A win is a win. Team sports are not figure skating or synchronized swimming. There are no style points. And so UConn’s narrow 13-10 win over Virginia carries the same value as a 45-10 win would be. It goes in the all-important left column in the standings.
UConn again had to play from behind and yes, that’s a disturbing trend. In fact, in their three games, the Huskies have led for only 10 minutes and 42 seconds. For the third straight game, the opposition scored first. But the Virginia offense didn’t get another point for the final 42:18 of the game, and that’s a tribute to the Connecticut defense. After scoring drives of 86 and 90 yards, UVA managed just 202 yards on their final 9 possessions with 73 coming on the final possession that resulted in the missed Alex Furbank field goal. Obi Melinfonwu, Junior Joseph and Foley Fatukasi led the defensive charge.
Offensively, it was a struggle. Noel Thomas was terrific once again, Hergy Mayala played well and Arkeel Newsome broke out of his two game slump to post 77 yards on the ground. Bryant Shirreffs was good, but not as good as in the first two games. He seemed more anxious to run then wait a tick longer for a receiver to get open. And the two turnovers were not good execution on his part. But when he had to, he led UConn on two scoring drives to tie, and then win the game. The offensive line struggled again, allowing four sacks and 11 tackles for loss. It’s a unit that has to play better. And yes, the tight ends only caught two balls, that seems to be more of a trend than anyone expected.
But at the end of the day, the Huskies were once again resilient and when they needed to come up with the big plays they did. Led by Bobby Puyol who kicked his second game winning field goal in two weeks. It’s a great benefit to have a kicker with ice waters in his veins and that described Puyol.
This week, the renewal of a rivalry with Syracuse, which runs an offensive play an average of every 20 seconds. More on the Orange later in the week.