5 Thoughts - 2009 International Bowl
Connecticut RB Donald Brown
Connecticut RB Donald Brown
Posted Jan 3, 2009

Connecticut beats Buffalo 38-20 ... 5 Thoughts on the 2009 International Bowl

2009 International Bowl

Connecticut 38 ... Buffalo 20

GAME RECAP: Brown runs wild, but UConn loses 5 fumbles
- 2009 CFN International Bowl Preview
2009 International Bowl Player Profiles, Histories, & More

1. Oh c’mon, MAC. Connecticut was giving it away, and Buffalo still got destroyed. Five turnovers in the first half and Buffalo was only able to come up with 20 points. Five turnovers, all fumbles, and Buffalo still lost by 18. Buffalo would’ve been in this game even if it had lost to Ball State in the MAC title game, Bull fans bought up tickets, as expected, and the team deserved to be in a bowl even before the championship, but this was an International Bowl thumping for the second year in a row, and it was the third time in as many bowls that the Big East beat the MAC. The bowl makes geographic sense for the Big East, but the league needs better overall bowl ties and this game needs a better matchup. It’s one thing to play the MAC Champion vs. the Big East, like this turned out to be, but normally, the champion will go to the Motor City Bowl. But one more blowout like this and the bowl officials will need to rethink the matchup. - Pete Fiutak 

2. Donald Brown going pro? Nooooooo. But he said he was coming back for his senior year? It’s funny how a huge game over a MAC team would influence a decision, but obviously Brown knew he was going to be taking off all along. With his impressive 261-yard performance he went over the 2,000-yard mark for the season, and if it was possible, it went even more under the radar than what former UCF back Kevin Smith and Tulane's Matt Forte did last year (before he became a Chicago Bear). Iowa's Shonn Greene won the Doak Walker, and deservedly so, but no back carried his team like Brown did. UConn had absolutely nothing offensively to count on this season outside of the ground game. Everyone knew it was Brown running the ball, and he still he went for over two bills. And now he's off to the NFL where his combination of durability, quickness and power should find him a job somewhere. He had a special college career, even if no one really noticed.
- Pete Fiutak 

3. After leading the country in rushing and bombarding Buffalo for 260 yards on 29 carries, Connecticut RB Donald Brown would've entered next season as a fringe Heisman contender. He was the obvious portion of a power Husky ground game that rung up 359 yards on the ground, most of them between the tackles, and now that he's gone, the workload will open up for a new star to watch out for. A little off the radar is true freshman Jordan Todman, who also ran well against the overmatched Bulls, going for 61 yards on only seven carries. While Brown is a north-south runner who can move a pile, Todman is a burner with outstanding change-of-direction in the open field. Now, it'll be Todman who needs to give the Huskies the punch out of the backfield as they shoot to improve their bowl positioning in 2009.  - Richard Cirminiello

Connecticut coach Randy Edsall, along with the coaches of any other kick returners across America (or Canada, given the fact that today's game was played in Toronto) who don't know the football rulebook should write the following sentence on a chalkboard 1,000 times:
"If you muff a punt or kickoff, it's not a safety if you recover the ball in the end zone."
Keep writing, Randy. Teach your kids the rulebook.
"If you muff a punt or kickoff, it's not a safety if you recover the ball in the end zone."
Okay, just 998 more times to go. - Matthew Zemek

5. Connecticut doesn’t have the best defense in the country, but it might have the most underrated unit around. None of these kids were heavily recruited outside the Northeast, yet they all fly to the ball, force mistakes, and swarm tackle. Even in the region, Cody Brown, Scott Lutrus, and Julius Williams aren’t household names, but they’re all playmakers that have elevated their games since arriving in Storrs. Year-in and year-out, Randy Edsall and his staff, including coordinator Todd Orlando, do a magnificent job of coaching up this group. It’s no fluke that UConn has been among the nation’s leaders in total defense, three years running. 
- Richard Cirminiello