Saturday, October 2, 2010
UConn weathers Vandy storm
By Brian Bennett
Connecticut had a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter, but then everything went wrong.
A 71-yard kickoff return led to Vanderbilt's first touchdown. One play after Cole Wagner shanked a punt, the Commodores capitalized with a 48-yard touchdown pass. Then Cody Endres threw his first interception of the year, and Vandy scored again, this time on a well-designed 44-yard reverse.
The three touchdowns came within four minutes as Vanderbilt seized all the momentum. But UConn answered with a solid drive at the end of the half, tying the score on an Endres touchdown pass to Kashif Moore.
There is good and bad in the half for the Huskies. The offense has had some good drives, and despite the interception, Endres is 14-for-17 for 116 yards. Receivers seem to be making more plays for him than they did for Zach Frazer as well. Jordan Todman has run the ball strong despite his elbow injury, picking up 91 yards.
But UConn has also given up way too many big plays on defense. Cornerback Mike Lang looked terrible while being burned for that touchdown pass after the bad punt. The Commodores passing game hadn't done much this season, but Larry Smith has already thrown for two scores.
Vandy is also averaging 8.2 yards per rush, though most of that has come on the big plays. Connecticut simply has to tighten things up defensively unless it wants this to continue to be a shootout.