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Late Ohio Rally Falls Short in Front of Record-Setting Crowd

Sept. 5, 2009

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ATHENS, Ohio - A late fourth-quarter Ohio surge came up just short as UCONN slipped by the Bobcats 23-16 in front of a Peden Stadium-record 24, 617 in attendance Saturday night. Ohio falls to 0-1 on the season, while the Huskies are now 1-0.

UCONN struck first with a touchdown in the opening quarter on a 4-yard pass from Zach Frazer to Anthony Davis, capping a 10-play drive to give the Huskies the early advantage.

After an interception late in the second quarter by the Bobcats' Melvin Payne (Mobile, Ala.), Ohio got on the board courtesy of a 44-yard touchdown pass from Boo Jackson (Gardena, Calif.) to Taylor Price (Hilliard, Ohio) with four minutes remaining in the first half. Payne's interception was Ohio's second of the half as Patrick Tafua (Midway City, Calif.) picked one off early in the first quarter.

The Huskies regained the lead on their ensuing possession right before halftime with a 35-yard pass from Frazer to Brad Kanuch to make the score 14-7 at the break.

UCONN added a safety late in the third stanza with a sack in the end zone to make the score 16-7 in favor of the Huskies.

The final period began with a 4-yard touchdown run by Jordan Todman, giving UCONN a 23-7 lead.

Ohio answered with a 5-play, 41-yard drive, highlighted by an 11-yard touchdown pass from Theo Scott (Long Beach, Calif.) to Riley Dunlop (Liberty Township, Ohio), making the score 23-13 after a failed two-point conversion with nine minutes left in the contest.

On the Huskies' next possession, the Bobcats' Gerald Moore (Mitchellville, Md.) intercepted a Frazer pass attempt on third down to give Ohio the ball in Husky territory. Matt Weller (Twinsburg, Ohio) converted a 50-yard field goal with just under three minutes remaining with pull Ohio to within a touchdown. Weller's kick is tied for the 10th-longest in school history.

The Bobcats were unable to regain possession with an onsides kick, and the Huskies managed to run down the clock and hang on to a 23-16 victory.

Jackson finished 8-of-16 for 117 yards and a touchdown and led all Ohio rushers on the ground. Scott was 7-of-12 for 69 yards and a touchdown, while Dunlop, Chris Garrett (Utica, N.Y.) and Donte Harden (Erie, Pa.) all hauled in three receptions on the night. Lee Renfro (Burnside, Ky.) led all defensive players with 12 total tackles, including two for loss and a sack. Steven Jackson (Austin, Texas), Noah Keller (Kearney, Neb.) and Donavan Fletcher (Youngstown, Ohio) all tallied nine tackles, while Tafua had eight tackles and an interception, the first of his career.

UCONN was led by a pair of 100-yard rushers in Jordan Todman, 25 carries for 161 yards, and Andre Dixon, 19 carries for 103 yards.

Ohio will look to bounce back next weekend when it heads to Denton, Texas, to take on North Texas. Kickoff is set 7 p.m. ET.