UConn Rally Knocks Out Bearcats

EAST HARTFORD – The University of Connecticut football team had every thing going against it on Saturday at Rentschler Field against Cincinnati. Third string backup quarterback making his first career start, two game losing streak in hand, and a Cincinnati team that UConn had never beaten and had physically dominated in the past.

So much for conventional wisdom. All the Huskies needed was a little Brown on offense, and a little Brown on defense.

Donald Brown rushed 150 yards and added two touchdowns, while defensive end Cody Brown had two sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery as UConn scored 20 fourth quarter points to rout Cincinnati 40-16 before 40,000 fans at Rentschler Field.

UConn (6-2, 2-1) coach Randy Edsall said that he never thinks games are must wins. But, if there ever was one it was Saturday.

"We went out today and did the things we had to do in order to win; it wasn't always pretty but they fought for every inch today for 60 minutes," Edsall said. "That's what we talked about a lot this week in that we have to play for everything. This is a team that has been beating us up over the past couple years and I am so proud of those young men and coaches."

The Huskies are coming off losses to North Carolina and Rutgers, and with West Virginia looming next week wins could get scarce.

Donald Brown knows what this win meant.

"I feel if we didn't win it could have turned into a long season," Brown said. "We got it done, now we have to focus up, have a great week of practice, and get ready for West Virginia."

The Huskies started third string redshirt freshman Cody Endres at quarterback and the Washington, Pa. native completed 18-of-42 passes for 194 yards. He didn't commit a turnover, and that was the difference for the Huskies.

"Cody Endres stepped up and did a great job." Edsall said. " He did not turn the ball over, managed the game extremely well, and made some big throws."

Cincinnati committed six turnovers and watched a 13-10 halftime lead disappear quickly.

UConn took a 17-13 lead early in the third quarter on a Jordan Todman 2-yard touchdown run. That was set up by an Endres 34-yard pass to freshman Michael Smith. After a Jake Rogers 22-yard field goal, Cincinnati pulled within 17-16.

That is as close as the Bearcats (5-2, 1-1) would get.

Edsall had David Teggart, a redshirt freshman making his first career appearance, attempt a 47-yard field goal into the wind. Teggart made it easily and finished 4-for-4 on the day.

A fumble on the ensuing kickoff help set up another Teggart field goal to behind the fourth quarter.

That's when UConn's defense put on the clamps.

Teggart gave the Huskies a 26-16 lead on a 22-yard field goal set up by a Robert McClain interception. Then the wheels came off.

Donald Brown broke off a 53-yard run that helped set up a 5-yard run with 2:53 left to put the game away. To add insult to injury, McClain picked off a Chazz Anderson pass and returned it 28 yards for a touchdown with 1:41 to go.

The Huskies defense, spearheaded by Brown, made life miserable for Cincinnati quarterbacks Tony Pike and Anderson. Pike played the first half and left with an injury while Anderson struggled in the second half. Cincinnati quarterbacks were 19-of47 for 259 yards and three touchdowns.

"UConn whipped us in the second half, it was a tale of two halves," Cincinnati coach Brian Kelly said.

UConn stifled Cincinnati on third down holding them to 0-14. Including a pair of fourth downs, it was 0-for-16 on third and fourth down conversions.

"They held them 30 yards rushing, 19-of-47 passes and got three picks. We held them to no third conversions which has been an Achilles heal for us," Edsall said. " It was great to be back home and in front of our fans which I know juiced them up. When you prepare the right way, you stay focused and you scrap for every inch out there then you will give yourself an opportunity to do what they did today."

Cody Brown was a force. He had two sacks in the first half, and also drew a pair of holding penalties on his blocker as he pressured Cincinnati quarterbacks all game.

"I don't know, I just felt like dominating today," Brown laughed.

The entire Huskies defense did too apparently.

While the defense impressed, the offense went to Donald Brown when it counted. Brown set the Huskies single season rushing mark in just eight games and now has 1,374 yards and 14 touchdowns.

"That is news to me," Brown laughed after the game. "That's a complement to the offensive line and blocking."

On a day that the Huskies had everything going against them at the start, they had everything going for them at the end.

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