For the second straight year, the UConn Huskies football team had no answers for Alex Carder and the Western Michigan Broncos passing attack. But in the end, it was a huge turnover that cost the Huskies a chance for a win.
Desmond Bozeman's 53 yard fumble recovery for a touchdown turned out to be the difference as the Broncos beat the Huskies 30-24 in front of 10,328 at Waldo Stadium in Kalamazoo, MI on Saturday afternoon.
With the loss, the Huskies fall to 2-2 while the Broncos improve to 2-2. It's the second straight year, Western Michigan has beaten UConn.
The problem all season long for the Huskies has been the offense and the inability of the offensive line to block. The strong part had been the defense.
On Saturday, it was inability of the offensive line to block in the first half and the fact that Carder was carving up the UConn defense.
I have said in the past that the UConn defense wasn't going to be able to carry this team all year and that was the case.
Last year Carder torched the Huskies for five touchdowns with quick drops and quick passes. He did more of the same before leaving with a hand injury late in the third quarter.
We've seen the UConn defense get alot of pressure on the opposing quarterbacks but with Carder's quick drops they were unable to do that. With the quick slants and other short passes, Carder was able to move the ball down the field.
It was nice to see the offense make some significant improvements. With the wildcat being ineffective, the Huskies, once adjustments were made, were able to move the ball down the field.
We finally saw Chandler Whitmer throw his first touchdown pass of the season, three in all. But it was the six sacks allowed by the offensive line that's concerning right now.
Even though Lyle McCombs did rush for over 100 yards and Whitmer threw for over 300, the missed blocks in the first half hurt. McCombs was probably a block or two a way from breaking things open in the first half. But since they didn't and Carder was able to move the ball down the field, the Huskies found themselves in a hole they couldn't climb out of.
It's just another frustrating loss for the Huskies. If it's not one thing, it's another.
Hopefully they can figure things out and get things going. Big East play is just around the corner.
WMU - 12:53 - Andrew Haldeman 44 Yd Field Goal
WMU - 12:10 - Antoin Scriven 1 Yd Run (Andrew Haldeman Kick)
WMU - 08:39 - Dareyon Chance 9 Yd Run (Andrew Haldeman Kick)
CON - 02:36 - Ryan Griffin 9 Yd Pass From Chandler Whitmer (Chad Christen Kick)
WMU - 09:47 - Josh Schaffer 30 Yd Pass From Alex Carder (Andrew Haldeman Kick)
CON - 04:15 - John Delahunt 2 Yd Pass From Chandler Whitmer (Chad Christen Kick)
CON - 08:47 - Chad Christen 32 Yd Field Goal
WMU - 07:12 - Desmond Bozeman 53 Yd Fumble Return (Pat Failed)
CON - 00:54 - Geremy Davis 7 Yd Pass From Chandler Whitmer (Chad Christen Kick)
To continue reading, the UConn Huskies @ Western Michigan Broncos recap, click on the read more button below if you're on the home page.
Offensive Player of the Game:
Before leaving, Alex Carder was on his way to winning this. Nothing changes. He threw for 237 yards and a touchdown.
Defensive Player of the Game:
Desmond Bozeman finish the game with 12 tackles with two of them going for a loss of six yards. He had two sacks but it was his fumble recovery return for a touchdown that was the difference.
Turning Point(s) of the Game:
With UConn trying to drive down the field to tie the game up in the 4th quarter, Desmond Bozeman sacked Chandler Whitmer, forcing a fumble. Bozeman picked it up and ran it back for a touchdown.
Chandler Whitmer was 28-of-44 for 333 yards and three touchdowns. He threw one interception and was sacked six times. Lyle McCombs had 23 carries for 119 yards and caught two passes for 28 yards. Geremy Davis had nine catches for 123 yards and a touchdown. Shakim Phillips had four catches for 42 yards. Ryan Griffin had three catches for 26 yards and a touchdown. John Delahunt also had three catches for 39 yards and a touchdown.
Jory Johnson led the Huskies with 10 tackles and forced a fumble. Byron Jones had nine tackles while Sio Moore and Blidi Wreh-Wilson each had seven. Trevardo Williams had four tackles and one sack.
Special Teams Notes:
Chad Christen went 1-of-2 on field goals. He missed from 51 yards wide right while he was good from 32 yards. He also made all three of his extra points. Nick Williams had three punt returns for 32 yards and four kickoff returns for 87 yards. Taylor Mack returned one kickoff for 18 yards. Cole Wagner had eight punts for a 42 yard average. He had one touchback and one downed inside the 20.
The only injury I saw during the game was to center Alex Mateas.
Referee: Tom McCabe • Umpire: Mark Shupe • Linesman: Dan Richard • Line judge: Mike Maisner • Back judge: Matthew Edwards • Field judge: Kyle DeBuse • Side judge: Tim MaGuire
Here are the starters for the Huskies
OFFENSELT 72 Bennett, Jimmy LG 69 Greene, Steve C 73 Mateas, Alex RG 63 Masters, Adam RT 77 Friend, Kevin TE 89 Delahunt, John TE 94 Griffin, Ryan WR 31 Williams, Nick FB 47 Frank, Reuben QB 10 WHITMER, Chandler TB 43 McCombs, Lyle
DEFENSEDE 48 WILLIAMS, Trevardo DT 53 Wirth, Ryan DT 56 Pruitt, Angelo DE 59 STEPHEN, Shamar ILB 33 SMALLWOOD, Yawin ILB 28 Johnson, Jory CB 5 WREH-Wilson, Blidi S 16 Jones, Byron S 22 Adams, Andrew S 15 Brown, Ty-Meer CB 7 Gratz, Dwayne
Big East Games and Results:
Saturday, September 22
Penn State 24
South Florida 27
Ball State 31
Florida International 21
Things to Work On:
- Blocking. Blocking. Blocking
- Get back on track defensively.
UConn returns home to Rentschler Field next Saturday afternoon to host the Buffalo Bulls. Kickoff is scheduled for 12 p.m.
Photo credit: cloe poisson - hartford courant (no. 20 in gallery)
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