EAST HARTFORD, Conn. - UConn senior wide receiver Noel Thomas (Norwalk, Conn.) had 14 receptions for 111 yards as the Huskies fell to Syracuse on Saturday by a 31-24 score before a crowd of 31,899 at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field. The Huskies fall to 2-2 on the on the season while the Orange improve to 2-2.
Thomas' 14 receptions were the second-highest in UConn single-game history and tied the mark for the most-ever against a Syracuse team. The Husky school record is 15, set by Geremy Davis in 2013.
Orange wide receiver Amba Etta-Tawo caught 12 passes for a school-record 270 yards and two touchdowns. He scored twice in the game's first five minutes on touchdown receptions of 57 and 30 yards as the Orange went out to a 14-0 lead in the game's first five minutes.
The Huskies had two sustained drives in the second quarter to tie the game at 14-14 as junior tailback Ron Johnson (Naples, Fla.) scored on a two-yard run with 6:05 to go in the half and junior Arkeel Newsome (Ansonia, Conn.) scored on a six-yard run 34 second to go. Syracuse was able to move the ball far enough to set up a 47-yard field goal by Cole Murphy as the half expired for a 17-14 SU edge.
UConn senior kicker Bobby Puyol (North Palm Beach, Fla.) kicked a 27-yard field goal to knot the game at 17-17 with 5:11 to go.
Syracuse defensive back Cordell Hudson changed the momentum of the game with he returned an interception 22-yards for a TD to give the Orange a 24-17 edge late in the fourth quarter.
The Huskies had a chance to tie the game in the fourth quarter after holder redshirt Tyler Davis (Bellmore, N.Y.), out of the holder position, hit redshirt junior tight end Tommy Myers (Coventry, Conn.) with a 17-yard pass on a fake field goal to set the Huskies up at the Syracuse eight-yard line with seven minutes to go. Syracuse's defense held and the Orange marched the length of the field to put the game away with a six-yard TD run by quarterback Eric Dungey to make it 31-17 Syracuse with 2:14 to play.
Newsome led UConn in rushing with 81 yards while redshirt junior quarterback Bryant Shirreffs (Jefferson, Ga.) was 27 of 45 with one TD.
Dungey was 26 of 40 in the air for 407 yards for the Orange.
The Huskies return to action on Thursday when they travel to Houston for an 8 p.m. matchup against the top-ten ranked Cougars. The game will be televised on ESPN and heard on the UConn IMG Sports Radio Network.