12:00 PM ET, November 25, 2006
Rentschler Field, EAST HARTFORD, CT
EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Derrick Stewart caught nine balls for 166 yards, including a 50-yard reception with less than a minute left to set up the winning field goal as Cincinnati beat Connecticut 26-23 on Saturday.
Kevin Lovell booted four field goals, including the game-winning 29-yarder, which came with 10 seconds left.
Cincinnati (7-5, 4-3 Big East) moved into a fourth-place tie in the conference, and is virtually assured of a bowl bid.
Connecticut (4-7, 1-5) led for most of the game and was up 23-16 with 8:14 left after Matt Bonislawski hit freshman wide receiver Brad Kanuch with a 45-yard touchdown pass. But Tony Ciaravino missed the extra point, and Cincinnati capitalized.
A Bearcats' punt pinned UConn on the 8-yard line, and the Huskies couldn't move the ball. Cincinnati got it back on the Connecticut 47. After completing a 27-yard pass to Stewart, Nick Davila tied the game on an 9-yard touchdown pass to Dominick Goodman.
The Bearcats began the winning drive with 1:01 left on their 28-yard line.
Davila replaced starter Dustin Grutza, who injured his back late in the second quarter with Cincinnati trailing 10-3. Davila completed 14 of 25 passes for 232 yards and two touchdowns.
Donald Brown ran 18 times for 80 yards and a touchdown for UConn. Bonislawski was 13-for-24 for 172 yards. He started in place of D.J. Hernandez, who injured his left wrist a week ago in a 20-14 loss to Syracuse and had trouble taking snaps in practice.
Trailing 10-3 at halftime, Davila led the Bearcats on an eight-play, 84-yard drive, connecting three times with receiver Derrick Stewart for 24, 34 and 3 yards, the final catch coming in the end zone.
But Matt Bonislawski led Connecticut back on a 77-yard touchdown drive, hitting fullback Anthony Barksdale for on an 8-yard touchdown with 4:58 left in the third quarter.
Cincinnati got to within 17-13 on a 28-yard field goal from Kevin Lovell, and cut the deficit to a single point when Lovell hit from 42 yards with 9:12 remaining in the game.
UConn tailback Donald Brown took a handoff on the first play of the game and ran 35 yards up the middle. Five plays later, he went up the middle again on a draw play for 14 yards and a touchdown. It was the third consecutive game in which Connecticut scored on its first drive.
Cincinnati ate up 6:51 seconds on a 14-play, 82-yard drive that ended with Lovell's first field goal at 13:21 of the second quarter. Grutza his five of six passes on the drive and had a 20-yard scramble.
UConn stretched the lead back to a touchdown, on a 45-yard field goal from Matt Nuzie, that was set up when linebacker Danny Lansanah picked off a pass from Grutza at the UConn 46.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||7-18||5-13|
|4th Down Conversions||0-0||0-0|
|TD||11:52||DONALD BROWN II 14 YD RUN (TONY CIARAVINO KICK)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 69 yards.
|FG||13:21||KEVIN LOVELL 25 YD FG|
Drive info: 14 plays, 82 yards.
|FG||5:43||MATT NUZIE 45 YD FG|
Drive info: 10 plays, 27 yards.
|TD||11:43||DERRICK STEWART 2 YD PASS FROM NICK DAVILA (KEVIN LOVELL KICK)|
Drive info: 8 plays, 84 yards.
|TD||4:58||ANTHONY BARKSDALE 8 YD PASS FROM MATT BONISLAWSKI (TONY CIARAVINO KICK)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 77 yards.
|FG||1:59||KEVIN LOVELL 28 YD FG|
Drive info: 7 plays, 55 yards.
|FG||9:12||KEVIN LOVELL 42 YD FG|
Drive info: 10 plays, 52 yards.
|TD||8:14||BRAD KANUCH 45 YD PASS FROM MATT BONISLAWSKI (MISSED KICK)|
Drive info: 3 plays, 74 yards.
|TD||2:19||DOMINICK GOODMAN 9 YD PASS FROM NICK DAVILA (KEVIN LOVELL KICK)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 47 yards.
|FG||0:10||KEVIN LOVELL 29 YD FG|
Drive info: 6 plays, 60 yards.