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UConn football flops at Georgia State, 35-14

The Husky offense looked lost in a game that got out of hand for them Saturday night.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

UConn football’s start to the 2023 season got a lot worse after a 35-14 loss to Georgia State Saturday night at Center Parc Stadium in Atlanta.

The Huskies were unremarkable in all three phases of the game — mustering just 326 yards of total offense, while their defense allowed 394 total yards, including 142 on the ground to Georgia State quarterback Darren Grainger and 107 to running back Marcus Carroll.

The Huskies made it into Georgia State territory twice in the opening quarter, but wound up empty-handed both times — missing a field goal and fumbling inside of the Panthers’ 30-yard line on a 4th-down play.

The Husky rushing attack was stuffed — UConn backs averaged 1.6 yards per carry and had no runs longer than 10 yards — and their passing attack was dealt a blow in the second quarter when starting quarterback Joe Fagnano left the game with a shoulder injury. He had been woefully ineffective anyway, completing 4-of-9 passes for 60 yards. Ta’Quan Roberson played the rest of the game but didn’t fare much better until the game was out of hand.

While the defense made some stops early on, it stayed on the field after a muffed punt by Brett Buckman and that led to the host’s second touchdown. Georgia State scored two more touchdowns on its next two possessions, aided by Husky penalties and mistakes, to put the game out of reach for an inept Husky attack. UConn finished with eight penalties for 65 yards.

Roberson’s offense did manage to get two touchdowns in what was essentially garbage time — an 11-yard fade to Clercius and a 32-yard toss to Buckman with just under four minutes left that made it 35-14.

The Huskies will be back in action at home on Saturday, September 16 against Florida International, a team they beat 33-12 last year on the road in Miami. FIU is 2-1 after beating North Texas 46-39 Saturday night and defeating FCS Maine last week before a Week 0 loss to Louisiana Tech. It will be a tough test for a UConn team looking for answers heading into Week 3.