Talk about your Christmas come early.
In the final game of this dreadful 2013 campaign, UConn not only sent 14 seniors off in spectacular fashion, it also set the table for a promising 2014.
Behind the brilliant efforts of Casey Cochran and a senior-laiden defense, the Huskies crushed Memphis 45-10 to finish 3-9 on the year. Cochran finished 36-54 for 461 yards, a single-game UConn record for passing yards. He also threw four touchdowns.
Geremy Davis hauled in 15 passes for 207 yards and a score, to give him over 1,000 yards on the season and the most receptions ever by a UConn receiver in a single game. Should Davis return, every starting skill position player for the Huskies will be back next season.
Meanwhile, in the continued absence of Shakim Phillips, Deshon Foxx shined with 11 catches for 137 yards and two touchdowns. His second score was a quick bubble screen, which he raced for 32 yards untouched to all but end the third quarter. Senior Martin Hyppolite, who led the way on the ground with seven carries and 35 yards, punched in the final UConn touchdown of the day.
The Huskies largely abandoned their run game against the nation's no. 17 ranked unit against the rush, opting to shred a much lesser pass defense instead. Seven different UConn receivers caught passes, including freshmen Brian Lemelle and Dhameer Bradley, who combined for 81 yards receiving.
Of course, none of this would have been possible without tremendous pass protection afforded to Cochran nearly all game. Seniors Jimmy Bennett, Steve Greene and Tyler Bullock did an excellent job keeping Cochran upright and refusing to allow a sack. Starting right tackle and fellow senior Kevin Friend missed the game due to a concussion.
Defensively, UConn held the Tigers to 257 yards of total offense and produced two turnovers. Senior defensive linemen Shamar Stephen and Jesse Joseph each recorded a tackle for loss in the opening quarter, as fellow senior Tim Willman notched a pass deflection. Yawin Smallwood picked up two sacks on the afternoon, one that could also be his last in a UConn uniform.
The scoring began with a 43-yard Jake Elliot field goal that flew through the uprights nine and a half minutes into the game. UConn then responded with 31 unanswered points, consisting of four passing touchdowns over their next five drives and a 46-yard Chad Christen field goal in the middle of the third quarter.