UConn football appeared primed to earn its second win of the season on Saturday, but USF scored 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to overcome a 21-10 deficit and secure a 24-21 win at Rentschler Field.
The Huskies held that 11-point lead with 12:45 left in the game, but a UConn punt from the USF 40-yard line and a Ta’quan Roberson fumble sealed their fate in the loss.
UConn had an inauspicious start to the game — starting running back Victor Rosa exited with an apparent injury after fumbling the ball on their own four-yard line, setting up a quick USF TD. The Huskies followed with a missed field goal and a turnover on downs.
But the UConn rushing offense ran wild over the Bulls after the tough start. Cam Edwards had quite the day, rushing for 149 yards on 20 carries with two total touchdowns.
UConn tied it up at with an eight-play, 84-yard touchdown drive capped by a nice 24-yard run by Ta’quan Roberson. The Huskies responded to a USF field goal on the next drive: Edwards burst a 24-yard run down the sidelines extended by a face mask penalty, then caught a touchdown pass from Roberson in the back of the end zone to make it 14-10.
USF missed a field goal at the end of the half and then the two teams played a quiet, scoreless third quarter. The first six drives of the second half saw three three-and-outs, five punts, and one interception.
UConn broke through early in the fourth, with a 33-yard touchdown run from Edwards for his second score of the day, making it 21-10 and giving UConn fans a window of hope that the day would end with a win.
But the USF offense, which had been anemic all day, sprung to life with a nine-play, 75-yard touchdown drive to put them within striking distance at 21-17. Quarterback Byrum Brown was elusive, finishing with 61 rushing yards and evading many would-be sacks for yardage. He also hit two long completions on this drive, which had no third downs.
UConn was able to work the ball into USF territory to potentially respond on the next possession but chose to punt on fourth and six from the USF 40-yard line with a four-point lead.
The Bulls took the opportunity and ran with it, driving 90 yards down the field for the game-winning touchdown. USF converted two third downs and then a 47-yard scamper by Nay’Quan Wright set up his four-yard TD run.
On the ensuing possession, with a chance to respond, Roberson fumbled the ball on a QB run on third and six, getting to the sticks before falling down without the ball. The Huskies got one more chance with the ball back and nine seconds left, but didn’t do much.
UConn football will look to recover from its latest tough loss with the biggest game of the season, against Boston College on Saturday, October 28 in Chestnut Hill. Kick-off is at noon and the game will be televised on the ACC Network.