For the next two weeks we will be hosting The Terry Baltimore Cup, a 12-play tournament to pick the best play in UConn football history. Today, we have our third opening round matchup. The winner of this will contest will take on Larry Taylor's fair catch in next week's quarterfinals. You have until 6 a.m. on Friday to vote for your favorite.
The Date: December 5, 2009
The Game: South Florida vs. UConn
The Play: It's tough to remember now, but once upon a time a Dave Teggart kick did not mean an automatic win. He converted less than two-thirds of his fields goals in 2009 and occasionally failed in big moments. Take UConn's matchup against Notre Dame. Yes, the Huskies won in double overtime, but that would not have been necessary if Teggart had not hooked a field goal at the end of regulation. I bring this up because someone watching a replay of his 2009 kick from USF might not appreciate its context if they're only thinking back on the Teggart of 2010 and 2011.
The Huskies, still reeling from Jasper Howard's death, had managed to string together a pair of wins coming into this game, but beating USF would move them to 7-5 and help lock in a good bowl bid. The Huskies, who had had and early lead, traded touchdowns with the Bulls through the fourth quarter, but things looked bleak when BJ Daniels cut into the end zone with only 40 seconds left. The Huskies went 31 yards in about 30 seconds to set up Teggart who, through the wind and snow, showed the first real indication of what he would become, booting in a 42-yard field goal to win the game.
The Date: November 11, 2010
The Game: Pittsburgh vs. UConn
The Play: It takes a rare set of circumstances for a three-yard run inside of UConn's territory to merit consideration for "best play ever" status, but this run certainly deserves it. Leading by tw0 with about two and a half minutes left, Randy Edsall made a fateful decision: he would risk the lead and the game by going for it on fourth down on UConn's 19 yard line. The stakes were high for UConn, which was coming off its first ever win over West Virginia and appeared to have an outside shot at winning the conference -- if they could be Pitt.
The conservative (and probably sensible move) at this point would have been punting. A turnover on downs would have meant a near certain Pittsburgh timeout, plus the Panthers could have taken some time off the clock (and forced UConn to use its two remaining timeouts) before daring Zach Frazer (9 of 20 on the day) to lead a comeback in the closing seconds. But Randy Edsall, for only the second time in his life, decided that the conservative route wasn't for him. And... it worked. It worked beautifully. Jordan Todman was able to pick up the necessary yard and then some and UConn went on to win the game and eventually earn a BCS bid.