Nov. 19, 2011
EAST HARTFORD, Conn. -- Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater threw for 174 yards and Victor Andreson rushed for 72 to lead the Cardinals to a 34-20 win over Connecticut on Saturday before a crowd of 34,483 at Rentschler Field. Connecticut drops to 4-6 on the season and 2-3 in the BIG EAST while Louisville is 6-5 and 4-2.
"It's very disappointing," UConn coach Paul Pasqualonisaid. "At this point in the season they're all disappointing. With our conference the way it is, it's very disappointing. Where this win would have put us would have been a lot of fun."
Bridgewater completed 14 of 22 passes with an interception. The Cardinals had lost three of their last four games to UConn.
UConn redshirt senior quarterback Johnny McEntee (Fullerton, Calif.) was 18 of 43 passing for 253 yards for UConn, but some eight or nine of McEntee's passes were dropped by his receivers.
"It's hard to talk about. You saw it," Pasqualoni said. "Why? I can't tell you that. We caught the ball well all week in practice. It was very difficult for us today. Some of those drops were key plays."
Redshirt freshman Lyle McCombs (Staten Island, N.Y.) rushed for 33 yards -- well under his 109-yard per-game average -- but did become the second UConn freshman to pass the 1,000-yard mark. Senior wide receiver Kashif Moore (Burlington, N.J.) caught six passes for 110 yards and a TD and also scored a rushing touchdown.
In a game dominated by defense for long stretches, the Cardinals pulled away when their offense finally hit its stride.
Bridgewater scored on a 5-yard run late in the third quarter to put his team ahead 21-10. His option-keeper capped a 95-yard drive that was jumpstarted by a running-into-the-kicker penalty on UConn senor defensive tackle Kendall Reyes (Nashua, N.H.), and kept alive by a 39-yard pass to Smith down the sideline.
The Cardinals appeared to put the game away early in the fourth quarter on Bridgewater's second score. The touchdown, which made it 28-10, was preceded by Josh Bellamy's 35-yard, juggling catch.
UConn closed the gap with 8:34 to play in the game when McEntee hit Moore with a 30-yard touchdown pass.
A field goal by the Huskies with 13 seconds left pulled them within 28-20, and the successful onside kick that ensued gave them a slim chance of sending the game to overtime. Although the game's final play was a completed McEntee pass, it was followed by a series of laterals and resulted only in another Louisville score. Malcolm Mitchell picked off the final pitch and returned it 36 yards for a touchdown.
Connecticut returns to action next Saturday when it plays Rutgers in the final home game of the season. Gametime is noon and the game will be nationally televised on ESPN2 and on the WTIC-UConn Radio Network.