UConn football looked to have the game in control most of the way in Saturday’s contest against Ball State, but the Cardinals rallied to score 15 unanswered points in the second half and hand UConn a 25-21 loss in Muncie, Indiana.
The Huskies had a 21-10 lead at halftime with the offense rolling and the defense as stingy as they’d been all year. Zion Turner was 12-12 with 121 passing yards in the first half, and the Nick Charlton offense looked more complete than it had the entire year.
UConn scored on three of its five possessions in the first half, taking the ball 69 yards down the field for a touchdown on the opening drive of the game that was punctuated by a 19-yard touchdown screen to Aaron Turner. Justin Joly continued his great stretch of games with a 39-yard touchdown reception for UConn’s second score, and the Huskies seemed to be firmly in control as Zion Turner executed a perfect two-minute drill to add a third touchdown by the end of the second quarter.
The Husky defense mostly held Ball State in check in the first half, allowing the Cardinals just 4.6 yards per play and 10 points, keeping the Cardinals from gaining any sort of momentum going into the break.
The second half was a different story, as Ball State decided to temporarily quit airing it out and put the ball on the ground to gain an advantage. Running back Carson Steele wore down the UConn defense down after down, ending the day with 179 rushing yards and three touchdowns on the day, including the go-ahead rush to make it 25-21 with two minutes left.
After a solid first half, UConn’s offense was completely stymied in the second. The Huskies were slowed to a crawl in the third quarter with just 43 yards, then completely halted in the fourth, gaining just 10 yards from the line of scrimmage.
The Huskies drop to 3-5 on the year and snap their winning streak at two with the loss. UConn will have plenty to think about on its bye week before hosting Boston College on homecoming (and Halloween) weekend at noon on October 29.