EAST HARTFORD – UConn discovered a brand new offensive weapon, discovered a rugged runner proper underneath its nostril guards.
However the very best efforts of Cam Edwards, the sophomore from Norwalk, went to waste, efforts to restore a damaged Huskies season have been squashed.
Thanks primarily to Edwards, who slashed by means of tacklers for 149 web yards on the bottom, a speeding and receiving landing, UConn constructed an 11-point lead early within the fourth quarter. However the protection couldn’t make the large third-down cease when it was wanted, South Florida scored two late touchdowns and beat UConn 24-21 at Rentschler Area, the place possibly half the 21,704 who obtained tickets got here out to look at.
“That was an Herculean effort,” coach Jim Mora stated. “We had two working backs (Brian Brewton and Devontae Houston) stop the group and one other (Victor Rosa) who’s a rattling good participant go down (with an ankle harm) and Cam needed to carry the load, and he did an exquisite job. … however none of us did sufficient.”
So UConn is 1-6, and worse, nonetheless winless at house after 5 possibilities. The Huskies have another house recreation, towards FCS Sacred Coronary heart Nov. 18.
Edwards, who starred at Norwalk Excessive as a runner, began at UConn as a defensive again and, with accidents and transfers depleting the backfield, moved again to offense, took over Saturday and almost received the sport by himself. Runs of 24 and 21 yards ignited one scoring drive, a 39-yard run began one other, which he completed with a leaping catch of a 6-yard move ultimately zone. He had 100 yards on the bottom by halftime.
And when he busted unfastened for 33 yards and one other rating within the fourth quarter, UConn led 21-10 with 12:45 to go. When he returned to offense, Edwards stated, it was “Mom Nature,” like enjoying in his again yard over again.
“I used to be enjoying working again since I used to be a child,” he stated. “I at all times knew play the place, so when coach moved me again to working again, it was good for me and I simply took off from there.”
However the Huskies, nonetheless making an attempt to determine win, simply couldn’t end. After giving up two lengthy landing drives and falling behind by three, their final likelihood to win slipped away when quarterback Ta’Quan Roberson fumbled after gaining first-down yardage close to midfield with three minutes to go.
So there you might have it, one other tough week in a season that began so promising and has turned so bleak.
Second TD of the sport for Cam Edwards 😤 pic.twitter.com/9AOXsRFsJd
— UConn Soccer (@UConnFootball) October 21, 2023
Mora didn’t assist UConn’s trigger when he ranted on his radio present about needing extra sources for this system on his radio present. Certain, UConn doesn’t get energy convention cash, however this 12 months the duty was beating groups a tier under the ACC, SEC, Large Ten.
Right here, they let a recreation get away towards a former American Athletic Convention opponent, after losses to Georgia State, Florida Worldwide and Utah State.
Right here, they scored 21 towards a protection that had allowed 112 factors within the earlier two weeks.
And to suppose, Mora talked about darkish days forward, if UConn doesn’t put extra sources into his program. Not the time, Coach.
“We didn’t carry out,” Mora stated. “And after I say ‘we,’ which means coaches and gamers.”
The Huskies hopes of becoming a member of the Large 12 or ACC have been dashed earlier within the season, an issue to be managed in future seasons. This season, there was a lot to perform, a lot to realize. Losses like this one can’t be laid on the ft of convention alignment or name-image-likeness cash or housing for the gamers. This was about particular groups ineptitude, failure to transform on third down, or to cease the opponent from changing.
Losses towards groups UConn ought to have been adequate to beat have submarined this season, not blowouts to Michigan or Clemson.
What’s left? UConn goes to Boston School subsequent Saturday, and BC, most likely nonetheless offended over shedding at Rentschler Area final season, is more likely to intention to humiliate their New England sometime-rival. Then there’s the sport at Tennessee, which must be the least winnable of the season, and a recreation at James Madison, unbeaten JMU, that might depart us all questioning how an opponent obtained so good, so quick after rising up from FCS.
No, the beginning of basketball season, at all times welcome in Connecticut, couldn’t come at a greater time because the UConn soccer program performs out the string.
It’s value watching Cam Edwards, although. At 5 ft 10 and 202 kilos, he’s neither exceptionally massive nor quick, however he has the very best trait a working again can possess — he’s exhausting to deliver down.
UConn’s offense ought to revolve round Edwards and Bristol’s Victor Rosa, when he recovers from the angle harm that shortened his day towards USF. On protection, Jackson Mitchell, who made one other 9 tackles, is simple to tug for, giving all the things he might, staying loyal to his home-state program.
The Huskies have that a lot: Connecticut youngsters who put on the jersey and play with a ton of delight. For them, and the individuals who nonetheless care, the Huskies have 5 extra video games.
“All people is aware of it was a disappointing loss,” Edwards stated. “We’re going to get again at it and we’ve obtained to maintain the identical angle we had coming into this recreation.”