Football: UConn comes out flat against Cincinnati, falls to 0-6
Published: Sunday, October 20, 2013
Updated: Sunday, October 20, 2013 23:10
It is not a homecoming that T.J. Weist will want to remember.
Weist, who left Cincinnati for UConn this past offseason, and the UConn football team dropped to 0-6 for the first time since 1978 with a 41-16 loss to the Bearcats at Nippert Stadium on Saturday.
The Huskies (0-6, 0-2 the American) continue to inch closer to the 1978 team’s 0-8 start, the worst start to a season in UConn football history.
In his second career start, freshman Tim Boyle threw for 300 yards, completing 17 of 24 passes, but threw three interceptions and still does not have a touchdown.
It did not take long for Cincinnati to get on the board. Less than three minutes into the first quarter, Bearcats quarterback Brendon Kay connected with Chris Moore for an eight-yard score.
UConn had a chance to tie the game in the first quarter, but after getting the ball inside the five-yard line, left tackle Jimmy Bennett was flagged for a false start, and the Huskies were only able to kick a field goal.
The second quarter was all Bearcats.
There was panic for Cincinnati early in the quarter, when Kay hit his wrist on a teammate’s helmet following through on a pass. It was eventually diagnosed as a sprained wrist, but on the very next play, Kay hit tight end Blake Annen in stride for a 41-yard touchdown reception.
Trying to gain some momentum near the end of the half, Boyle and the Huskies began moving the ball effectively down the field. But Boyle was intercepted by Cincinnati’s Devon Drane, who returned the ball 41 yards to the two-yard-line. Kay did the rest of the work, scoring on a one-yard keeper with 91 seconds to play in the half.
Cincinnati’s defense then forced a punt, and Kay got one more shot at the end zone, hitting Max Morrison on a 32-yard touchdown pass.
Kay would match his career high of four touchdown passes when he hit Anthony McClung for a 28-yard score in the fourth quarter.
The Huskies’ defensive problems were clear throughout the game, but no time more prevelant than when Cincinnati’s wildcat quarterback Jordan Luallen was able to sell that the Bearcats were running a jet sweep, only to lob a 27-yard pass to Moore, who walked into the end zone untouched.
After rushing for a career-high 164 yards rushing last week against South Florida, UConn running back Lyle McCombs did very little on Saturday, rushing for 14 yards on nine carries. Max DeLorenzo led the Huskies with 46 yards on six rushes, and the redshirt sophomore scored UConn’s lone offensive touchdown, a 12-yard run in the third quarter.
UConn’s one defensive highlight on Saturday came with just over six minutes left in the game, when Marquise Vann recovered a fumble and ran it 40 yards to the end zone.
With the 10th meeting between the two schools, Cincinnati now leads the all-time series 8-2.
Still in search of their first win, the Huskies will be down in Orlando next Saturday to take on No. 21 Central Florida. The Knights (5-1, 2-0 the American) are coming off of the biggest win for any AAC team in 2013, a road victory against conference-favorite and defending Sugar Bowl champion Louisville (6-1, 2-1 the American), ending the Cardinals’ national title aspirations and dropping them from No. 8 to No. 18 in the Associated Press Poll.
Saturday’s game is the American Game of the Week on SNY, meaning it will be broadcast throughout the major markets within the conference.