UConn Edges USF; Vaults into Top 20

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. – Greg Robinson Jr. didn't know that he was going to make the biggest play in UConn football history. He was just doing his job. That is how the Huskies got this far, and that's what's going to carry them into the Top 25 this week. Just a bunch of parts doing their jobs; that is what the Huskies are. And they are doing it well

Robinson was in the game for a game deciding fourth quarter goal line stand. No. 11 South Florida was driving for a potential game-tying touchdown and with third and goal from the 1-yard with a little over a minute to go at 22-15, the game was at stake. .

 

Robinson was there to protect against the bootleg.  It was his only job in short yardage.

 

One-yard. That is what separated UConn from a Top 25 ranking, and going into overtime in what amounts to a coin flip.

 

When Grothe faked the handoff and turned for a bootleg, Robinson did what he was told.

 

Robinson had hammered home all week to watch for the bootleg, stay in your lane and stay disciplined. Robinson was waiting for Grothe on the turn and sacked him for an 11-yard loss.

 

The Huskies then held on one more time.

 

Grothe's fourth down pass from the 12 fell incomplete and UConn won its first ever game against a ranked team, 22-15, with  stunning win before 40,000 fans at Rentschler Field on Saturday.

 

The Huskies are now 7-1 and 3-0 in Big East and their first national ranking is imminent. They did it all in one day at The Rent. There can be no more doubting these Huskies.

 

""It is (the biggest win in school history)," UConn coach Randy Edsall said. "When you beat a team that is top 10, it has to be the best victory we ever had at this institution. I hope there is more to come."

 

"Today, anyone ever associated with the UConn football program can be proud at what took place."

 

 

Robinson's play will go down as one of the biggest and noteworthy in UConn history. Robinson didn't see it like that however. What else was he supposed to do?

 

""All week coach has been beating into our heads -- play your responsibility," Robinson said. "All week they told me. I was just doing my job. That's my job; I am a backup linebacker now. Scott Lutrus plays a great game and when I get my chance to make a play I am going to show that I can play."

 

The Huskies are a lunch pail team just going to work and doing their jobs. UConn running back Andre Dixon led the Huskies with a workmanlike 167 yards and 42 yards receiving. Quarterback Tyler Lorenzen added 194 yards passing and a touchdown pass operating the offense like a union steward – doing just enough to get the job done.

 

Finally Scott Lutrus put in his days work, once again making an interception return and running it in for a touchdown, his second one this year.

 

It was another high stakes and high drama game at Rentschler Field.  

 

UConn had taken a 16-0 halftime lead thanks to a Tony Ciaravino field goal, a 2-yard touchdown pass from Lorenzen to Steve Brouse (missed extra point) and Lutrus' return.

 

In the second half however the Bulls came out to play.

 

USF's special teams got their team on the board blocking a Desi Cullen punt and had a shot at recovering it in the end zone before UConn's Dahna Deleston pounced on it for a safety.

 

Then Grothe, who to that point had a poor game having an interception ran back for a touchdown and throwing another in the endzone, started to work his magic. After an incomplete pass on the first play after a free kick, Grothe broke free for a 53-yard run and scored on a 10-yard run. Just like that it was 16-9.

 

The Huskies have had a penchant for answering scores and once again got a big drive when they needed with Ciaravino capping the third quarter with a 27-yard field goal after a 12 play 51 yard drive stalled at the 10.  

 

South Florida's (6-2, 1-2) Delbe Alvarado cut the lead to 19-12 on a 47-yard field goal. After a three and out, Grothe engineered a drive to the UConn 10 before it too stalled. Alvarado kicked the short field goal to cut the UConn lead to 19-15.

 

Grothe was handful, especially in the second half, as he rushed for 146 yards and added 189 yards passing.

 

The Huskies had a chance to put the game away late in the fourth and went on a 10 play drive to the Bulls' 3-yard line, but couldn't punch it in. Ciaravino's field goal made it a 22-15 game.

 

Grothe had 5:19 left, more than enough time to work his magic.    

 

He completed a fourth and 7 pass for a first down to the UConn 9. An offside call brought the ball to the 5-yard line setting up the final sequences.

 

Grothe rushed for no gain on first down.  Then he handed off inside to Moises Plancher for four years to the UConn 1. Robinson was in on that play and when the Bulls lined up in the game formation thought to himself to watch for the bootleg.

 

He sniffed it out for a sack, setting up desperation fourth and 12 play. That too fell incomplete, and the UConn students poured onto the field.

 

It was amazing, I loved every bit of it," Davis said of the celebration. "Just seeing everyone pour onto the field like that and to have little kids screaming at the top of their lungs, it was amazing. That's what we want to make UConn football all about and that's the tradition that we want to start around here."

 

Edsall watched while his players chanted celebrated. He didn't join, he soaked it all in and then ran into the locker room.

 

That is why he came to UConn.

 

That is college football.  

 


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