Oct. 15, 2011
By Erika Wentzell
UConn's Homecoming week came to a close with an exiting 16-10 win by the University of Connecticut football team over the USF Bulls. Saturday's win also marked the seventh Husky win in their eight BIG EAST home openers. This win puts the Huskies at 1-1 in the conference and should give them the spark of momentum they have been lacking.
A beautiful but blustery day brought together students and alumni for a heck of a football game. There was an underlying sense of community throughout the game. Alumni members of the football team, marching band and even coaching staff were in attendance to add to the nostalgia. There was a great crowd of 37, 162 fans on hand to cheer the Huskies on -- and they made their presences known. The student section Dog Pound kept their spirit up throughout the game and this didn't go unnoticed.
"I thought the fans were great," said UConn head coach Paul Pasqualoni. "I thought the crowd was great on the third down plays and thought they were great all night. It really helped us. It was just a great atmosphere for college football and I thought a really good BIG EAST game"
This win can undoubtedly be credited to the Huskies defensive line. They held the Bulls scoring to 10 points, quite a feat considering the Bulls had previously been averaging over 39 points per game. It seemed that UConn finally let their hunger for a win come to fruition Saturday. Pasqualoni described that he could see a tangible difference in his player's tonight.
"The look in the eyes of our guys tonight is what I really liked. They were determined that they weren't going to let this get away from them."
One player who has been a rock for the Huskies all season is kicker Dave Teggart. He was responsible for 10 of the teams 16 points on Saturday. Each game he breaks another personal record and moves up the BIG EAST rankings as he now stands third in BIG EAST career field goal history. He also had his tenth career game kicking three or more field goals.
When Teggart was asked about his performance, he was ever humble "I did have a big night but that's really just a testament to the offense who put me in point blank range. They drove is down the field and I got the glory at the end of the drive."
The stability he adds to the Huskies special teams is essential and Pasqualoni acknowledged that fact. "He's so valuable to us. He's a tough guy. You love your punter and kicker to be the toughest people you have on the team. And I'm talking about mental toughness. And what I like about David is he's tough everyday; he's the same guy everyday. He's invaluable, he wins games for you."
Lyle McCombs also had an outstanding night, with a career high 32 rushes for 140 yards. The red shirted freshman will continue to be a key asset to his team this season as well as years into the future.
The most important thing to take away from this Homecoming game is that it was a win, and a BIG EAST win at that. When Pasqualoni was asked what this does for the team's psyche he was quick to say -- "it puts us at 1-1 in the BIG EAST is what it does. This puts us at 1-1 and it gives us a chance to stay alive in the conference so it's a big conference game. It's a great feeling to be where we are right now with obviously, another big one coming up"
It seems that the Huskies just might be back in business in their hopes of defending their BIG EAST title this season.