brohm passed for a pedestrian 228 yards and one touchdown and had two interceptions.


Louisville had a chance to put the game away, but after getting to the UConn 28 couldn't go further. On a fourth and 3 from the 28 Brohm's pass to Douglas was broken up by Darius Butler.


The Huskies moved quickly. Lorenzen found Brad Kanuch for a 17 yard catch and Terrence Jeffers for 18 yards. The drive ended with Dixon piling into the line at the 5-yard line and not being denied.


"That run was crazy," Dixon said. "I will give a lot of credit to my line, they made a nice hole knew I had to hit the hole and keep the legs driving in the endzone. Feeling relief, you want to feel like you do your best on every play. I think I gave my best and the results showed."


Dixon led the Huskies with 115 yards on 23 carries.


Brohm still had a shot at a last second victory, but with 20 seconds left he had to force the ball downfield from his own 44-yard line, and Danny Lansanah was at the Cardinals 20 for a game clinching interception.


"It was a total team victory tonight," Edsall said. "I thought that all three phases of our team really did a good job and contributed in every aspect. I'm just proud of the coaches, I proud of the kids for what they did."


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