On Saturday, UConn football came as close to a win as they have since the program’s last one against UMass, some 700 days ago. The Huskies were a two-point conversion away from forcing overtime against Wyoming, but were unable to complete the upset.
UConn is nearly halfway through the season. With seven games to go, here is how those future opponents spent the weekend.
Vanderbilt (1-3) - Oct. 2
The Commodores welcomed No. 2 Georgia to Nashville and the Bulldogs put an absolute beating on Vanderbilt, 62-0. The home side had four first downs and just 77 total yards. Vanderbilt had 14 possessions, plus a fumble on a kickoff. Nine of those were a three-and-out, including two that finished with negative yardage. Two more ended in an interception, while a missed field goal, a turnover on downs, and the end of the first half finished off the remaining three. Mike Wright was arguably the only bright spot on offense, rushing eight times for 41 yards.
It was not much better on the other side of the ball, as Georgia put up 532 yards and 28 first downs, as well as 35 points in the first quarter alone, at one point scoring thrice in 1:20 of game time. The score was the third-most lopsided for a shutout in SEC history.
UMass (0-4) - Oct. 9
It was a Teal Out at Coastal Carolina and the No. 17 team in the nation did not disappoint the crowd in Conway, serving a 53-3 beatdown on the Minutemen. UMass has now lost 15 games in a row, dating back to 2019.
UMass gained only 158 total yards and did not score until there was just 8:22 left in the contest, converting a 35-yard field goal. Meanwhile, the Chanticleers gained 558 yards of offense and had put all of its 53 points on the board by the time UMass was able to erase its zero. Brady Olson was 14-of-23 passing for just 86 yards, while Garrett Dzuro completed four of his seven passes for 44 yards. Ellis Merriweather led the way on the ground, grabbing 30 yards on six carries.
Yale (1-1) - Oct. 16
The Bulldogs began Ivy League play Saturday, taking a 23-17 win in the Yale Bowl over Cornell. Yale scored the first nine points of the ballgame, which helped to keep the Big Red at arm’s length all afternoon. Cornell did get within six points late in the fourth quarter, but on the ensuing onside kick attempt, Yale recovered and returned it 48 yards for a touchdown, clinching the game for the home side.
Griffin O’Connor had a tremendous game under center, as he was 23-of-38 passing for 317 yards and a pair of touchdowns, spreading the ball around to 10 different receivers. Zane Dudek, who also had 39 receiving yards, rushed 18 times for 57 yards. Yale also won the turnover battle, registering three interceptions on Richie Kenney.
MTSU (1-3) - Oct. 22
It was a thriller in Charlotte, but MTSU came up on the short end, taking a 42-39 defeat to the Charlotte 49ers. The home side took the lead as time expired in the third quarter, then the two teams traded two touchdowns each, but the Blue Raiders were unable to regain the advantage.
It was a pretty even contest, as Charlotte held a slight advantage in yards (559-to-502) and first downs (30-to-25). However, MTSU also forced the only turnover, a fumble at the end of the first half. Chase Cunningham aired it out for the Blue Raiders, as he threw for 379 yards and five touchdowns on 28-of-40 passing. Cunningham also led his team in rushing yards, gaining another 65 yards on nine attempts. He was responsible for more than 80 percent of his team’s yards for the game.
No. 25 Clemson (2-2) - Nov. 13
The Tigers are in trouble and are arguably out of the CFP discussion, as NC State took down the then-No. 9 team in the nation at home in double overtime, 27-21. The score was closer than the statistics would indicate, as NC State dominated the yardage and first down battle. Clemson gained just 214 yards and registered only 10 first downs, compared to 386 yards and 31 first downs for the Wolfpack.
Clemson scored a touchdown on its second possession but did not record another first down until its second touchdown drive, which began early in the fourth quarter and spanned eight possessions, one of which was the end of the half. D.J. Uiagalelei accounted for 174 of his team’s yards, of which 111 were through the air and 63 were on the ground. He was 12-of-26 passing and ran the ball nine times.
UCF (2-1) - Nov. 20
The Knights had the week off and will return to action next Saturday on the road against Navy.
Houston (2-1) - Nov. 27
Houston took on Navy at home this week and scored 21 straight points to start the second half, which fueled a 28-20 win after the Cougars went into the locker room down 10 points at the half. Houston outgained the Midshipmen, 384 yards to 295, while Navy held the ball for nearly 32 minutes.
Clayton Tune was his team’s offensive star, completing 22 of his 30 passes for 257 yards and a touchdown. Alton McCaskill (17 carries, 74 yards) and Ta’Zhawn Henry (11 carries, 54 yards) were the only two running backs to register a carry, with Henry finding the end zone twice on the day. Macrus Jones also returned a punt 73 yards for a touchdown. The contest’s only turnover came on a Navy fumble in the midst of Houston’s 21-0 run to begin the second half.