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UConn falls to Duke, 41-7

This one got out of hand, quickly.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

The UConn Huskies were outclassed in all ways Saturday afternoon in a 41-7 loss to Duke. Adding insult to the pain of a blowout loss, star linebacker Jackson Mitchell was ejected from the game due to a targeting-roughing penalty.

Duke’s first touchdown drive was aided by that penalty, setting up a short run by Jordan Waters for a touchdown. While UConn’s offense struggled and made mistakes, the Blue Devils started to pour it on. With the score 10-0, a fumble by freshman Bryan Domino gave the ball back deep in Husky territory. Waters ran it in on the next play from 10 yards out to make it 17-0.

It was 27-0 at the half as UConn’s offensive incompetence gave it no chance. After gaining just 40 yards in the first quarter, the Huskies had -8 in the second quarter.

A Jalen Mitchell fumble in the third quarter was returned for a touchdown as the rout continued. Duke QB Riley Leonard threw a 22-yard pass for his only passing TD of the game, after a rushing TD earlier in the day, to make it 41-0 at the end of the third quarter.

The Huskies moved 83 yards downfield in the fourth quarter against Duke’s backups to avoid a shutout, capped off by a two-yard Ta’Quan Roberson sneak into the end zone. He finished with 114 passing yards while completing 13 of his 28 attempts, with 69 of those passing yards coming on that final drive.

The Husky running backs couldn’t get much space, as Victor Rosa ran the ball 13 times for 68 yards but Cam Edwards and Mitchell fared much worse. Devontae Houston left the game with an illness and did not return after taking one carry. On the day, UConn finished with an abysmal 3.1 yards per play.

Next week, the Huskies are hosting Utah State, a 1-2 team that’s hosting 3-0 James Madison on Saturday night. Kick-off is at noon at Rentschler Field and the game will be televised on CBS Sports Network.