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2008 Connecticut Huskies Season
Connecticut RB Donald Brown
Connecticut RB Donald Brown
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Feb 4, 2009


2008 Connecticut Huskies Season, Game Recaps, Scores and Reviews

2008 Connecticut Huskies

Jan. 3
2009 International Bowl
Connecticut 38 … Buffalo 20

Connecticut overcame five first half fumbles with 358 rushing yards and a stifling defense that held Buffalo to just 24 rushing yards and 237 yards overall. Buffalo was able to take advantage of the early mistakes to get up 20-10 helped by a fumble recovery off a muffed punt by Ray Anthony Long for a score, and a four-yard James Starks touchdown run off a fumble on the ensuing kickoff after a A.J. Principe 29-yard field goal game UB the lead. But it was all UConn from then on scoring 28 unanswered points with Tyler Lorenzen running for two short touchdowns and hitting Steve Brouse for a four-yard score. The Husky defense finished things off with Dahna Deleston picking off a Willy pass for a 100-yard touchdown.
Player of the Game: Connecticut RB Donald Brown ran 29 times for 261 yards and a touchdown
Stat Leaders: Buffalo - Passing: Drew Willy, 29-43, 213 yds, 1 INT
Rushing: James Starks, 14-25, 1 TD. Receiving: Naaman Roosevelt, 8-90
Connecticut - Passing: Tyler Lorenzen, 4-6, 49 yds, 1 TD
Rushing:
Donald Brown, 29-261, 1 TD. Receiving: Kashif Moore, 1-18
Inside The Box Score ...  5 Thoughts on the International Bowl … Passing yards: UB 213 – UConn 49 … Rushing yards: UConn 358 – UB 24 … UB’s Davonte Shannon made 15 tackles and a tackle for loss … Third down conversions: UConn 4-of-9 – UB 2-of-17 … Average yards per kickoff return UConn 25.6 – UB 15.7 … Fumbles: UConn 6, lost five – UB 0.

- 2008 UConn Preview
- 2007 UConn Season

2008 Schedule
CFN Prediction: 6-6
2008 Schedule: 8-5

Aug. 28 Hofstra W 35-3
Sept. 6 at Temple W 12-9 OT
Sept. 13 Virginia W 45-10
Sept. 19 Baylor W 31-28
Sept. 27 at Louisville W 26-21
Oct. 4 at North Carolina L 38-12
Oct. 11 OPEN DATE
Oct. 18 at Rutgers L 12-10
Oct. 25 Cincinnati W 40-16
Nov. 1 West Virginia L 35-13
Nov. 8 OPEN DATE
Nov. 15 at Syracuse W 39-14
Nov. 22 at South Florida L 17-13
Nov. 29 OPEN DATE
Dec. 6 Pitt L 34-10
International Bowl
Jan. 3 Buffalo W 38-20

2007 Schedule
CFN Prediction: 5-7
2007 Schedule:
9-4

Sept. 1 at Duke W 45-14
Sept. 8 Maine W 38-0
Sept. 15 Temple W 22-17
Sept. 22 at Pitt W 34-14
Sept. 29
Akron W 44-10
Oct. 13 at Virginia L 17-16
Oct. 20 Louisville W 21-17
Oct. 27
South Florida W 22-15
Nov. 3 Rutgers W 38-19
Nov. 10 at Cincinnati L 27-3
Nov. 17 Syracuse W 30-7
Nov. 24 at W Virginia L 66-21
Meineke Car Care Bowl
Dec. 29 Wake Forest L 24-10

Nov. 23
South Florida 17 … Connecticut 13
Jamar Taylor ran for a 25-yard touchdown and Benjamin Williams scored from three yards out as South Florida got by in a defensive battle. The Bull defense allowed two field goals and a 43-yard Ellis Gaulden touchdown catch, but it held Donald Brown, the nation’s leading rusher, to 96 yards on 28 carries. The Huskies had the ball two times after a field goal made it a four-point game, but went nowhere on either drive. Each team committed 10 penalties.
Player of the game: South Florida LB Tyrone McKenzie made 16 tackles and three tackles for loss
Stat Leaders: South Florida - Passing: Matt Grothe, 9-18, 124 yds, 1 INT
Rushing: Matt Grothe, 15-51. Receiving: Jessie Hester, 3-17
Connecticut - Passing: Tyler Lorenzen, 10-24, 119 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Donald Brown, 28-96. Receiving: Anthony Sherman, 4-45
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... The Connecticut defense did a fantastic job against South Florida, but Tyler Lorenzen and the passing game didn’t do enough to offset the rough day from Donald Brown and the ground attack. Brown was fine in the dead even game, but he didn’t dominate. Lorenzen needed to come through on either one of UConn’s two late drives, and couldn’t. Now the Huskies have one more game to shine with the home finale against Pitt, and if the defense plays as well as it did in Tampa, they have a shot at finishing the season strong.

