UConn tops Rutgers 28-17, wins second straight

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Casey Cochran led the Huskies with a masterful performance, completing 25 of 33 passes for over 300 yards and two touchdowns.

EAST HARTFORD -- On a chilly New England afternoon, no. 12 completed 25 of his 33 passes for 311 yards and a pair of touchdowns, as his team completed a hard fought win.

It's a story that has been told in the region ad nauseam.

But this time, no. 12's name was not Tom Brady.

His name was Casey Cochran, and the Connecticut native led UConn (2-9, 2-5) over Rutgers 28-17 for the Huskies' second win of the season at Rentschler Field. Deshon Foxx hauled in nine balls for 117 yards during a career day that included a 40-yard reception, which led to the gamewinning touchdown. The Huskies did not turn the ball over once, while they forced the Scarlet Knights into two interceptions and a fumble.

"All year it has almost been there," Cochran said.  "Everyone has seen that but today it was just there for us, no doubt about that.  On every side of the ball, we just performed well and clicked on every play.  We all knew what we had to do and we went out there and did it."

Max DeLorenzo punched in the score that put UConn ahead for good, 21-17, only moments into the fourth quarter. It was his second touchdown of the game, which notched the first-ever multi-score performance of his career. Overall, the redshirt sophomore ran for 52 yards on 13 carries.

Moments after DeLorenzo's score, Andrew Adams revived what ought to have been a Rutgers three-and-out with a critical pass interference penalty on third down. The infraction allowed Scarlet Knight quarterback Chas Dodd then to keep his unit on the move towards midfield, using both his arms and his legs.

However, working from his own 48-yardline, Dodd mistakenly fired directly at a fallen Taylor Mack, who lay on the turf three yards away from his intended target. Mack scooped the ball successfully, but had to wait for replay to confirm the original call of interception on the field. After a lengthy delay, the Huskies maintained possession and had a chance to finish off their closest rivals with eight minutes to go.

"The defense came together," said head coach T.J. Weist. "Taylor Mack obviously had two interceptions at key times and we got turnovers. That's how you're supposed to play football. That's how you're supposed to play Husky football."

Cochran followed Mack's pick with a 12-play, 56-yard drive that delivered the proverbial dagger. The youngster was masterful, chewing up five minutes on the clock and completing a nifty third down pass to DeLorenzo to move the chains. The series concluded with a three-yard touchdown toss to a diving Brian Lemelle in the corner of the end zone.

Cochran completed passes to six different receivers, including five who caught multiple balls. Foxx, Lemelle and Geremy Davis each collected at least five catches, as Davis finished two yards shy of a 100-yard game. Freshman wideout Dhameer Bradley recorded his first career start in place of the injured Shakim Phillips and promptly made his presence felt with an 18-yard touchdown reception.

Bradley's score capped UConn's first series of the game, which was quickly followed by additional Husky points. On the ensuing kickoff return, Martin Hyppolite forced the ball out from Quron Pratt and into the waiting arms of teammate Brandon Steg. Five plays later, DeLorenzo found his way into end zone from 12 yards away to give his team a 14-7 lead.

To open the game, Rutgers scored quickly, after propelling themselves to the UConn 10-yardline via a pair of third and long conversions. Inside the red zone, Dodd fired incomplete to his fullback Michael Burton on a short third down to bring on the kicking team.

However, after aligning in a traditional field goal formation, the Scarlet Knights broke into three separate clusters along the line of scrimmage. As soon as they had set, holder and back-up defensive back J.T. Tartacoff took the snap, faked a pass right and lofted a throw over the middle to tight end Tyler Kroft.

Kroft ripped the ball out from the clutches Husky safety Obi Melifonwu, who nearly claimed an interception, and fell to the turf for six points. Rutgers led for only three minutes and 40 seconds until Bradley's score and just under seven minutes total for the entire game.

"I know Coach Weist has been great with us and getting us to finish and win and over the past six quarters, we have been doing just that," DeLorenzo said. "Now we have to continue doing that in our last game next week and build for this team's success in the future."

The Huskies will take to the gridiron for the final time next Saturday in their season finale, a 1 p.m. home game against Memphis. Tickets are still available.

On a chilly New England afternoon, no. 12 completed 25 of 33 passes for 311 yards and a pair of touchdowns, as his team completed a hard fought win.

It's a story that has been told in the region ad nauseam.

But this time, no. 12's name was not Tom Brady.

His name was Casey Cochran, and the Connecticut native led UConn over Rutgers 28-17 for the Huskies' second win in a row and of 2013. Deshon Foxx hauled in nine balls for 117 yards during a career day that included a 40-yard reception, which led to the eventual gamewinning touchdown. The Huskies did not turn the ball over once and forced the Scarlet Knights into two interceptions and a fumble.

Max DeLorenzo punched in the score that put UConn ahead for good, 21-17, just seconds into the fourth quarter. It was his second touchdown of the game, which notched the first-ever multi-score performance of his career. The redshirt sophomore finished with 52 yards on 13 carries.

Moments after DeLorenzo's score, Andrew Adams revived what had been a Rutgers three-and-out by way of a critical pass interference penalty. The infraction allowed Scarlet Knight quarterback Chas Dodd to keep his unit on the move towards midfield, using both his arms and his legs.

However, working from his own 48-yardline, Dodd mistakenly fired directly at a fallen Taylor Mack, who lay on the turf three yards away from his intended target. Mack scooped the ball successfully, but had to wait for replay to confirm the original call on the field. After a lengthy delay, the Huskies maintained possession and had a chance to finish off their closest rivals with eight minutes to go.

Cochran then followed with a 12-play, 56-yard drive that delivered the dagger. The youngster was masterful, chewing up five minutes on the clock and completing a key third down pass to DeLorenzo. The series concluded with a three-yard touchdown toss to a diving Brian Lemelle in the corner of the end zone.

Cochran completed passes to six different receivers, including five who caught multiple balls. Foxx, Lemelle and Geremy Davis each collected at least five catches, as Davis finished two yards shy of a 100-yard game. Freshman wideout Dhameer Bradley recorded his first career start in place of the injured Shakim Phillips and promptly made his presence felt with an 18-yard touchdown reception.

The score capped UConn's first series of the game, which was quickly followed by another score. On the ensuing kickoff return, Martin Hyppolite forced the ball out from Quron Pratt and into the waiting arms of teammate Brandon Steg. Five plays later, DeLorenzo found his way into end zone from 12 yards away to give his team a 14-7 lead.

Rutgers scored on the opening drive of the game, propelled quickly to the UConn 10-yardline by a pair of third and long conversions. Inside the red zone, Dodd fired incomplete to his fullback Michael Burton on a short third down to bring on the kicking team.

However, after aligning in a traditional field goal formation, the Scarlet Knights broke into three separate clusters along the line of scrimmage. As soon as they had set, holder and back-up defensive back J.T. Tartacoff took the snap, faked a pass right and lofted a throw over the middle to tight end Tyler Kroft.

Kroft ripped the ball out from the clutches Husky safety Obi Melifonwu, who nearly claimed an interception, and fell to the turf for six points. Rutgers led for only three minutes and 40 seconds until Bradley's score and just under seven minutes for the entire game.

The Huskies will take to the gridiron for the final time next Saturday in their season finale, a 1 p.m. home game against Memphis. Tickets are still available.

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