It was not a fun Saturday for anyone in East Hartford. The weather was miserable and the football wasn’t much better, as No. 18 Duke hung the game’s first 41 points on UConn, with a touchdown inside the final minute saving the shutout (and was very important for some).
The Huskies are a third of the way through the season and their remaining opponents were an even 4-4 this week, though two of the matchups featured a pair of teams the Huskies will play later this year.
Utah State (1-3) - Sept. 30, James Madison (4-0) - Nov. 11
Utah State almost had a comeback for the ages at home against James Madison. The Dukes scored the first 24 points and the teams each traded a pair of touchdowns before the Aggies grabbed a field goal in the dying seconds of the first half to make it 38-17. They then tied it at 38 with 11:01 to go, but James Madison pulled back ahead with a touchdown to secure a 45-38 win.
Each team broke the 500-yard threshold and there were an astounding eight turnovers on the evening. James Madison committed five, while three were on Utah State’s ledger. All but one occurred in the second half.
Jordan McCloud, of James Madison, was 23-of-34 passing for 364 yards and four touchdowns, with two interceptions. He also lost a fumble, but scored rushing twice with 26 yards on nine carries. Kaelon Black was the primary back, grabbing 76 yards on 17 rushes.
McCae Hillstead completed 25 of his 47 passes for 399 yards and matched McCloud’s four touchdowns, but threw three picks. Davon Booth carried the ball 21 times for 103 yards, but it was Elliott Nimrod who found the end zone on his lone attempt.
Rice (2-2) - Oct. 7, USF (2-2) - Oct. 21
It was quite the offensive affair in Tampa for Rice vs. USF, with the hosting Bulls coming out on top, 42-29, as they had a 21-0 run starting late in the third quarter to open up a big lead in what was a back-and-forth game. Up until when USF finished its run and was up 42-21, the game’s largest lead was six.
The Owls gained 492 yards and had more of the ball, but USF was at an impressive 597 yards of offense, even with a turnover. There were just six punts all afternoon, four of which were by Rice.
Byrum Brown had a great day under center for the Bulls. He was 22-of-29 passing for 435 yards and a pair of touchdowns, adding 82 yards and a score on 14 rushing attempts. K’Wan Powell (nine carries, 55 yards) and Nay’Quan Wright (15 carries, 32 yards) each also got into the end zone.
JT Daniels was no slouch either. He was 27-of-40 for 432 yards and three touchdowns, but partially because of three sacks on Daniels, the Owls netted one rushing yard. Even with his -23 yards removed, Rice was at less than two yards per rush. Daniels missed his team’s final two offensive possessions after being sacked late in the third quarter.
Boston College (1-3) - Oct. 28
The Eagles dug themselves a 28-0 hole against Louisville on Saturday and while Boston College scored 28 points of their own after that, it was still doubled up by the Cardinals. While there were technically zero turnovers on the ledger, Boston College failed to convert on fourth down three times, including the first drive of the day.
The teams combined for more than 1,000 offensive yards, more of which was gained by Louisville (582 yards) than Boston College (427). The Cardinals also had more of the ball, including a marathon, 8:36 drive to end the game.
No. 23 Tennessee (3-1) - Nov. 4
UTSA was in Knoxville to face Tennessee and the Roadrunners got run off the field, as the Volunteers scored the first 31 points in a 45-14 defeat. The visitors looked like they were coming back with two straight touchdowns in the third quarter, but Tennessee responded with a pair of scores itself to end the game.
Tennessee forced three UTSA turnovers and held the Roadrunners to just 319 yards of offense. The Volunteers eclipsed the 500-yard plateau, at 512, with just one turnover. The hosts were so efficient with scoring that UTSA had the ball for more than 37 minutes.
The Volunteers were at nearly 10 yards per carry, led by Dylan Sampson, who had 11 carries for 139 yards. He found the end zone twice, while Jabari Small (nine carries, 61 yards) also crossed the goal line. Joe Milton III had a solid day, at 18-of-31 passing for 209 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He also ran 81 yards for a score.
Sacred Heart (1-3) - Nov. 18
The Pioneers are officially in the win column in 2023, as Sam Renzi kicked a 40-yard field goal as time expired to hand Sacred Heart a 37-34 road win over St. Francis (PA) on Saturday. He also kicked an identical boot to end the first half.
The teams were at a dead heat in yards, with Sacred Heart ahead by just two, while the only turnover was committed by the Red Flash, coming on the game’s first drive.
Rob McCoy was 14-of-23 passing for 185 yards and a pair of touchdowns, adding 60 yards rushing. On the ground, Malik Grant went for 118 yards on 20 carries, including a touchdown of his own. Jalen Madison ran 17 times for 60 yards.
UMass (1-4) - Nov. 25
It took an extra session, but UMass fell again, 34-31 to New Mexico, and is already nearly halfway through the season. The Lobos led 28-14 at the half, but the Minutemen went 79 yards in just four plays and 46 seconds to score a touchdown and two-point conversion with 45 seconds left to force overtime.
The Minutemen had 495 yards of offense, outgaining New Mexico by more than 150 yards. They never punted, but missed a field goal and turned the ball over on downs three times.
Carlos Ortiz was 11-of-20 passing 196 yards and a touchdown. Ahmad Houston was a perfect 5-of-5 for 102 yards and a touchdown, as he came in on UMass’ third-to-last drive. Kay’Ron Lynch-Adams ran for 97 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries.