Plays that cause losing continue. Huskies fall 36-10 to Temple.
EAST HARTFORD: Avoiding plays that cause losing has been a theme of UConn Huskies head football coach Bob Diaco since the day we met him back in December.
On Saturday against the Temple Owls, four plays that cause losing took turns biting the home team who eventually fell to the Owls by a 36-10 score.
UConn drops to 1-4 with a bye week on tap in which they can try and figure out, as they have been trying all year, how to do the small things that cause winning.
For the fifth consecutive, you can't believe your still talking about this weeks, the offense committed a turnover that led to an opponents score and put a young team that has trouble overcoming such obstacles in a hole right off the bat.
On their first drive, a terrific 15-play, 54-yard drive, the first losing play reared its ugly head in the form of an interception thrown by Chandler Whitmer that was returned 93-yards for a touchdown after the home team had the ball for 6:23 off the kickoff.
The Huskies defense, its strong point all season long, absolutely dominated an Owls team that put 59 points on the board a week ago, holding them to just 30 yards of total offense in the first 30 minutes of play.
Temple, who had a hard time holding onto punts during the first half, muffed one inside their own 20, giving the Huskies an ideal chance to get back into the game but two consecutive losses pushed them back and a Bobby Puyol 45-yard field goal was wide left.
Still, at the half this was a game within the Huskies reach. Down just four at 7-3 with a defense playing at its height.
The Owls were set to receive the opening kickoff to start the third and if one play signified what carma this team has right not occured when Temple failed to get a clean handle on the kickoff and it ended up in the endzone where Wilbert Lee fell on it for an apparent score.
But, back near the 40-line yard, laundry appeared and an offside penalty had been called, negating the momentum turning score.
Sure enough, after the re-kick, the Owls marched 75-yards in just six plays to turn what could have been a 10-7 UConn lead into a 14-3 lead that they never looked back from.
A fourth play, a strip sack of Whitmer, was turned into an 11-yard scoop and score that put this one out of reach.
"You can't give up 16 uncontested points and expect to win," Diaco said, "It is impossible to win that way, period."
27,755 fans turned out on Military Appreciation Day at Rentschler Field and on the bright side, they did see an improved running game, led by a hard charging Max DeLorenzo who ran for 58 yards on a day that the ground game broke the 100 yard mark for the first time in 2014 with a total of 133.
Freshman Arkeel Newsome broke one in the third quarter for a 74-yard pass and run that took fans of the Ansonia great back to his glory days.
After taking a beating all game long on kick returns, Newsome took a Whitmer pass at the thitry yard line and made his way through traffic, across the field where he outran the Owls defenders.
It marked the first time this season that we got to see Newsome in the open field for that long; his speed is good enough to get away from most defenders he will see at this level.
Newsome ended the night with seven carries, good for 32 yards along with the long touchdown.
Count the returns and the former Charger accounted for 213 all-purpose yards.