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Connecticut Outguns Army, 40-3
East Hartford, CT. - UConn QB Dan Orlovsky threw for 4 TD passes and 288 yards over three quarters while RB Cornell Brockington rushed for 111 yards on 17 carries to dominate Army (0-3) from the outset in a 40-3 Husky victory. UConn (3-1) led 14-0 after only six plays from scrimmage to start the game. A red-faced, sideline, tirade by Army coach Bobby Ross to his defense seemed to delay the onslaught temporarily before the Huskies went on to run up and down the field against the porous Army defense. The former Super Bowl Coach has a lot of work cut out for him up on the Hudson. We'll be back up there in two week to see them play another rebuilding project, Cincinnati. We also decided though to put the UConn-Buffalo contest for this year on hold since, though we need to see the Bulls, it should be another blow-out in East Hartford, and we'd prefer to see something more competitive, especially after these last three weeks! This was no contest at all.
Four plays and two minutes into the game, Orlovsky threw a 4-yard TD pass to TE Dan Murray. PK Matt Nuzie converted for the 7-0 lead. UConn's defense allowed only five yards before Army punted, and two plays later, Orlovsky hooked up with WR Keron Henry (117 yards) for a 45-yard TD pass to extend the lead, 14-0. That's when CFF watched Bobby Ross huddle up his defense on the sideline and jump ugly with them to "encourage" some defense. Guest Game Analyst Steve Ciesla (Montclair State) couldn't believe how much cushion the Army DBs gave UConn's receivers on every pass play. It continued throughout the game. Army forced a Husky punt to start from their own 45. A 32-yard pass to RB Carlton Jones (81 yards on 16 carries) set Army up at the Husky 26. PK Austin Miller put up a 44 yard FG which bounced off the crossbar and through for an Army score to make it 14-3, still in favor of UConn.
In the 2nd quarter, LB James Hargrave picked off an Army pass at his own 34. The Huskies mushed through the Army defense once again as Brockington carried it into the end zone for the final four yards to go up 20-3. Nuzie's PAT was blocked. LB Hargrave next jumped on an Army fumble at the Black Knights' 35. This quick series ended with a 15-yard TD on a slant pass to Keron Henry once again. Connecticut led 27-3 and maintained that lead into halftime.
On its first possession of Q3, Orlovsky connected for his fourth and final TD pass of the game when he flipped a one-yard toss to TE Tim Lassen for a 34-3 lead. Nuzie booted a 32-yard FG before the end of the quarter, and UC coach Randy Edsall called off his first team dogs before the final period. Nuzie booted another FG early in the fourth from 34 for a 40-3 lead, and the Army cheerleaders joined the Husky cheerleaders pumping out 40 push-ups. We wondered if the Army female cheerleaders were that much stronger than UConn's or were just more rested. They definitely had better form! Maybe they should have done push-ups earlier as the Huskies never scored again, leaving "The Rent" with 40-3 as the final score.
Extra points: CFF remembered to stay to the right entering The Rent's parking lot ,and we ended up parking in a lot not far from the stadium. Much of the parking is done on air strips for the adjacent Pratt Whitney aircraft engine company, and last year we ended up at the very far end of a landing strip. It was a long walk to the stadium from there. We were much closer to the stadium this year which was much better for tailgating.
After the first quarter, Bob's Men's Store sponsored a catch for a fan to win a $25 gift certificate for one lucky fan. The contestant, who had to catch three high spirals from a punt machine, made a great leaping two handed catch over his head to nail the final kick and win the certificate. He had as many highlights (one) on the day as Army had (a FG).
UConn has a high school coaches and players Hall of Fame inside the stadium. We noted mostly baseball players' names - Mo Vaughn, his father, Jeff Bagwell, Charles Nagy and Rob Dibble among them.
UConn has to improve its non-conference schedule if it want to gain any notoriety. Murray State, Duke, Army and Buffalo just can't cut it. Among them, they may have no more than 3-5 1A wins this year. Only a win over Georgia Tech may carry some weight. The Huskies host WVU and Pitt this Thursday and two Thursdays after that. Having lost to BC already, wins are achievable over Temple, Syracuse, and Rutgers. They should gain enough wins in the Big East to qualify for a bowl, but this is a horrible schedule. Though they claimed a sellout, there were a lot of empty seats and a lot of tickets available in the parking lot. They may need to bolster the schedule just to keep their fans interested.
Orlovsky's 4 TD passes give him 70 for his career. Prior to his last two games against BC and Duke, he had a streak of 25 straight games with a TD pass. Among active passers, he only trails Tommy Chang of Hawaii, who we saw in action two years ago against Rice.