Saturday, September 22, 2012
UConn can't overcome slow start at WMU
By Matt Fortuna
Too little, too late was the story Saturday for Connecticut.
The Huskies fell behind by 17 points early and gave their defense little help in a 30-24 loss at Western Michigan, putting UConn at 2-2 on the season. The game started a half-hour late because of thunder and lightning in the Kalamazoo area earlier in the day, and UConn's offense took cue.
Chandler Whitmer tossed a red-zone interception in the first quarter, and he was drilled by Desmond Bozeman during a fourth-quarter drive, with Bozeman recovering the loose ball and returning it 53 yards for the Broncos' final points of the day.
The loss will sting even more as WMU lost quarterback Alex Carder in the third quarter after Carder appeared to injure his throwing hand. The Broncos passed for just nine yards in the fourth quarter without Carder, and they failed to score offensively after Carder's 30-yard touchdown pass to Josh Schaffer at the 9:47 mark of the third quarter made it 24-7. Bozeman's play came with 7:12 left in the game, with the Huskies down just seven and looking to even things up after facing separate 17-point deficits.
Carder completed 18-of-34 passes for 237 yards with a touchdown.
Whitmer threw for 325 yards and three touchdowns, but 146 of those yards came in the fourth quarter when the Huskies were making a late run. UConn rushed for just 94 yards and averaged 2.8 yards per rush.
WMU recovered UConn's desperation onside kick try in the final minute, sealing the deal.
It's worth repeating again: UConn needs to find some sort of offense. And, even more importantly, it cannot be giving away free points when its defense is being stretched. The Huskies will have a final nonconference tilt next week against another MAC school, Buffalo, before conference play kicks off a week later at Rutgers.