UConn rallies to defeat Owls

Walker
Walker
Posted: November 26, 2013

Players of the weekend

National: Clint Chelf, who lost the starting job earlier this season, passed for a career-high 370 yards and accounted for four touchdowns as Oklahoma State toyed with unbeaten Baylor.

Local: Sean McCartney threw for 423 yards and four scores as West Chester won a Division II playoff opener over American International, 38-7.

Around town

Connecticut 28, Temple 21

Just when you thought the season couldn't get any more indigestible, the Owls (1-10, 0-7 AAC) blew a 21-point lead at home against a team that hadn't scored more than 21 in losing its first nine games.

It was 21-zip after 21 minutes. The Huskies (1-9, 1-5) - who saw coach Paul Pasqualoni get fired in late September - got their 28 in the closing 26. Yawin Smallwood's 59-yard interception return with 4:20 left was the difference.

They Owls had lost their last two at the end. This was the fourth time they couldn't hold a fourth-quarter lead. They also squandered a 21-point second-period advantage at SMU (59-49) a month ago.

The Owls finished with 137 more yards. They also had three turnovers, all by true freshman quarterback P.J. Walker. He fumbled late in the second quarter after being sacked on a first-and-10 from the UConn 15. Early in the third the Owls had a fourth-and-13 from the UConn 25 and went for it. That's what happens when you've made one field goal (on six attempts) and hadn't even tried one since early October.

The Owls had a second-and-7 at the UConn 32 on their last possession. But a sack lost 13 yards and that was followed by two incompletions. They rushed for negative 1 yard in the second half.

Temple stopped the Huskies on a fourth-and-1 from its 1, but a pass-interference penalty gave the visitors another chance. Four plays later, UConn finally did get in from a yard out to tie things at 6:52.

It's been that kind of journey. Next week it'll conclude at Memphis (3-7, 1-5), which just had a two-game winning streak end at nationally-ranked Louisville, 24-17.

Villanova 35, Delaware 34

The Wildcats (6-5, 5-3 CAA) started the season ranked fifth in FCS. For whatever reasons it didn't work out. At least it ended memorably. They won the final eight minutes at Chester's PPL Park, 23-0. Mark Hamilton's 24-yard field goal with a second left giving them their seventh victory in eight tries over the Blue Hens (7-5, 4-4), who still had a chance to make the playoffs. Instead they lost their third straight for first-year coach Dave Brock.

It's the largest fourth-quarter lead the Hens have ever blown, in 122 years of football. It's the first time since 1983-85 they've missed the playoffs three consecutive years.

John Robertson threw three fourth-quarter TDs, two to fifth-year senior Joe Price, who'd missed much of the year with a back injury. After missing a two-point conversion pass with 1:45 left the Wildcats recovered an onside kick at their 46. It took them eight snaps to get to the UD 7. Hamilton, who'd had a PAT blocked in the second quarter, then made his third FG in as many attempts (the others were from 32 and 28).

Robertson was 19-for-28 for 252 yards. He ran 31 times for 165 and another TD. On the four fourth-quarter drives he went 11 of 13 for 146. The Wildcats had a school record 34 first downs, and 626 yards, 250 in the final period.

Delaware had minus 1 yard of offense in the fourth period and no first downs.

Cornell 42, Penn 41

It's been that kind of season for the Quakers (4-6, 3-4 Ivy), too. This time they came back from 21 down to get within a point on a 39-yard interception return by Sam Chwarzynski with 1:11 to go. But the PAT was blocked.

Last week they'd rallied from 38 down before losing at Harvard, 38-30.

After trailing by 14, Cornell (3-7, 2-5) scored 35 straight. Jeff Matthews threw for four TDs and ran for a fifth. The Big Red also scored on a blocked punt.

It was Cornell's second straight win at Franklin Field.

The defending champs lost their fourth straight in the league for the first time since 2005. They finished with a losing record for just the second time in Al Bagnoli's 22 seasons, the other being 2007.