Nov. 15
Connecticut 39 … Syracuse 14
Syracuse pulled within one late in the first half on a one-yard Curtis Brinkley touchdown run, but Donald Brown put the game away for the Huskies 40 seconds later on a 49-yard scoring dash. The defense and special teams made the game a blowout with Jasper Howard taking a punt 69 yards for a score in the third quarter and 11 seconds later, the next play from scrimmage, Robert McClain took a pick 37 yards for a touchdown. Syracuse scored on a blocked punt in the end zone in the second quarter, but the offense didn’t work gaining just 147 yards with eight first downs.
Player of the game: Connecticut RB Donald Brown ran 22 times for 131 yards and a touchdown
Stat Leaders: Syracuse - Passing: Cameron Dantley, 4-16, 38 yds, 1 INT
Rushing: Curtis Brinkley, 21-84, 1 TD. Receiving: Doug Hogue, 3-17
Connecticut - Passing: Tyler Lorenzen, 7-15, 70 yds
Rushing: Donald Brown, 22-131, 1 TD. Receiving: Kashif Moore, 3-31
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... UConn might have blown away Syracuse, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t problems. There was next to nothing from Tyler Lorenzn and the passing game, and the running game was inconsistent beyond a 50-yard run from Jordan Todman and a 49-yard dash from Donald Brown. The defense didn’t allow a thing from the SU passing game, getting off the field time and again with a third down stop. UConn might not be pretty, and it’s rarely consistent, but it’s 7-3 with big games against South Florida and Pitt to come. Win those two, hope for a Cincinnati loss, and hope for the best in the hunt for the Big East title.

Nov. 1
West Virginia 35 … Connecticut 13
Connecticut took a 10-0 lead with a 21-yard Donald Brown run and a 36-yard Dave Teggart field goal, and then it was all Pat White, and it was all Jock Sanders, and it was all the West Virginia defense. The Mountaineers forced five turnovers, and the offense took advantage with Sanders scoring three times from a 5:12 span in the third quarter catching a six-yard touchdown pass and running in two three-yard scores. White capped off the 28-point run with a 36-yard touchdown dash late in the fourth.
Player of the game: West Virginia QB Pat White completed 11-of-18 passes for 121 yards and a touchdown and he ran 21 times for 109 yards and two scores.
Stat Leaders: Connecticut - Passing: Cody Endres, 17-27, 166 yds, 3 INT
Rushing: Donald Brown, 19-82, 1 TD. Receiving: Anthony Sherman, 7-51
West Virginia - Passing: Pat White, 11-18, 121 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Pat White, 21-109, 2 TD. Receiving: Dorrell Jalloh, 5-73
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Donald Brown got hot early, and then was shut down by the West Virginia defense. Meanwhile, the linebackers didn’t seem to have an answer for Pat White in the second half. QB Cody Endres isn’t at the point where he can carry the offense if Brown isn’t working well, and it showed with three interceptions which basically turned the game completely in WVU’s favor. There’s a week off, and after losing three of the last four games, there can’t be a let up with a trip to Syracuse before closing out against South Florida and Pitt.

