UConn Swallows Pride in Opener

EAST HARTFORD – It wasn't crisp, but it's hard to complain when the halftime lead is 28 points and the final score is 35-3. Still, UConn Coach Randy wasn't happy at the conclusion of its season opener with Hofstra. The Huskies turned over the ball five times, committed penalties that called back two touchdowns, and were flagged for a host of holding penalties.

Luckily they had Donald Brown. Brown rushed for 130 yards and four touchdowns – in the first half-- and the University of Connecticut football team rolled to a 35-3- victory over Hofstra before over 35,000 fans at Rentschler Field on Thursday night.

The Huskies overmatched Hofstra, from the FCS's Colonial Athletic Association, dominating with the ground game with 214 yards rushing and 27 first downs.

UConn may have dominated on the scoreboard, but against an overmatched Pride it is how you win that counts as much as if you win. For the Huskies, it wasn't what they were looking for.

Brown's first half not withstanding, the Huskies made mental mistakes and bad decisions and showed an inability to get the ball downfield in the passing game. The Huskies also showed a penchant for penalties and mistakes, and that drew head coach Randy Edsall's ire.

"We have to do things better than what we did this evening," Edsall said. "Offensively we were just very inconsistent. We can't play like that. We can't throw three interceptions. We can't get down in the red zone and not come away with points."

The Huskies had an 85-yard kickoff return for a touchdown called back because of a penalty to open the game. A Brown touchdown was called back by a holding penalty as was another long gainer by Brown. The Huskies also had an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for a late hit and quarterback Tyler Lorenzen threw three interceptions, two coming in the endzone.

Against better teams that can equal the Huskies physically, those kinds of plays will be fatal. The Huskies committed seven penalties for 70 yards.

If there is one thing the Huskies did right however20was run the ball. Brown's first score was set-up after Hofstra muffed a punt on its own 1-yard line. Brown waltzed in for his first score less than two minutes into the game.

On the Huskies' third possession, Brown accounted for 53 yards on eight carries before scoring on another 1-yard touchdown run for a 14-0 lead. Brown kept going in the second quarter scoring on a 19-yard touchdown run and a two-yard touchdown run late in the half. Brown finished with 23 rushes and 146 yards and four touchdowns in an early night.

"I am just healthy and confident right now," Brown said. "I feel that is what I need to be. I need to go out there and play. I know a lot more now than I did a few seasons ago. I don't really need to think about much, I just need to go out there and trust my instincts".

It was a dominating performance by Brown.

"He lost a bit of weight and has that shiftiness," Edsall said. "He is hungry."

Lorenzen however drew Edsall's ire on several occasions. His three interceptions were half as many as he had a year ago a nd after he was called for an illegal forward pass early in the fourth quarter, Edsall gave him the rest of the night off an inserted true freshman Cody Endres. Lorenzen finished his night 14-of-25 for 184 yards and three interceptions.

Lorenzen threw six interceptions all of last season.

"I messed up and it's unacceptable and can't happen again," Lorenzen said. "I was seeing things, possibly over thinking, I don't know. I got to watch the tape and figure out what I did wrong. One interception, two interceptions, how many ever it is that is unacceptable. It is my job to take care of the football."

The Huskies ended their scoring on a two-yard touchdown run by redshirt freshman Robbie Frey in the fourth quarter to make a 35-3 game. It was a big score, but it wasn't as impressive as the margin of victory would indicate.

The Huskies defense overmatched Hofstra, which played without starting quarterback Bryan Savage. The UConn defense had seven sacks and dominated action. Hofstra's Cory Christopher did throw for 123yards and a pair of interceptions.

Husky notes: *Linebacker/strong safety Corey Stringer has left the team and intends to transfer to Stony Brook.

*WR Kashif Moore made his first career catch, a 19-yard catch in the second quarter. Moore finished with four catches for 37 yards.

*True freshman WR Michael Smith made his first career catch in the third quarter for 13 yards.

*Lindsay Witten had two sacks and provided pressure all night from the defensive end spot.

*QB Cody Endres made his debut in the fourth quarter and finished 4 of 5 for 49 yards.

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