Another one gone

Now there are three major unbeatens left (sorry Fresno State and Northern Illinois), since Baylor got mugged at Oklahoma State.

Florida State appears to have the easiest path to the last BCS title game, if the Jameis Winston off-field stuff doesn't get in the way. That could be a bigger obstacle than Florida or your ACC Coastal survivor. Alabama has to go to Auburn and deal with Missouri or South Carolina in the SEC final. Ohio State has to to go to Michigan (or Florida North) nd get past Michigan State in the Big Ten finale.

As for the Heisman Trophy, Johnny Manziel and Marcus Mariota probably took themselves out of it this week. Again, it might depend on what happens with Winston. And there's always a chance now that somebody else, like maybe an AJ McCarron or perhaps even Fresno's Derek Carr, could make a late run. At this point it all seems to hinge on what does or doesn't happen in Tallahassee. I guess only the prosecutors can supply those answers.

Did you notice?

* Bob Stoops got his 158th win, most at Oklahoma.

* Tennessee clinched a fourth straight losing season for first time since 1903-05.

* San Diego State played its fourth overtime game (3-1), the most in FBS and tied for most in FBS history. The Aztecs became the first team to beat Boise State in consecutive seasons since Washington State in 2000-01.

* Winless Hawaii lost in OT at Wyoming, 59-56.

* Boston College's Andre Williams ran for 263 yards to go over 2,000.

* Ohio State's Carlos Hyde became the first guy to rush for 1,000 in Urban Meyer's 12 years as a head coach.

* Duke tied a program record with its ninth win.

* Arizona beat a top five opponent for the first time since beating No. 2 Oregon in 2007.

* Against Florida, eight Georgia Southern players had at least one run of 10 yards or longer.

MICHAEL JACK’S TOP 10

1. Alabama (11-0). Beat Chattanooga, 49-0. Have beaten Auburn four of last five. Saturday: at Auburn.

2. Florida State (11-0). Beat Idaho, 80-14. At this point it might all depend on status of Jameis Winston. Saturday: at Florida.

3. Ohio State (11-0). Beat Indiana, 42-14. Has beaten Michigan eight of nine. Loss was at Big House 2 years ago. Saturday: at Michigan.

4. Missouri (10-1). Beat Mississippi, 24-10. Lost at Texas A&M last year, 59-29. Saturday: vs. Texas A&M.

5. Auburn (10-1). Idle. You think emotions will be running high this week in the Yellowhammer State? Saturday: vs. Alabama.

6. Oklahoma State (10-1). Beat Baylor, 49-17. Going for second BCS bowl in 3 years. Next: Dec. 7, vs. Oklahoma.

7. Clemson (10-1). Beat The Citadel, 52-6. Has lost four straight to Steve Spurrier. Saturday: at South Carolina.

8. Michigan State (10-1). Beat Northwestern, 30-6. Has beaten Minnesota three straight. Last year it was 26-10 at Minny. Saturday: vs. Minnesota.

9. South Carolina (9-2). Beat Coastal Carolina, 70-10. Has never beaten Clemson five in a row. Saturday: vs. Clemson.

10. Stanford (9-2). Beat Cal, 63-13. Think maybe Cards remember last year’s ending at South Bend? Saturday: vs. Notre Dame.

Five worth considering: Baylor, Oregon, Arizona State, Wisconsin and Central Florida.

FRAUD FIVE

 Baylor: It might be OK to lose in Stillwater, where you haven’t won since 1939. But no way like that. Especially not after you’ve been scoring 60 every week.

Oregon: It’s probably not OK to lose at Arizona as a three-touchdown favorite, and certainly not by 26, the week after you were given a big-time reprieve. So much for that unstoppable offense. Kind of like Baylor.

Florida: Can’t be losing to Georgia Southern. At least not if you want to keep working in Gainesville.

Texas A&M: Never a sin to lose at LSU. But 34-10 ain’t helping Johnny Football’s Heisman campaign.

Temple: Hard to single out a one-win team. But the Owls can’t be losing to a winless team after

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