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One To Go...UConn football takes on Memphis on Saturday at The Rent.

POSTED December 06, 2013
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney


STORRS: There’s only one left.

This chapter ends here.

The 2013 University of Connecticut football season comes to a close on Saturday when they face Memphis at Rentschler Field at one o’clock in what from all indications will be interim head coach T.J. Weist’s last game at the helm before the school names a permanent head coach over the next few weeks.

It’s been a beaten to death tale of misery at times this season for the Huskies although the last two weeks have allowed a hint of sunshine into the program with back to back wins over Temple and Rutgers.

While they enter the last game of the ‘13 campaign with a 2-9 record, the play of freshman Casey Cochran over the last three games has been encouraging to some extent.

His performance against a Rutgers team fighting for a Bowl game last Saturday was as impressive as it may have been surprising to the small crowd that gathered at The Rent (just over 22,000).

The former Masuk High School star had a career game with 25-33-311 and a pair of touchdowns but more importantly, zero turnovers.

Cochran made good decisions all afternoon, throwing the ball away when there was nothing there and rarely putting his team at risk.

Leading his team on a 79-yard touchdown drive that culminated with a Dhameer Bradley 18-yard score after the Scarlett Knights had taken the opening drive 65-yards for a score was critical for the Huskies and their confidence.

“That drive was huge,” Cochran said afterwards. “We had to answer back right away after they scored. It kind of set the tone after that.”

Deshon Foxx had his best game of the year with nine catches good for 117 yards, including a key forty yard run after the catch in the fourth quarter when the Huskies put the game away with a pair of after Rutgers had taken a 17-14 lead.

Is Cochran the answer for UConn down the road?

Right now he’s got the reigns and it’s hard to question how well the offense has responded with him behind center.

The Huskies have scored 77 points in his three starts after combining to score just 65 in their previous five.

Cochran brings a certain air to him that comes from being groomed as a quarterback since he was in his crib with a football twirling around above him.

Max DeLorenzo has been a force on the ground the past month and continued his solid play with a two touchdown effort against Rutgers with a pair of touchdowns, giving him five for the year.

Tyler Mack earned Defensive Player of the Week honors from the American Athletic Conference with his two interception afternoon while Cochran earned a spot on the Honor Role for his efforts.

Winning is something we have seen a whole lot of from UConn over the past month.

The men and women’s teams haven’t lost yet, the Field Hockey team just won a national championship and the Huskies soccer team continues to roll in the tournament.

Getting the vibe around the football team into the mix on campus has been crucial to the Huskies confidence.

“They hear it when they walk around campus,” Weist said on Tuesday. “The positive energy on the campus is incredible. There is no question it helps.”

Getting a fan base back engaged again is going to take more than a three-game winning streak (if the Huskies can get by Memphis) but it’s a step in the right direction and a world away from talk of a 0-12 campaign.     

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