Oct. 15, 2011
EAST HARTFORD (AP) -- University of Connecticut redshirt freshman Lyle McCombs (Staten Island, N.Y.) ran for 130 yards and senior kicker Dave Teggart (Northborough, Mass.) kicked three field goals as the Huskies beat USF 16-10 on Saturday without scoring an offensive touchdown. The Homecoming contest was played before a crowd of 37,162 at Rentschler Field. UConn improves to 3-4 on the season and 1-1 in the BIG EAST while USF is 3-4 and 1-1.
Redshirt freshman cornerback Byron Jones (New Britain, Conn.) ran a third-quarter fumble back 10 yards for what turned out to be the winning score after senior defensive tackle Twyon Martin (Parkland, Fla.) stripped USF running back Darrel Scott deep in UConn territory.
B.J. Daniels threw for 164 yards and ran for 64 and a touchdown. But the USF quarterback also threw two interceptions and had a key fumble.
The Bulls failed to convert on a fourth down with just under 2 1/2 minutes left and the Huskies ran out the clock.
A 32-yard run from Daniels had given the Bulls the ball in UConn territory. But a fourth-down pass to Sterling Griffin was stopped four yards short of the first-down marker.
Teggart, who beat South Florida with last-minute field goals in their two previous meetings, hit from 18, 46, and 28 yards.
Connecticut won despite having just 253 yards of offense, and much of that came from McCombs, who carried the ball 30 times and recorded his fourth 100-yard game.
The Bulls' defensive line spent much of the afternoon in UConn's backfield, tying a school record with seven sacks. The Huskies had given up just 17 in their previous six games.
Daniels scored on the Bulls' first drive of the second half with a 22-yard scramble through the UConn defense, cutting left to leave redshirt freshman linebacker Yawin Smallwood (Worcester, Mass.) behind on his way to the end zone to give USF a 10-6 lead.
But Smallwood later made a key play, tipping a pass that redshirt junior Sio Moore (Apex, N.C.) intercepted to stop a fourth-quarter drive.
Offensive mistakes and good defense kept both teams out of the end zone in the first half.
USF defensive end Ryne Giddins had nine of his 11 tackles in the first half, to go along with two sacks, a forced fumble.
But the Bulls managed just 75 yards of offense and two turnovers before intermission.
The teams traded field goals in the first quarter. Maikon Bonani hit a 23-yarder to open the scoring, and Teggart capped a 16-play drive on the next possession with an 18-yarder.
Teggart hit a short kickoff into a strong wind and Marcus Shaw returned the kick 79 yards to the UConn 8-yard line. But Daniels' errant pitchout on a second-down option play was picked up by UConn redshirt junior Dwayne Gratz (Piscataway, N.J.).
UConn gave the ball back a few plays later when McCombs fumbled. But the Bulls failed to score, when a 46-yard field-goal attempt into the wind fell short. He also missed a 44-yarder in the third quarter that went wide left.
Teggart's second field goal came just before halftime, a 46-yarder that capped a 15-play drive and made it 6-3. His third field-goal, a 28-yarder, cut the lead to 10-9, less than a minute before Martin and Jones teamed up for UConn's defensive score. The Husky offense has now gone two games without a touchdown.
USF coach Skip Holtz had not been back to Connecticut since coaching the Huskies from 1994-1998. UConn was still a Division I-AA program then, and Holtz led the school to the Division I-AA playoffs in 1998, the school's first postseason appearance.
South Florida fell to 1-4 at Rentschler Field. The Huskies improved to 7-1 in Big East home openers.