UConn football didn’t bring their most impressive game to the field on Friday night against UMass but, fortunately for them, they just needed to be ‘good enough’ to earn a 27-10 victory over their rivals to the north.
The Huskies were outgained 354 to 334 and struggled to convert red zone opportunities, but a solid second half and an explosive rushing play fromDevontae Houston was enough to pull them ahead of UMass for their fifth win of the season.
In the first half, UConn’s defense didn’t look quite up to the standard set in the run of games from Fresno State to Boston College. UMass was driving on the opening possession, and only a dropped backwards pass saved the Huskies from giving up points.
UMass’ second possession featured a flea flicker that set them up for their first three points in the game, and quarterback Brady Olson continued to air it out with a 53-yard passing touchdown in the second quarter — Olson hit the UMass season high for passing yards in the first half.
Meanwhile, UConn’s offense continually stalled out in their opponent’s half. UConn ran the ball down to the UMass 20 after the fumble, but missed a field goal from the 14 yard line. The Huskies would enter the UMass red zone twice more in the half and come away with two field goals, their real offense in the first half coming from Houston. The sophomore showcased his game-breaking speed with a 75-yard touchdown run on his first touch of the game, making it 13-10 at the half.
UConn’s defense tightened up in the second half, pinning the Minutemen deep in their own territory and holding them to a goose egg through six possessions in the last two quarters of the game to extinguish all hope of a close game.
Likewise, the UConn offense eventually wore down the UMass defenders and were able to finish their drives with ease in the second half. They parlayed favorable field position into touchdown drives in the third and fourth quarters, two punishing runs from Victor Rosa to put them up 27-10.
UConn football now sits with five wins on the season, at .500 for the season and one win away from bowl eligibility. They’ll have their first shot at getting to six wins on Saturday against Liberty at home.