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UConn Football Suffers 35-20 Setback at Pittsburgh

Kashif Moore caught six balls for 106 yards and a score.

Oct. 26, 2011

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PITTSBURGH, Pa. - Quarterback Tino Sunseri was 29 of 42 in the air for a career-high 419 yards and two TDs to lead Pittsburgh to a 35-20 win over the University of Connecticut on Wednesday night before a crowd of 40,219 at Heinz Field. UConn drops to 3-5 overall and 1-2 in the BIG EAST while the Panthers improve to 4-4 and 2-1 in the BIG EAST.

Pittsburgh outgained UConn in total yardage 529-316 on the night despite loosing Ray Graham, the country's second-leading rusher, on his second carry of the game.

UConn junior quarterback Johnny McEntee (Fullerton, Calif.) struggled in the air as he was 17 of 33 for 193 yards and a two TDs. Redshirt freshman Lyle McCombs (Staten Island, N.Y.) enjoyed a productive night on the ground as he rushed 25 times for 124 yards. It marked the fifth 100-yard game of his eight-game collegiate career.

Sunseri was also the top ground gainer for the Panthers with 12 carries for 40 yards and a TD. Zach Brown was Sunseri's favorite target of the night with 9 catches for 84 yards to go with 30 yards gained on the ground.

Pittsburgh led 21-3 at halftime but the Huskies scored the first ten points of the second half to cut the Panther lead to 21-13 with 4:08 left in the third.

Senior Kashif Moore (Burlington, N.J.) scored UConn's only TD of the night as McEntee found him wide open with 11:35 to go in the third for a 62-yard score to make it 21-10.  Moore finished the game with six receptions for 106 yards.

UConn cut it to 21-13 on its next possession as senior Dave Teggart (Northborough, Mass.) hit a 31-yard field goal. It was Teggart's fifth game of the year with multiple field goals and the 19th of his career.

That UConn drive began at its own 22 and the Huskies moved all the way to the Pitt 10-yard line for first and goal, but had to settle for the field goal.

As it appeared the game might be turning the Huskies' way, Pittsburgh quickly came back after the field goal and moved the ball 82 yards on only five plays for a score that made it 28-13. The touchdown was scored on a 27-yard pass from Sunseri to Mike Shanahan.

Ronald Jones replaced Sunseri late in the fourth quarter and led the Panthers on their fifth touchdown drive of the night as he found Devin Street for a 14-yard touchdown reception to cap a three play scoring drive.

UConn got a one touchdown back with less than a minute to play as McEntee hooked up with junior tight end Ryan Griffin (Londonderry, N.H.) from 14 yards out to put the game at 35-20.

Pittsburgh completely dominated the first half outgaining the Huskies in total yardage 321 to 80 and holding a 17-5 first down advantage.

The Panthers scored on their first possession as they moved the ball 84 yard on eight plays in 2:18. Graham injured his leg on his second rush of the drive, but the Panthers did not flinch as they gained 51 yards on the next four plays for the score. Zach Brown had a three-yard rush for the 7-0 Pitt lead.

Pittsburgh made it 14-0 on a 17-yard TD pass from Sunseri to Shanahan that capped a seven-play, 62-yard drive. Sunseri was a perfect five-for-five in that drive for 54 yards in that drive.

UConn finally broke into the scoring column when Teggart hit a 40-yarder with 7:17 left in the half to make it 14-3. Connecticut moved the ball effectively as it started on its own 32 and got the ball to first and ten on the Pitt 25, but could only get two yards from there to settle for the field goal.

Pittsburgh scored its third touchdown of the half when on a quick four-play drive that covered 68 yards and was highlighted by a 68-yard pass play from Sunseri to Cameron Saddler.

Connecticut returns to action on Saturday, Nov. 5 when it plays host to Syracuse at noon at Rentschler Field. The game will be televised nationally on ESPNU and heard on the WTIC-UConn Radio Network. The game against Syracuse is the first of three-straight home games.