It was not a pretty game for the Huskies under the lights at The Rent. Navy, led by star quarterback Malcolm Perry, took the Huskies down 56-10.
“They’re a very good football team, but we didn’t help ourselves,” head coach Randy Edsall said.
UConn (2-7) scored a touchdown on their second possession of the game, then a field goal on their fourth, but after that had a very hard time moving the ball on Navy’s (7-1) stingy defense.
“It’s just about playing smart football,” quarterback Jack Zergiotis said. “There are no more excuses.”
As the Huskies fell further behind, Zergiotis was asked to do more and more. He finished the game 16-34 for 205 yards, a touchdown, two interceptions and a lost fumble.
“We didn’t play very well. We had our opportunities early, I think Jack [Zergiotis] just tried to press too much,” Edsall said.
On the other hand, it was smooth sailing for Perry and his Navy offense. The star quarterback ran the ball 11 times for 108 yards (9.8 yards per carry) and two touchdowns, and also threw 3-6 for 165 yards (55 yards per completion) and another score.
“Everybody just needs to do their job. Big plays happen because people don’t do their job,” Edsall said. “On the very play where the quarterback takes it for a long touchdown, we missed a tackle.”
Backs Nelson Smith, Perry Olsen and Jamale Carothers shouldered the rest of the load for Navy’s offense. They carried the ball a combined 18 times for 185 yards (10.3 yards per carry) and five touchdowns.
UConn’s featured running back Kevin Mensah managed to be a bright spot on the otherwise dismal Huskies’ offense. He took 26 carries, 107 yards and added two catches for 18 yards, but he never managed to find pay dirt.
UConn’s other back that they often utilize in the passing game, Art Thompkins, scored UConn’s only touchdown with four catches for 23 yards. He also picked up 13 yards on four carries.
With all of the pressure that Navy brought on defense, you would think that dump-off passes to Thompkins and Cam Ross would be a focal point of UConn’s offense. The crafty speedsters couldn’t find much room to work, though. Ross finished the game with six catches for just 38 yards after roasting UMass for 120 yards and a score on nine catches the weekend prior.
The Huskies will attempt to bounce back with a road game against Cincinnati (7-1). The Bearcats find themselves on a six-game winning streak after pulling out a three-point win over ECU. That game will be played this Saturday at 3:30 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.