USF came to East Hartford Saturday afternoon, ran for 313 yards, scored a touchdown on a fake field goal and beat UConn 48-22.
Head coach Randy Edsall probably put it best when he said, “It wasn’t good.”
USF (2-3) was able to do whatever they wanted against the Huskies (1-4). Jordan Cronkirite ran for 148 yards with an impressive 7.4 yards per carry. Spell back Trevon Sands, quarterback Jordan McCloud and kicker Spencer Shrader scored rushing touchdowns.
With 9:07 left in the game and the score 14-34, USF ran a fake field goal where the holder took the snap and flipped the ball to a sprinting Shrader, who ran 22 yards for the touchdown.
McCloud also threw three touchdowns, two of them going to Bryce Miller. With 31 seconds left in the game, third-string quarterback Kirk Rygol threw a 33-yard touchdown to DeVontre Dukes.
“We got beat by a more athletic team, a better team and we had so many self-inflicted wounds today,” Edsall said. “We had opportunities to make plays, but didn’t make them offensively, defensively and on special teams.”
Don’t get me wrong, the game wasn’t a complete disaster. There were a few bright spots. Mike Beaudry, who started the first game of the season against Wagner, started for the first time since he got injured in that game. He threw 18-29 for 209 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions, but one fumble.
“I felt really comfortable today. I felt like I was seeing things really well and I was playing confidently,” Beaudry said.
Running backs Kevin Mensah and Art Thompkins did what they could to keep the ball moving. Mensah ran 21 times for 70 yards and two scores, while Art took six totes for 36 yards. Thompkins also caught a pass for a gain of 33.
“Kevin Mensah plays very, very hard. We need more guys like him that put in that kind of effort and the kind of time that he put in to make himself the kind of player he is,” Edsall said. “We could have had more yardage running the ball, but then they threw more guys in the box to stop that and we just couldn’t get things done in the passing game. Kevin’s going to give you everything he has, you don’t have to worry about that. He’s going to play hard and football is important to him.”
Defensive backs Abiola Olaniyan and Diamond Harrell recorded their first interceptions of the season, with Olaniyan getting his on one of his first snaps of the season. After Beaudry fumbled in his own territory towards the end of the first half, linebacker D.J. Morgan tipped one of McCloud’s passes to the endzone into the air and Olaniyan came down with it.
Edsall, who is typically focused on player development, wants to make sure his players learn from this game.
“We’ll just keep working and keep getting better. We’ll watch the film, show them what they did right and show them what they did wrong and work to get better,” Edsall said.
Throughout the week, the Huskies will move on, watch the film, practice and prepare for the next one.
UConn will play Saturday on the road against Tulane University. The game will start at 3:45 p.m.
Sean Janos is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. He tweets @seanjanos.