Sept. 19, 2014
TAMPA, Fla. - USF quarterback Mike White passed for 113 yards and a touchdown to lead the Bulls to a 17-14 win over the University of Connecticut football team before a rain-soaked announced crowd of 28,723. UConn falls to 1-3 on the season while USF is 2-2 and the game was the American Athletic Conference opener for both squads.
White threw 30 yards to Rodney Adams and Marlon Mack ran a yard for first-quarter touchdowns that provided USF's defense with most of the help the Bulls needed to win. Chris Dunkley sacked Husky redshirt senior quarterback Chandler Whitmer (Newnan, Ga.), forcing a fumble that the USF cornerback recovered at the Huskies 19 to set up Mack's TD for a quick 7-0 lead. White's scoring pass to a wide-open Adams on fourth-and-10 made it 14-0 late in the opening quarter.
UConn closed the game to 14-7 just before the half as senior cornerback Byron Jones (New Britain, Conn.) returned an interception 70-yards for a touchdown with five seconds left. The intercepted pass glanced off the hands of Adams just before halftime. The UConn cornerback came close to stepping out of bound as he crossed midfield on the runback, however the touchdown stood following a replay review. The game remained 14-7 until USF kicker Marvin Kloss hit what would become the game-winning score on a 19-yard field goal with 6:03 left in the game.
UConn pulled with three points on Whitmer's 32-yard TD pass to senior wide receiver Geremy Davis (Lawrenceville, Ga.) with 1:19 remaining. USF recovered the ensuing onside kick and ran out the clock.
It was another close game in a series USF leads 7-5. The last eight meetings have been decided by seven or fewer points, and neither team has scored more than 19 in the last five matchups. The Huskies managed just 41 yards and on 18 plays in the first half and finished with a season-low 145 yards overall - more than half coming on the drive that ended with Whitmer's TD pass to Davis. UConn didn't pick up its second first down of the night until freshman running back Arkeel Newsome (Ansonia, Conn.) broke a 16-yard run midway through the third quarter. Three plays later, Whitmer got his first completion.
Whitmer finished six of 10 for 88 yards and no interceptions. The TD pass to Davis extended the receiver's streak of consecutive games with at least one catch to 30. A week after yielding 589 yards to North Carolina State, the USF defense limited UConn to 57 rushing and didn't allow the Huskies offense to cross midfield until the final two minutes.
Mack rushed for 103 yards on 31 carries for the Bulls, and White completed 10 of 18 passes with one interception.
The Huskies return to action next Saturday when they play host to Temple at 4:00 p.m. at Rentschler Field. The game will be televised on ESPNews and heard on the UConn IMG Sports Radio Network.
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