Oct. 25
Connecticut 40 … Cincinnati 16
Cincinnati pulled within one, 17-16, on a 22-yard Jake Rogers field goal late in the third quarter. And then Connecticut went ballistic, helped by a slew of takeaways, getting three of Dave Teggart’s four field goals, a five-yard Donald Brown touchdown run, and a 28-yard interception return for a score by Robert McClain as part of a run of 23 unanswered points. Brown set the school-record for most rushing yards in a season, now with 1,324 yards, with two scores against the Bearcats. UC got a 27-yard Mardy Gilyard touchdown catch and Jake Rogers field goals from 29, 54 and 22 yards out, but six turnovers proved costly.
Player of the game: Connecticut RB Donald Brown ran 29 times for 150 yards and two touchdowns, and led the team with four catches for 58 yards
Stat Leaders: Cincinnati - Passing: Tony Pike, 10-27, 136 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Jacob Ramsey, 5-38. Receiving: Mardy Gilyard, 7-87, 1 TD
Connecticut - Passing: Cody Endres, 18-42, 196 yds
Rushing: Donald Brown, 29-150, 2 TD. Receiving: Donald Brown, 4-58
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Donald Brown and the Husky running game were excellent against Cincinnati, but it was the defense that pulled off the win. The entire D seemed to be all over the place making plays and forcing turnovers in what might have been the best performance of the year. The field goal kicking situation that was such a big problem and concern was solved with a big day from David Terrart, who hit all four of his field goal attempts.

Oct. 18
Rutgers 12 … Connecticut 10
Connecticut had a chance to pull off the win with just over a minute to play, but Tony Ciaravino’s 42-yard kick hit the upright. Rutgers took advantage of good field position to get a six-yard Kordell Young touchdown run and a safety in the third quarter on the way to a 12-3 lead, but Connecticut came back with a 47-yard Kashif Moore touchdown catch in the fourth to pull within two. That was as close as the Huskies would get.
Player of the game: Rutgers LB Ryan D’Imperio made 11 tackles and a tackle for loss
Stat Leaders: Connecticut - Passing: Zach Frazer, 14-20, 236, 1 TD
Rushing: Donald Brown, 27-107. Receiving: Martin Bedard, 4-76
Rutgers - Passing: Mike Teel, 17-30, 192 yds
Rushing: Kordell Young, 28-80, 1 TD. Receiving: Kenny Britt, 9-107

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Zach Frazer did a decent job at quarterback against Rutgers, but the offense, outside of one long touchdown catch from Kashif Moore, didn’t have much pop. Donald Brown ran well in the first half and was held in check in the second, but there were still chances to get scores that the team wasn’t able to take advantage of. On a two-game losing streak with Cincinnati and West Virginia up next, the Huskies need to get hot in a big hurry.

Sept. 26
Connecticut 26 ... Louisville 21
UConn capped a run of 17 unanswered points with a 45-yard interception return for a touchdown from Lawrence Wilson with 2:45 to play. The Cardinals' final drive ended with an interception to cap off a the loss. UL gained over 500 yards of total offense, including 261 on the ground, with Victor Anderson running for a two-yard score, Bilal Powell running for a five-yard score, and Hunter Cantwell with an ankle injury, who got dinged up but was able to continue, threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Anderson as part of a 21-0 run. UConn QB Tyler Lorenzen got knocked out with a foot injury, but Zach Frazer was productive throwing a 13-yard touchdown pass to Darius Butler and leading a long drive for a 29-yard field goal with 5:32 to play to pull within one.
Player of the game:
 Connecticut RB Donald Brown ran 33 times for 192 yards and a touchdown.
Stat Leaders: Louisville - Passing: Hunter Cantwell, 17-29, 247 yds, 1 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Bilal Powell, 11-112, 1 TD  Receiving: Josh Chichester, 7-63
Connecticut - Passing: Zach Frazer, 8-15, 90 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Donald Brown, 22-190, 1 TD. Receiving: Darius Brown, 3-40, 1 TD
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... The UConn defense got ripped up by the Louisville running game, and the passing game was inconsistent, it wasn't working even with Tyler Lorenzen in the game, but a road win is a road win. The Huskies might not have come up with a big statement on a national scale, especially considering most people were probably watching the presidential debates, but it showed the team is for real. Zach Frazer was great in relief, and while he didn't push anything deep, he led the way to the win with 80 passing yards and a touchdown. For now, the offense is all about Donald Brown. Louisville knew he was coming, and it couldn't stop him. With road trips coming up against North Carolina and Rutgers, this should be a confidence-boosting performance

