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Recap: UConn football loses at Tulane, 49-7

Conservative playcalling was the theme of the afternoon, and it doomed UConn from the start.

NCAA Football: South Florida at Connecticut David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

UConn was not likely to walk out of Yulman Stadium with a win on Saturday, facing a Tulane team ranked just outside the top-25 polls. Tulane scored at will in a game that was not close at all, ending in a 49-7 final score.

The Huskies were completely outmatched; Tulane outgained UConn by 400 total yards and more than doubled its first down total. In a season where the Huskies have been run over plenty of times, the Green Wave offense was taking its strength against a very vulnerable unit.

UConn managed to stop that potent rushing attack on the first drive of the game, forcing a three-and-out, but that success was short-lived. On Tulane’s next drive, UConn lost contain, and Corey Dauphine bounced a run outside, going 57 yards for the score to make it 7-0. On their third drive, Justin McMillan threw a pretty over-the-shoulder pass to receiver Darnell Mooney. Just like that it was 14-0.

On the other side of the ball, UConn offensive coordinator Frank Giufre attempted to set Beaudry up for modest success early on, calling short passes that allowed him to get the ball out quickly. As a result, the transfer completed 9 of his first 12 attempts for just 63 yards near the start of the second quarter. He only completed one pass over 20 yards all game.

On the Huskies’ most productive drive of the day, Beaudry and Kevin Mensah methodically moved 50 yards down the field until they were within a sniff of the Tulane endzone, but the Huskies turned the ball over on downs.

Beaudry’s solid day was pretty much over after that drive. UConn's defense held up again at the start of the second quarter, setting the Huskies up on their own 20-yard line. An ill-advised short pass into double coverage was intercepted by Macon Clark, and he took it to the house, making it 21-0.

Five minutes later, Justin McMillan danced in from 11 yards out on a quarterback draw, making it 28-0. UConn would-be tacklers slid off him, as tackling continues to be a problem for the Huskies.

With 3:34 left in the half, UConn's defense was able to muster enough to force a Tulane punt, as the Greenies strayed away from their dominant run game and strung together a few incomplete passes.

UConn drove into Tulane territory — 10- and 15-yard completions from Beaudry to Ardell Brown and Matt Drayton respectively — but let ten seconds run off the clock after the offense ground to a fourth and one with 0:25 left in the quarter.

Edsall then decided to punt, choosing not to take a high-percentage chance at continuing the drive and putting some points on the board.

Cutting the score down from 28-0 probably wouldn’t have sparked a legendary comeback, but in a season where the head coach isn’t counting success in wins and losses, it would have been worth a shot. Beaudry seemed to disagree with the decision.

One drive later, Beaudry would be injured after getting sacked for the fourth time, and freshman Jack Zergiotis went in.

Beaudry re-entered for a few plays, but with Tulane's backups already in the game for a while, Edsall decided to put Zergiotis back in. The true freshman tossed the Huskies’ only touchdown of the game, and the first one of his career, to fellow freshman Cameron Hairston. Zergiotis now can feature in just one more game before his redshirt is burned, and he burns the year of eligibility.

Tulane's backups scored three more times against a dejected UConn defense to reach the final score.

UConn will be in action against Houston next Saturday at UConn homecoming. The game will be at 12 p.m. on ESPNU.