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UConn RBs pile it on en route to blowout of Syracuse

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. -- Connecticut's tailback tandem of Jordan Todman and Andre Dixon combined for 196 yards rushing and four touchdowns as the Huskies beat Syracuse 56-31 Saturday to become bowl eligible.

UConn (6-5, 2-4 Big East), which lost three in a row after the stabbing death of cornerback Jasper Howard, followed up its 33-30 double-overtime win against Notre Dame by going over .500 for the first time since the Oct. 18 tragedy.

Todman ran for 123 yards and a score, while Dixon had three touchdowns and 73 yards rushing.

Greg Paulus threw for 296 yards and two touchdowns in his final game for Syracuse (4-8, 1-6).

Syracuse had 489 yards of offense, but fell behind early and could not quite catch up.

Trailing 42-31, the Orange moved from their 4-yard line into UConn territory, but failed to convert a fourth-and-7, when Alec Lemon dropped a pass. The Huskies then added two late touchdowns.

UConn led 28-17 at halftime thanks to several big plays that overcame Syracuse's advantage in time of possession. The biggest was an 80-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Mike Lang after a seven-minute Syracuse drive ended in a field goal.

It was the third time in four games the Huskies have taken a kickoff for a score.

UConn also capitalized after recovering a fumbled pitch by Delone Carter. Two plays later, Todman ran a draw up the middle for a 37-yard touchdown and 21-10 lead.

The play gave Todman over 1,000 yards rushing for the season.

Carter also passed the 1,000-yard mark, with 102 yards on 20 carries for the Orange.

Dixon had two first-half touchdowns. His 4-yard run made it 7-0 after a 13-yard Syracuse punt.

He scored again with 6 seconds left in the half on a 3-yard plunge that was set up by a 42-yard, one-handed catch by Marcus Easley down the right sideline.

Paulus completed 10 of 12 first-half passes, including a 3-yard touchdown to Lemon that cut the UConn lead to 21-17 with just over a minute left in the second quarter.

Ryan Nassib completed 7 of 9 passes for 64 yards in splitting time with Paulus. He connected on a 4-yard touchdown to tight end Mike Owen.

Zach Frazer hit Easley for an 8-yard touchdown to open the second half, capping a 15-play, 80-yard drive. Syracuse coach Doug Marrone refused a 15-yard penalty that would have given UConn a third-and-21 at its 41. UConn instead converted a fourth-and-5 and scored two plays later, when Easley caught an 8-yard pass over the middle.

Paulus ended his one-year career at Syracuse breaking the school record for completions and completion rate.

Connecticut's Lawrence Wilson had 17 tackles and a sack.

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