Scores

Final

Towson 33

(1-0, 1-0 away)

Connecticut 18

(0-1, 0-1 home)

7:30 PM ET, August 29, 2013

Rentschler Field, EAST HARTFORD, CT

1 2 3 4 T
TOWS 7 6 6 1433
CONN 7 3 0 818

Top Performers

Passing: C. Whitmer (CONN) - 206 YDS, 2 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: T. West (TOWS) - 36 CAR, 156 YDS, 2 TD

Receiving: S. Phillips (CONN) - 5 REC, 77 YDS, 2 TD

Connecticut drops opener to Towson of FCS

Associated Press

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. -- Towson running back Terrance West ran for 156 yards and two touchdowns and the Tigers won for the first time against an opponent from the bowl subdivision, upsetting Connecticut 33-18 in the season opener for both teams Thursday night.

"I'm sure in the eyes of some, this will be considered very, very big," Towson coach Rob Ambrose said. "But we've played good competition before. We've played well but couldn't get a win. In the history of this, I suppose one day people will one day look back at this as very large thing. But the family in this locker room, we have goals. And for us to reach our goals we had to win."

They not only won, they dominated the Huskies, putting up 393 yards while holding UConn to just 287.

Quarterback Peter Athens threw for 192 yards and another score and running back Sterlin Phifer caught a 23-yard touchdown and ran for another.

West carried the ball a career-high 36 times, and broke the 100-yard mark for the 12th time in his career. The junior's two fourth-quarter scores put the game away.

"From the beginning of the game I saw we could handle them," West said. "We were prepared for this event today."

Receiver Shakim Phillips had two touchdown catches for Connecticut, and Geremy Davis caught five balls for 100 yards in the losing effort.

The Huskies, who are coming off back-to-back 5-7 seasons, had not lost to an FCS team since 2001, when they were making the transition from Division I-AA to Division I.

"I think they know this is one game and we didn't play well as a team in any area," said UConn coach Paul Pasqualoni. "I think there is some leadership in the locker room and from that regard, I think we'll be fine."

The Tigers were up 13-10 at halftime and trailed just once, at 7-0.

The Huskies were held scoreless in the second half of this one until quarterback Chandler Whitmer hit Phillips with a 21-yard touchdown pass with 3:29 left in the game that cut the deficit to 26-18.

But on UConn's next opportunity, freshman Brian Lemelle fumbled a punt. West, who now has 46 career touchdowns, then put the finishing touches on the upset, scoring from 5 yards out with 16 seconds left in the game.

Connecticut took an early lead after a 92-yard drive that was set up with a diving interception by safety Obi Melifonwu. The redshirt freshman was pressed into a starting role when Andrew Adams went down in camp with a shoulder injury. Nine plays after the pick, Whitmer found Phillips breaking toward the left corner for a 31-yard catch-and-run.

Towson answered in just four plays. Phifer swung out of the backfield on a delay pattern and Athens found him wide open for a 23-yard touchdown.

Phifer scored again in the second quarter on a 5-yard run. That came two plays after Jon Desir tipped and intercepted a Whitmer pass at the UConn 29-yard line, a ball that ended up between Desir's legs.

The Huskies put together an 11-play drive and a had a first-and-goal from the 1-yard line after a 22-yard run by McCombs, but had to settle for a 22-yard field goal and went into the half trailing 13-10.

Towson controlled the second half.

Athens took the Tigers on a 13-play 95-yard drive in the third quarter, finishing it himself. His dive from a yard gave the Tigers a 19-10 lead. Leon Kinnard, a transfer from UConn, made the big play of the drive, catching a 39-yard pass that set Towson up at the UConn 25-yard line.

Connecticut drove into Towson territory, but fumbled on fourth-and-1 at the 33-yard line, giving Towson the ball back.

The Tigers then drove 62 yards in 10 plays, with West going in from 6 yards out. The junior, who carried the ball a career-high 36 times, ran 1,051 yards as a sophomore, after rushing for almost 1,300 yards and scoring 29 touchdowns as a freshman.

Towson returns 15 starters from a team that went 7-4 a year ago, barely missing the playoffs after winning its final four games.

UConn's Whitmer completed 15 of 27 passes for 199 yards and the two touchdowns. Husky running back Lyle McCombs had 76 yards rushing on 17 carries.

UConn fell to 9-3 in season openers since making the jump to the FBS in 2002, including 9-2 at Rentschler Field.

"You can't hang your head," said Whitmer. "You've gotta stay positive and come back to work on Saturday and get ready to go. The next game is up. This one is over."

Ambrose is familiar with Connecticut, where he served as offensive coordinator under former coach Randy Edsall.

Edsall will be back in two weeks with his Maryland team.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
TOWS
CONN
1st Downs1715
Total Yards393290
Passing192206
Rushing20184
Penalties7-705-35
3rd Down Conversions7-164-13
4th Down Conversions2-31-2
Turnovers12
Possession36:2323:37

Passing Leaders

TowsonC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Athens13/201929.611
ConnecticutC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Whitmer16/282067.421

Rushing Leaders

TowsonCARYDSAVGTDLG
West361564.3223
Phifer8394.9124
ConnecticutCARYDSAVGTDLG
McCombs17764.5022
Foxx11212.0012

Receiving Leaders

TowsonRECYDSAVGTDLG
Kinnard46115.3039
Wilkins55511.0017
ConnecticutRECYDSAVGTDLG
Davis510020.0024
Phillips57715.4231

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERTOWSCONN
TD04:55Shakim Phillips 31 Yd Pass From Chandler Whitmer (Chad Christen Kick) 07
TD02:51Sterlin Phifer 23 Yd Pass From Peter Athens (D.J. Soven Kick) 77
SECOND QUARTERTOWSCONN
TD07:04Sterlin Phifer 5 Yd Run (Pat Failed)
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137
FG01:48Chad Christen 22 Yd
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1310
THIRD QUARTERTOWSCONN
TD05:09Peter Athens 1 Yd Run (Pat Failed)
Watch Highlight 
1910
FOURTH QUARTERTOWSCONN
TD05:14Terrance West 6 Yd Run (Drew Evangelista Kick)
Watch Highlight 
2610
TD03:29Shakim Phillips 21 Yd Pass From Chandler Whitmer (Chandler Whitmer Pass To Spencer Parker For Two-Point Conversion)
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2618
TD00:16Terrance West 5 Yd Run (Drew Evangelista Kick)
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3318

Research Notes

Towson beat Connecticut, 33-18, the 3rd-largest win by a FCS team over a BCS-AQ school since 2000.
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