UConn Football breaks 721-day losing streak

UConn wide receiver Kevens Clericus (86) celebrating after scoring the second touchdown at the UConn homecoming game versus Yale on Saturday Oct. 16, 2021 at Rentschler Field. The Huskies claimed victory over the Bulldogs with a score of 21-15 for their first win of the season. Photo by Ingrid Santos Rivera/The Daily Campus.

On a sunny October Saturday, in front of a crowd of 18,000 people, the University of Connecticut football team did the impossible. They won a game of football.  

It took 721 days, three quarterbacks, two head coaches and four interceptions, but the UConn football team has their win. They beat the Yale Bulldogs 21-15 in a game that once again saw a last-minute play (almost) decide everything. 

With no time on the clock, the Huskies’ impending victory was called back due to a holding call, and an untimed down was given to Yale. The Yale team was down six points after missing an extra point earlier in the quarter and threw up their second pass in as many plays for the endzone. It was picked by Tui Faumuina-Brown, the third interception that quarterback Griffin O’Connor threw in the game, to end it. 

After the game, quarterback Steve Krajewski commented on that play, saying he was “silently praying” to himself. Krajeski, who threw two touchdowns and no interceptions with 199 yards passing as well as a third touchdown with his legs, added that he was “confident the defense would be able to hold them off.”  

One star of the game for the Huskies was wide receiver Keelon Marion. Marion, who has been a powerhouse for the Huskies all season, caught a 63-yard touchdown in the second quarter to start the offensive effort by the team. He was supported by running backs Nate Carter and Kevin Mensah, who combined for 107 yards. 

But the true hero of the game for the Huskies was on the defensive side of the ball, which has struggled for most of the year. The Huskies defense has struggled throughout the season, especially in the second half of the game. But on Saturday, despite their struggles, junior defensive back Tre Wortham got two interceptions to change the tide of the game entirely.  

Those takeaways, both in the second quarter, kept the Yale offensive effort down until the second half, where they scored nine points in the third quarter and six in the fourth after a missed extra point.  

Interim head coach Lou Spanos remarked about the locker room after the game, saying: “The scene, it was emotional. The players have fought so long and hard since we started the journey this year.” Spanos, who took over after week two, claimed his first win as a head coach and his most successful week since he took over before the Purdue disaster.  

Now, the Huskies look ahead toward their second-to-last home game of the season. They’ll play on Friday next week, in a 6 p.m. game against Middle Tennessee at Rentschler Field. The Huskies will be looking for a two-game win streak for the first time since 2017. 

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