Sept. 17, 2011
By Erika Wentzell
EAST HARTFORD, Conn.-- A first crisp autumn air of the year set the perfect scene for UConn's matchup vs. Iowa State of the Big 12 on Friday evening. There was tangible excitement in the air as the Huskies took the field to face the Cyclones.
The crowd of 37,195 was encouraged by the attendance of their championship men's basketball team and pep talk from Coach Jim Calhoun.
Many stories lines were circulating for this game, most notably that UConn was attempting to continue it's nine game winning streak at home. Also, the Huskies were facing Iowa State for only the second time ever. The last time was in 2002 and the Huskies defeated the Cyclones, which marked the first time UConn had defeated a bowl-bound team. The tables turned tonight when Iowa State defeated the Huskies 24-20 simultaneously ending their winning home record.
The start of the game seemed promising, as UConn had three interceptions all in the first quarter. UConn coach Paul Pasqualoni didn't hide his frustration that the team couldn't capitalize on these opportunities.
"We had a lot of opportunities in the first half off of their turnovers and we only came away with ten points," said Pasqualoni. "When you're playing a team with a quarterback like this you need to take advantage of offensive opportunities."
A concern coming into the game was the sheer physical size of ISU's offense against UConn's defensive line. In the first quarter, the Huksy defense held the Cyclones to just four total yards. The defense proceeded to give up a few key plays, which ended up being UConn's demise.
A promising moment came when quarterback Johnny McEntee completed a clutch third-quarter 41-yard pass to Isiah Moore however the momentum wasn't carried through to the end zone. UCconn had to settle for a field goal that cut the ISU lead to 14-13, while a TD would have given UConn the nod at that point.
Kicker Dave Teggart, a redshirt senior, had a night of highs and lows. He has been a reliable player for the Huskies from the start. Although the night started on a sour note for Teggart -- he missed a 41-yard field goal attempt to snap a streak of 13-straight FGA dating back to last year. Despite the setback he managed to turn his luck around, twice. In the first quarter he completed a 52-yard field goal, tying his career-long distance established versus USF last season. Then in the second half, Teggart completed a 50-yard field goal, making him the first player in BIG EAST history to kick two field goals over 50 yards in one game. This achievement will highlight Teggart as a standout BIG EAST player and will certainly be a consideration in the Lou Groza Award watch.
This game was characterized by career highs and records being broken, either in the Huskies favor or against. Now the boys in Husky blue and white need to look ahead to the remainder of the season and find a way to capitalize on their opportune moments.