AP Sports Writer
EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (CBS Connecticut and AP) — Drew Lock threw for 377 yards and five touchdowns and Missouri routed Connecticut 52-12 on Saturday night, winning back-to-back games for the first time since the start of the 2015 season.
Lock, who played just under three quarters, picked apart the nation’s worst pass defense, finishing with a career high 31 completions on 37 attempts.
“We’re talking about our outside guys being able to run by anybody,” Lock said. “And then being able to take the hitches all night made my job a lot easier, because you get 6 or 7 on those, miss a tackle and you get a first down on those as well. That just allowed us to get in our shots a little more.”
The Tigers (3-5) gave up a safety after an errant snap on the opening drive, then scored on their next five possessions to lead 31-5 at halftime.
Lock completed 14 of 15 passes in the first quarter, three of them for touchdowns, including two to freshman tight end Albert Okwuegbunam.
He also hit J’Mon Moore for two scores and hooked up with Johnathon Johnson for a 72-yard catch and run in the third quarter.
The Tigers had 583 yards of offense, 408 through the air.
“I think when the offense is going that spreads throughout the entire team and sideline,” said coach Barry Odom. “(Drew)’s got a really high skill set and receivers are catching the ball well.
Bryant Shirreffs completed 19 of 39 passes for 202 yards for UConn (3-5), but was sacked five times. The Tigers also had nine tackles for loss.
“We’re not going to show this film to these guys,” UConn coach Randy Edsall said. “We’re going to move forward and just make sure we have the right guys out there.”
Missouri: Lock becomes the first Missouri quarterback to throw for at least five touchdowns five times. He has 7,298 yards passing and now trails only Brad Smith (8,799 yards) and Chase Daniel (12,515 yards) on Missouri’s all-time passing list.
“That’s really cool to me, growing up a huge Missouri Tiger fan, watching all those guys,” Lock said. “Putting my name with those guys, that’s the biggest part,” ’cause that’s the coolest thing to me.”
Over his last five games, the junior is 114-for-166 passing for 1,668 yards. He has thrown 20 touchdowns and just three interceptions.
UConn: The Huskies were coming off back-to-back wins over Temple and Tulsa, but have not won win three in a row since 2015. UConn has now given up more than 350 yards passing to six of its eight opponents.
This is the first winning streak for the Tigers since beating Southeast Missouri ad Arkansas State to start the 2015 season. The win at Arkansas State also was the team’s last road win.
Missouri: The Tigers return home to resume SEC play by hosting Florida next Saturday.
UConn: The Huskies begin the toughest stretch of their schedule by hosting No. 17 South Florida next week in a game rescheduled from September because of Hurricane Irma. The Bulls are coming off their first loss of the season. The Huskies then travel to the sunshine state to face No. 18 UCF.
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