3:30 PM ET, October 15, 2011
Rentschler Field, East Hartford, CT
EAST HARTFORD, Conn. -- Lyle McCombs ran for 130 yards and Dave Teggart kicked three field goals as Connecticut beat South Florida 16-10 on Saturday without scoring an offensive touchdown.
Cornerback Byron Jones ran a third-quarter fumble back 10 yards for what turned out to be the winning score after defensive tackle Twyon Martin stripped South Florida running back Darrel Scott deep in UConn territory.
B.J. Daniels threw for 164 yards and ran for 64 and a touchdown. But the South Florida quarterback also threw two interceptions and had a key fumble.
The Bulls (4-2, 0-2 Big East) failed to convert on a fourth down with just under 2 1/2 minutes left, and the Huskies (3-4, 1-1) ran out the clock.
A 32-yard run from Daniels had given the Bulls the ball in UConn territory. But a fourth-down pass to Sterling Griffin was stopped four yards short of the first-down marker.
Teggart, who beat South Florida with last-minute field goals in their two previous meetings, hit from 18, 46, and 28 yards.
Connecticut won despite having just 253 yards of offense, and much of that came from McCombs, who carried the ball 30 times and recorded his fourth 100-yard game.
The Bulls defensive line spent much of the afternoon in UConn's backfield, tying a school record with seven sacks. The Huskies had given up just 17 in their previous six games.
Daniels scored on the Bulls' first drive of the second half with a 22 yard scramble through the UConn defense, cutting left to leave linebacker Yawin Smallwood behind on his way to the end zone to give USF a 10-6 lead.
But Smallwood later made a key play, tipping a pass that Sio Moore intercepted to stop a fourth-quarter drive.
Offensive mistakes and good defense kept both teams out of the end zone in the first half.
USF defensive end Ryne Giddins had nine of his 11 tackles in the first half, to go along with two sacks, a forced fumble.
But the Bulls managed just 75 yards of offense and two turnovers before intermission.
The teams traded field goals in the first quarter. Maikon Bonani hit a 23-yarder to open the scoring, and Teggart capped a 16-play drive on the next possession with an 18-yarder.
Teggart hit a short kickoff into a strong wind and Marcus Shaw returned the kick 79 yards to the UConn 8-yard line. But Daniels errant pitchout on a second-down option play was picked up by Conn's Dwayne Gratz.
UConn gave the ball back a few plays later when McCombs fumbled. But the Bulls failed to score, when a 46-yard field-goal attempt into the wind fell short. He also missed a 44-yarder in the third quarter that went wide left.
Teggart's second field goal came just before halftime, a 46-yarder that capped a 15-play drive and made it 6-3. His third field-goal, a 28-yarder, cut the lead to 10-9, less than a minute before Martin and Jones teamed up for UConn's defensive score. The Husky offense has now gone two games without a touchdown.
South Florida coach Skip Holtz had not been back to Connecticut since coaching the Huskies from 1994-1998. UConn was still a Division I-AA program then, and Holtz led the school to the Division I-AA playoffs in 1998, the school's first postseason appearance.
South Florida fell to 1-4 at Rentschler Field.
The Huskies improved to 7-1 in Big East home openers.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||3-11||7-18|
|4th Down Conversions||0-1||0-0|
|FG||09:34||Maikon Bonani 23 Yd||3||0|
|FG||00:35||Dave Teggart 18 Yd||3||3|
|FG||00:09||Dave Teggart 46 Yd||3||6|
|TD||12:05||B.J. Daniels 22 Yd Run (Maikon Bonani Kick)||10||6|
|FG||08:13||Dave Teggart 28 Yd||10||9|
|TD||07:06||Byron Jones 10 Yd Fumble Return (Dave Teggart Kick)||10||16|