After a string of impressive games, UConn football slipped back into their early-season ways with a depressing 44-13 loss to Middle Tennessee State. The Huskies fall to 1-8 on the season, and are still winless against FBS opponents.
UConn's offense took a while to get started, and got caught going in the wrong direction to start their drives more often than not in the first quarter. Their only drive of any significance ended in a fumble, which Middle Tennessee took advantage of, scoring their first points of the night, a 30-yard field goal after the Huskies’ defense held strong on the goal line.
UConn's run defense was able to keep MTSU from gaining any meaningful yards on the ground, but were gashed time and time again by quarterback Chase Cunningham through the air to his favorite target, tight end Jimmy Marshall, who ended the night with 12 receptions for 61 yards and two touchdowns.
The Huskies’ defensive backfield had a rough enough night dealing with Cunningham’s dangerous movement outside of the pocket and missing numerous tackles. Penalty yardage plagued them even further.
After a slow first quarter, UConn’s offense was able to hang with their C-USA foes later in the first half, with an impressive 12-play, 85-yard drive that ended with a nifty throw-back pass from Krajewski to tight end Brandon Niemenski for a touchdown, who was drafted into action tonight in the absence of Jayce Medlock and Jay Rose.
Huskies Respond!— UConn Football (@UConnFootball) October 22, 2021
Niemenski hauls in his first career touchdown catch to cut the MTSU lead to 10-7! pic.twitter.com/klPt94ot60
UConn would continue to hang around, with a pair of field goals to keep things interesting, including a 47-yard career-long kick from freshman Joe McFadden, and one as the time ran out in the first half set up by a nice pitch and catch from Krajewski to Clercius.
Despite UConn’s best efforts, Middle Tennessee was able to keep them at arms’ length scoring touchdowns where the Huskies were kicking field goals, and the score was 27-13 at the half.
That would be the closest the score would get in the second half. Middle Tennessee decided to stop messing around, and a heartbreaking sequence of events allowed MTSU to pull away. After a UConn punt, Middle Tennessee drove 71 yards down the field to score, making it 34-13. Krajewski got right back on the field and threw an interception five plays later, leading to another touchdown and making it 41-13. Finally, the offense got back to work and three plays later, another interception led to a MTSU field goal with the backups in the game, generating a final score of 44-13.
UConn now has a two-week break before resuming their season at Clemson on Nov. 13.