Saturday, November 26, 2011
Final: UConn 40, Rutgers 22
By Andrea Adelson
What a letdown for Rutgers.
Playing for a shot at a Big East title and BCS game, the Scarlet Knights imploded in every way imaginable. UConn took advantage and won 40-22, keeping its bowl hopes alive. The Huskies (5-6, 3-3) need a win next week at Cincinnati to become bowl eligible.
The loss eliminates Rutgers (8-4, 4-3) from contention for a Big East title and BCS berth.
So much was on the line in this game for the Scarlet Knights, but they failed to show up. The three areas they have prided themselves on the most this season -- special teams, protecting the football and solid defense -- all failed them.
Rutgers turned the ball over a season-high six times, allowed one long kickoff return after another to Nick Williams, and saw the Huskies notch a season-high for points scored. The Scarlet Knights came into the game with the No. 1 defense in the Big East, but they gave up 40 or more points twice in league play.
The result was one of the most disappointing losses under coach Greg Schiano. Chas Dodd was pulled in the fourth quarter, with Rutgers down 40-10. Gary Nova threw two touchdown passes to Brandon Coleman, but he also had two interceptions.
For UConn, it was the most dominating performance of the season. The Huskies turned the first three Rutgers turnovers into 21 points and essentially put the game out of reach. Lyle McCombs had 95 yards rushing and two touchdowns, and Scott McCummings added two touchdowns. Williams ended up with 158 yards on three kickoff returns and one punt return.
The Huskies had six sacks and held Rutgers to minus-9 yards rushing -- a week after the Scarlet Knights rolled up 203 yards on Cincinnati. UConn only attempted 17 passes in the game.