UConn football went down to New Orleans Saturday afternoon to play conference rival Tulane University, and it was not pretty. Tulane beat UConn 49-7 in a game where very little went the Huskies’ way.
“Talented team offensively and defensively, they’re playing really good football right now,” UConn (1-5) head coach Randy Edsall said a few days before the game.
Just as predicted, Tulane (5-1) played really good football and were able to do whatever they wanted offensively and defensively.
Tulane ran the ball all game and UConn’s defense couldn’t do anything to stop them. The Green Wave ran the ball 46 times with eight different players for a total of 311 yards and three touchdowns.
“We have to tackle better,” Edsall said. “We’re not wrapping up and we’re not running through people. We have some guys that are missing gaps and we’re going to get challenged this week.”
When Tulane did decide to throw the ball, things also went well for them. Starting quarterback Justin McMillan threw 18-24 for 231 yards and two touchdowns, and backup quarterback Keon Howard threw 8-10 for 92 yards and a score (it was one of those games).
Tulane had 634 total yards of offense. The Huskies had 400 less than that.
UConn was able to pick up 100 yards on the ground on 29 attempts (3.4 yards per carry). Kevin Mensah led the way with 15 carries for 41 yards with his longest run of the day going for five yards. Art Thompkins also carried the ball seven times for 32 yards, and backup running backs Dante Black and Donevin O’Reilly added five totes for 30 yards.
They didn’t find much more success in the passing game. Starting quarterback Mike Beaudry was taken out after going 15-24 for 101 yards, no scores and an interception (it was one of those games). Backup Jack Zergiotis took over with 12:45 left in the game and went 4-7 for 33 yards and a touchdown.
UConn went 11 scoreless possessions before scoring their first touchdown with 2:27 remaining in the game when Zergiotis hit Cameron Hairston for a 16-yard score. On the other hand, Tulane punted twice and turned the ball over on downs twice. Every other possession ended in a touchdown.
“We have to take our execution and consistency to another level, and sometimes that’s hard when you have so many young kids, but that something we have to keep working at,” Edsall said.
The Huskies have now lost five straight, and have given up 48 or more points in each of their last three games. Edsall has been clear that one of his main focuses this season is player development. Perhaps the Huskies can use the midway point in their schedule as a turning point to pivot in the right direction.
The contrast between the two teams was very easy to see. Tulane was better than UConn in every way Saturday. It’s clear that there is a lot of work to be done before the Homecoming Game this weekend.
UConn will play Houston at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field at noon on Saturday.
Sean Janos is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at email@example.com. He tweets @seanjanos.