By PAT EATON-ROBB, Associated Press
EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Dave Teggart hit a 27-yard field goal in overtime and Connecticut beat West Virginia 16-13, giving the Huskies their first win over the Mountaineers.
The winning score was set up when UConn linebacker Lawrence Wilson recovered the seventh fumble of the night for West Virginia (5-3, 1-2 Big East), which lost its second consecutive conference game.
[photogallerylink id=17103 align=right]Jordan Todman tied a career high with 33 carries, running for 113 yards and a touchdown that helped the Huskies (4-4, 1-2) come back from an early 10-0 deficit.
Connecticut quarterback Zach Frazer, forced to start after a head injury sidelined redshirt freshman Mike Box, threw for 166 yards without an interception.
Geno Smith threw for 160 yards and ran for 64 for the Mountaineers, who opted to punt from the UConn 33 with less than 2 minutes left in regulation.
With the game tied at 13 with less than 2 minutes left in regulation, West Virginia coach Bill Stewart opted to punt on a 4th and 9 from UConn’s 33 yard line, rather than attempt a field goal into the wind or go for it. UConn got the ball on the 1-yard line, and was able to run out the clock.
West Virginia got the ball first in overtime and seemed headed for a score when Ryan Clarke fumbled a handoff at the 1-yard line and Wilson picked it up.
West Virginia had 414 yards of offense, but lost four of its seven fumbles, and scored just three points after the first quarter.
UConn linebacker Sio Moore had 17 tackles, forced two forced fumbles and recovered two others. He stripped Smith at the UConn 44 with just under 13 minutes left in the game.
Frazer hit Kashif Moore for 40-yards on the next play, setting up a 26-yard field goal by Teggart that tied the game at 13, one of three UConn field goals.
Tyler Bitancurt had two for West Virginia, including a 42-yarder that made it 13-10 West Virginia late in the third quarter.
After rushing for just 31 yards on 13 carries in the first half, Todman broke loose in the second. His 24-yard run up the middle with just over 6 minutes left in the third quarter tied the game at 10, and capped a 14-play, 71-yard drive.
West Virginia shut down the UConn offense early, forcing the Huskies into three consecutive three-and-out drives to start the game.
The Mountaineers, meanwhile, had no problem moving the ball.
Receiver Brad Starks made it 7-0 when he took a handoff 53 yards untouched down the left side 5 minutes into the game.
When Bitancurt hit a 36-yard field goal, the Mountaineers had more points (10) than UConn had yards (8).
West Virginia held UConn without a first down until an 11-yard scramble by Frazer with 11:30 left in the second quarter.
The Huskies put together their first sustained drive just before the half, and Teggart’s 39-yard field goal made it 10-3 at halftime.
Frazer, who was benched at halftime of UConn’s 45-21 win over Buffalo on Sept. 25, was forced back into service when a head injury sidelined redshirt freshman Mike Box. Box had taken over the job from Cody Endres, who was kicked off the team last week.
The strong wind didn’t seem to affect either quarterback, though it caused two of the four sky divers who brought in game balls to land in the stadium parking lot.
It was the first conference win for the Huskies, who had dropped their last two at Rutgers and Louisville. UConn is now 1-6 against West Virginia and 4-0 at home this season.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)