by Rob Joyce
The season opener wasn’t quite what the 26,000-plus in attendance expected last Thursday in East Hartford. UConn needed to overcome a seven-point deficit in the final 10 minutes to dispatch of FCS school Maine 24-21. The difference in the game ultimately came down to special teams: the Huskies’ Mikal Myers blocked a field goal attempt with 1:48 left that would have put the Black Bears ahead. Instead, the game remained tied, and UConn drove 50 yards downfield to set up Bobby Puyol’s game-winner with 11 seconds remaining.
While it was by no means the biggest kick in school history – it was, if anything, a major sigh of relief – it is a game-winner on Puyol’s resume. But the Huskies will have to do it again much better competition if Puyol hopes to crack the top five of the biggest made field goals in program history.
Here’s our list:
5) David DeArmas, Sept. 23, 1995: DeArmas had a rough start to UConn’s game against Buffalo at Memorial Stadium. As the punter his first kick was blocked, then his second never got off as he botched the snap, which the Bulls turned into a touchdown. It added up to a 22-0 deficit in the second quarter. He would make up for it, though, as his chip-shot 18-yarder with 10 seconds left gave UConn a 26-25 victory and capped the biggest comeback in school history. The 1995 team would start 3-0 and tie a school record at the time with eight wins.
4) Dave Teggart, Dec. 5, 2009:
This was a very, very distant second on the list of important Dave Teggart field goals against South Florida, but it was exciting nonetheless. In the snowy regular season finale at the Rent the Bulls’ BJ Daniels took a 27-26 lead with less than a minute left. Zach Frazier and company drove down the field and into field goal range, where Teggart knocked through a 44-yarder as time expired for a 29-27 victory.
3) Marc Hickok: It wasn’t a game-winner in the traditional sense, because it came with 3:04 left, but Hickok’s career-long 47-yarder helped lift the young Huskies to a 20-19 victory, it’s first against a Big East opponent. For a UConn team that was in its second year transitioning from I-AA it was a milestone win. Keron Henry started the game at quarterback, before being relieved by a freshman named Dan Orlovsky. The rest, as they say, is history.
2) Dave Teggart, Oct. 29, 2010:
Teggart would have a field goal of much bigger significance later in the year, but that second make doesn’t happen without his Halloween weekend heroics. West Virginia was the riddle that UConn couldn’t solve for most of Randy Edsall’s tenure, including a 66-21 thrashing in 2007, a second-half collapse by the Huskies in 2008 and a heart-shattering 2009 loss in the final minutes a week after Jasper Howard’s death. But in 2010 things went the Huskies’ way. In overtime the Mountaineers fumbled on the one-yard line, helping set up Teggart’s 27-yarder for the 16-13 win that sparked a five-game win streak, and ultimately a Big East title and a BCS berth.
1) Dave Teggart, Dec. 4, 2010:
Teggart hit his first three field goals in the regular season finale against South Florida, including converting on a 50-yarder that traveled about 50.00001 yards. Regardless, a make is a make, and it helped paved the way for the final seconds. With the game tied at 16, Teggart lined up from the left hash and cleanly made a 52-yarder (with plenty of room to spare) that gave the Huskies a 19-16 win and – far more importantly – a share of the Big East title and a berth into the Fiesta Bowl.