Cochran gets mad, UConn gets "W".
STORRS: When UConn freshman quarterback Casey Cochran came out to play the second half of the Huskie game against Temple on Saturday night, he was not in a good mood, according to his head coach.
“I think Casey was a bit pissed off,” Interim head coach T.J. Weist said. “He came out a different player and after kind of forcing things in the first half, settled down and made good decisions in the second half.”
At the beginning of the third quarter, the Huskies trailed by a 21-0 score and it looked like too many games the team had played in this season and in too familiar a way, looked like their tenth straight defeat.
But then something happened.
A Tim Willman fumble recovery led to the Huskies first score, a 33-yard scoring strike from Cochran to Geremy Davis which was followed up by a Max DeLorenzo 4-yard run on their next possession and something was afoot.
Mr. Momentum, a being that has been on the outside looking in for UConn this year, decided to have seat on the Huskies sideline for a change.
Cochran and UConn would tie things up in the fourth quarter with a hard fought one-yard touchdown run (took six tries from the one, helped by a penalty) that marked the largest comeback the Huskies pulled off since becoming a DI program.
How did it come about?
“We challenge these player every week to give the effort and to make plays,” Weist said. “Let’s face it, we had to learn how to win. How to take advantage of turnovers, how to score when in the red zone. We put drives together on a consistent basis.”
Yawin Smallwood had gotten a great deal of much deserved recognition around the country during this, his junior year. It’s been a year that seen the junior linebacker do about everything except for what he pulled off on Saturday at a most critical juncture.
He picked off a pass late in the fourth quarter with Temple driving and returned it 59-yards for the winning points.
It was as improbable as it was unlikely but the UConn Huskies have gotten off the deck and posted their first win of 2013.
Two more games remain, both at home.
Rutgers (5-5) visits The Rent on Saturday for a noon matchup before Memphis winds up the 2013 campaign for both teams on December 7th at one o’clock.
NOTES: Smallwood continued his stellar 2013 campaign by being named the AAC Defensive Player of the Week.
Smallwood helped UConn pick up its first win of the season as the Huskies were 28-21 winners at Temple.
He had a game-high eight tackles, including a sack and two tackles for loss, and scored the game-winning points with a 59-yard interception return for a touchdown.
Smallwood ranks third in the American Athletic Conference in tackles, averaging 10.2 stops per game, and has registered his second consecutive season with 100 tackles (102 this season).