12:00 PM ET, September 15, 2007
Rentschler Field, EAST HARTFORD, CT
EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Andre Dixon ran for 129 yards and Donald Brown had two touchdown runs as Connecticut held off Temple 22-17 on Saturday.
Temple receiver Bruce Francis appeared to catch a deflected pass in the back of the end zone on wild reverse pass play with 40 seconds left that would have given the Owls the lead, but Francis was ruled out of bounds, a call that was upheld after a replay.
Jack Cramer, the Big East replay official, felt he did not have conclusive evidence to overturn the call said Nick Carparelli, associate commissioner for the Big East. It was a MAC official who made the initial call on the field.
Dixon, a sophomore coming off a two-game suspension, ran 21 times while splitting time with Brown, who had 54 yards on 13 carries.
The win gives Connecticut its first 3-0 start since 1998.
Connecticut kicker Tony Ciaravino had three field goals, including a 50-yarder.
Sophomore Jason Harper, making his first career start for Temple, carried the ball 22 times for 114 yards and a touchdown. His 13-yard run 6 minutes into the third quarter gave the Owls a 14-13 lead, their first lead since the team's last win, on Oct. 28, 2006 against Bowling Green.
The Owls, who rushed for 74 yards in their opener against Navy and minus-36 yards against Buffalo, had 143 on the ground against a Connecticut team that held its first two opponents to a combined 79 yards rushing.
Two fourth-down stops in the fourth quarter gave Temple a chance to win.
The Owls stuffed the Huskies on fourth-and-inches from the UConn 34 with 11 minutes left. But UConn safety Robert Vaughn got the ball back two plays later, when he intercepted an Adam DiMichele pass.
The Huskies failed again on a fourth-and-one from the Temple 28 with 2:36 left. DiMichele then drove Temple to the UConn 11-yard line, before the wild fourth-down play.
Temple ran a reverse to wide receiver Dy'Onne Crudup, who rolled left and heaved the ball into the end zone. UConn's Vaughn deflected the ball, and Francis grabbed it on the end line, where he was ruled out.
UConn's Tyler Lorenzen completed 19 of 29 passes for 222 yards. DiMichele was 9-of-18 for 143 yards with a touchdown and the one interception.
Brown scored the first time UConn had the ball, capping a seven-play, 51-yard drive with an 8-yard run up the middle.
Temple was moving the ball on its next drive, but Harper fumbled on the Connecticut 28, and UConn moved into position for a 47-yard field goal.
Temple's defense kept the Owls in the game, pressuring Lorenzen and coming up with six sacks, five in the first half and three from sophomore tackle Andre Neblett.
Francis made it 10-7 when he got behind the Connecticut defense on a third and 10 with 2:49 left before intermission for a 59-yard score.
UConn went into its no-huddle offense and Ciaravino's 24-yard field goal on the last play of the half made it 13-7.
Temple's Amara Kamara recovered a fumble by Lorenzen on UConn's first drive of the second half and Harper scored three plays later. Travis Shelton took an option reverse 31 yards to set up the touchdown.
Ciaravino's 50-yard field goal at 8:59 put the Huskies up 16-14, but Temple responded with a drive that led to a 20-yard field goal from Jake Brownell.
Brown's second touchdown, on a 5-yard run with 14:54 left gave UConn the 22-17 lead, and the Huskies failed to make the 2-point conversion.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||5-13||6-16|
|4th Down Conversions||0-1||0-2|
|TD||09:37||Donald Brown 8 Yd Run (Tony Ciaravino Kick)||0||7|
|FG||03:14||Tony Ciaravino 47 Yd||0||10|
|TD||02:49||Bruce Francis 59 Yd Pass From Adam Dimichele (Jake Brownell Kick)||7||10|
|FG||00:00||Tony Ciaravino 24 Yd||7||13|
|TD||12:22||Jason Harper 13 Yd Run (Jake Brownell Kick)||14||13|
|FG||08:59||Tony Ciaravino 50 Yd||14||16|
|FG||02:43||Jake Brownell 20 Yd||17||16|
|TD||14:54||Donald Brown 5 Yd Run (Two-Point Run Conversion Failed)||17||22|