Oct. 13, 2012
EAST HARTFORD, Conn. - Temple senior kicker Brandon McManus hit a 29-yard field goal in overtime as the Owls, who trailed for over 59 minutes Saturday, came from behind to beat the University of Connecticut football team by a 17-14 score before a Homecoming crowd of 37,279 at Rentschler Field.
Temple senior running back Montel Harris, a transfer from Boston College, ran 30 times for 142 yards and a touchdown for the Owls, who improve to 3-2 overall and 2-0 in the BIG EAST. UConn is 3-4 overall and 0-2 in the BIG EAST and was held to just two first-quarter touchdowns.
UConn redshirt junior kicker Chad Christen (Etters, Pa.) missed four field goal attempts, including a 28-yarder on UConn's overtime possession.
Husky redshirt sophomore Chandler Whitmer (Newnan, Ga.) threw for 293 yards and both of UConn's scores and redshirt freshman running back Max DeLorenzo (Berlin, Conn.) had 91 yards rushing for the Huskies in his first career start.
Temple trailed until sophomore Jalen Fitzpatrick caught a 14-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Chris Coyer with 19 seconds in regulation. The Owls have won two consecutive BIG EAST games for the first time in the program's history.
The touchdown was set up by a 33-yard catch on the left sideline by junior Deon Miller on a third-and-13 from the UConn 47, which followed 13-yard catch by Harris on a fourth down that moved the ball into UConn territory. Temple had failed on fourth down on two other fourth-quarter drives.
Christen had a chance to secure the win for UConn, but his 45-yard field-goal attempt with just under three minutes to play was blocked. He had missed earlier from 38 and 42 yards.
Whitmer completed 10 of his first 12 passes, including a 15-yard strike over the middle to Mike Smith for a touchdown that gave the Huskies a 7-0 lead. On his next drive, he found redshirt senior tight end Ryan Griffin (Londonderry, N.H.) over the middle for a 42-yard score.
Whitmer completed 22 of 39 passes for 293 yards and no interceptions. He had thrown four interceptions at Rutgers and came in with 10 on the season and just four touchdown passes.
Coyer, who threw for just 132 yards, also ran for 51 for the Owls.
The Huskies kept Temple pinned in its own territory for most of the first half. The Owls managed just eight yards and one first down on their first four possessions. But they had 113 on their next two.
Harris broke a 37-yard run and a 24-yarder for a touchdown to cut the deficit to 14-7. The Owls were driving again before Harris was stripped of the ball by linebacker redshirt sophomore Yawin Smallwood (Worcester, Mass.) at Connecticut's 26-yard line.
Both teams played without their top running backs. Temple's Matt Brown, suffered an ankle injury last week, and UConn redshirt sophomore Lyle McCombs (Staten Island, N.Y.) sprained his wrist. Without McCombs, the Huskies managed just 88 rushing yards. Harris ran for 133 yards in the Owls' win last week over South Florida.
The win gave Temple coach Steve Addazio a victory over his mentor. UConn's Paul Pasqualoni was the head coach at Western Connecticut and hired Addazio to his first assistant coaching job there in 1985 The win gave Temple its first road win of the season. The Huskies came in ranked sixth in the nation in total defense, giving up just over 82 yards per game on the ground.
The Huskies return to action on Friday when they travel to Syracuse for an 8:00 p.m. game at the Carrier Dome. The game will be natioanlly televised by ESPN and heard on the UConn IMG Sports Radio Network.