STORRS, CT (October 6, 2001)- The Husky defense allowed just 191 yards of total offense and Dan Orlovsky (Fr., Shelton, CT) threw for 180 yards and a touchdown in becoming the first true freshman quarterback to start for UConn since 1992 as the University of Connecticut shut out Eastern Michigan, 19-0, Saturday at Memorial Stadium.
With the win, Connecticut improved its record to 2-3 on the season, while Eastern Michigan fell to 1-4.
UConn made the most of its first two possessions of the game. Orlovsky went 3-for-4 for 57 yards on the opening drive, most of which came on a 36-yard completion to Matt Cutaia (RFr., Webster, NY). The first drive was capped by a Marc Hickok (Jr., Gloversville, NY) 22-yard field goal with 6:24 remaining in the first to make it 3-0.
Following that, the Husky defense forced Eastern Michigan to punt and UConn took over with good field position at the 33-yard line. Four plays later, Orlovsky hit tight end Rashad Drayton (Boston, MA) on an 11-yard pass in the middle of the end zone at the 2:58 mark of the first to push it to 10-0.
A fumble at the Eastern Michigan 22 set up UConn's third score of the game. After Orlovsky passed to Cliff Hill (So., Wallingford, CT) to get the Huskies down to the four, the freshman signal caller would sneak it across the plane on third and goal from the one with 3:31 remaining before intermission. The play was the first rushing touchdown of Orlovsky's career.
Eastern Michigan had its chances in the second half including a missed 52-yard field goal attempt by Eric Klaban with 5:40 left in the third. The Eagles also benefited from a roughing the kicker penalty in the fourth on a 42yard field goal attempt. Following the infraction, the Eagles elected to go on fourth and one from the UConn 20, but came away with a one yard loss when Justin Perkins (RFr., Ft. Lauderdale, Fl) stopped EMU quarterback Kainoa Akina.
Hickok tacked his second field goal of the day on from 31 yards away to bring it to 19-0 with 6:32 remaining in the game.
Orlovsky finished the game 14-of-32 for 180 yards with one touchdown and one interception, while Akina went 20 for 38 for 160 yards and a pair of interceptions.
The shutout was the second for Connecticut in head coach Randy Edsall's three seasons and was the first since September 18, 1999 when the Huskies blanked Buffalo 23-0 in Storrs. The defensive effort by UConn was highlighted by the fact that Eastern Michigan did not cross on to the Huskies' side of the field until 7:05 in the third quarter.
UConn will return to action on Saturday, October 13th when it travels to Tampa, FL for a 7 p.m. meeting with South Florida. The game can be heard on WTIC-AM 1080.