Brown Leads UConn

PHILADELPHIA – Thank God for Donald Brown. If he wasn't running the football for the UConn football team there is no telling how disastrous the opening two games would have been. Brown bailed the Huskies out big-time on Saturday afternoon against Temple rushing for a career-high 214 yards on 36 carries

His 36th and final carry was a 7-yard run in overtime that secured a 12-9 victory over Temple before 17,000 at Lincoln Financial Field.

Brown has become the workhorse on offense rushing for 360 yards and five touchdowns in the first two weeks. On Saturday he was at his best as the pouring rain, leftover remnants of Tropical Storm Hannah, and an inability to execute in the passing game nearly undid the Huskies.

With Brown around however, there is no need to worry.

"We did what we had to do with 36 carries," Edsall said. "We might not practice him until Thursday. He was vintage Donald Brown."

If he wasn't vintage Brown, the Huskies would have gone down to a crushing early season defeat.

The Huskies missed three field goals, had a fumble at the six-inch line, trailed in the fourth quarter 6-0, and managed only 86 yards passing.

Still, when it came down to crunch time, the Huskies rallied with a pair of Tony Ciaravino field goals late, from 36 and 37 yards to tie the game at 6-6 in the fourth quarter.

Temple coach A Golden took a mind-boggling gamble on fourth and 1 from their own 34 yard line and the play was stuffed by UConn linebacker Greg Lloyd with 4:13 left.

UConn made its own mind-boggling decisions on the next sequence by running three straight plays without giving theball to Brown.

Ciaravino ended up missing a 47-yard field goal. The Huskies defense held however and as the game went into overtime.

In the overtime, Temple took the ball at the 25-yard line and was stopped by the Huskies defense at the 4-yard line for a short field goal for Jake Long.

At 9-6, and needing a touchdown to win the game, the Huskies didn't try and reinvent the wheel and went to Brown, who had gashed the Owls defense all game.

Brown's first carry of the overtime was a pitch right that he gained 10-yards on. The second touch was an 8-yard run up the middle. Then came Brown's 36th carry of the game, another run up the gut. Brown ran into the defense at the 5-yard line but wasn't going to be denied. The 5-11 207 pound back broke several tackles and took a couple of players into the endzone with him for the game-winning score.

Brown spiked the football and then raised his arms and flexed his muscles like a professional wrestler. The Huskies had improved to 2-0, and Brown was ready for even more.

"As the game progressed I felt stronger," Brown said. "You get in a flow, and you don't think about anything, everything just happens. You just react."

Lorenzen did his part by rushing with 75 yards of his own as the running game generated 293 yards. Most of it however was Brown gaining yards after contact.

"The kid is unreal," Lorenzen said. "He loves it. He loves knowing that the load is on his back. He knows if we are going to win it starts upfront, and he has to hit that hole."

The Huskies 12-9 win might not have been pretty. Lorenzen struggled in the elements going 11-for-22 with another interception though it wasn't his fault. He did have a fumble at the six-inch line that was especially devastating though. When Lorenzen did get the ball to receiver, there were numerous drops. The passing game needs to get better, but at 2 -0, Edsall isn't about to complain about the win. Not one hard fought like this.

"Great victory," UConn coach Randy Edsall said. "Just finding a way to get a victory. We had to overcome a lot of adversity to win this game with some turnovers, missed field goals and a couple of plays in the passing game that went against us. On the road to get a win and be as dominant on offense (running the ball) there in overtime…I am proud as heck of these kids."

The Huskies have found a way to win through the season's first two weeks. From here on in however, it's going to get much more difficult with Virginia coming in next Saturday to Rentschler Field.

UCONN Playbook Top Stories