Sept. 19
Connecticut 31 ... Baylor 28
In an entertaining, see-saw game, Connecticut took the lead for good on a three-yard Donald Brown touchdown run with just over six minutes to play, and Baylor couldn't answer. Robert Griffin had a great day for Baylor, throwing thee touchdown passes, but he couldn't get the Bears into field goal range, stalling at the UConn 39 in the final minute. The two teams trades scores in the second half including a two-yard touchdown run from Griffin, answered by a 34-yard touchdown dash from UConn QB Tyler Lorenzen. In the dead-even battle, Baylor outgained Connecticut 377 yards to 350.
Player of the game:
 Connecticut RB Donald Brown ran 34 times for 150 yards and two touchdowns
Stat Leaders: Baylor - Passing: Robert Griffin, 14-25, 208 yds, 3 TD
Rushing: Jay Finley. 11-85  Receiving: Kendall Wright, 6-114, 1 TD
Connecticut - Passing: Tyler Lorenzen, 13-23, 125 yds, 2 INT
Rushing: Donald Brown, 34-150, 2 TD. Receiving: Brad Kanuch, 4-30
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... It's been shaky at times, and it took a battle to get by Baylor, but Connecticut is 4-0 and doing the same thing it did last year. Run the ball, get timely defense, and win close battles. The defense needs to do some tweaking in the secondary, and the passing game hasn't been rolling, but 4-0 is 4-0 with Big East play coming up next at Temple. To win the close games, the Huskies have to do all the little things right. While there were two interceptions against Baylor, there were only two penalties and four sacks.

Sept. 13
Connecticut 45 … Virginia 10
Connecticut ripped off the first 28 points of the game, all in the first half, and got up 45-3 before Virginia finally got on the board with a one-yard Cedric Peerman touchdown run early in the fourth quarter. Donald Brown ran for touchdowns from three, eight, and 63 yards out, and Tyler Lorenzen connected with Anthony Davis for a three-yard score. Connecticut outgained Virginia 506 yards to 219 and 382 yards to 31 on the ground.  
Player of the game:
Connecticut RB Donald Brown ran 20 times for 206 yards and a touchdown, and caught five passes or 32 yards
Stat Leaders: Virginia
- Passing: Mark Verica, 22-30, 158 yds, 1 INT
Rushing: Mikell Simpson, 6-23. Receiving: Kevin Ogletree, 7-58
Connecticut - Passing: Tyler Lorenzen, 13-15, 124 yds, 1 TD
Rushing: Donald Brown, 20-206 yds, 3 TD. Receiving: Donald Brown, 5-32
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Connecticut has been a good defensive team that gets by offensively, but it busted out in a big way against Virginia with 382 rushing yards and 397 through the air. Tyler Lorenzen was nearly perfect, completing 13-of-15 passes, and Donald Brown had a special game running the ball. This might have been a watershed moment for the program. This might be when UConn goes from a nice Big East team that no one takes seriously to a real, live contender. It was that good a game.

Sept. 6
Connecticut 12 ... Temple 9 OT
On a soaked field and in lousy weather conditions, Connecticut got a seven-yard Donald Brown touchdown run in overtime to end a battle of field goals. Temple's Jake Brownell hit two field goals for a 6-0 first half lead, but couldn't get back on the board in the second half. Connecticut got two Tony Ciaravino who missed three field goals, hit two in the fourth quarter including a 37-yarder with 6:35 in regulation. However, he missed a 47-yards with just over two minutes to play. Brownell hit a 21-yard field goal in OT, Connecticut got the TD run, and it was over.
Player of the game: Connecticut RB Donald Brown ran 36 times for 214 yards and a touchdown, while catching a pair of passes for five yards.
Stat Leaders: Connecticut
- Passing: Tyler Lorenzen, 10-22, 86 yds, 1 INT
Rushing: Donald Brown, 36-214, 1 TD. Receiving: Steve Brouse, 2-27
Temple
- Passing: Adam DiMichele, 11-28, 170 yds, 2 INTs
Rushing: Adam DiMichele, 10-60. Receiving: Travis Shelton, 4-42

Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Yeah, the weather was bad, and Temple's defense is decent, but if Connecticut really wants to be a Big East champion, it needs more from the passing game. The 293 rushing yards were nice, but the offense converted just three of 13 third down tries and completed just 10-of-22 passes. Again, the weather was lousy, but the running game couldn't finish off drives. Even so, it was a win when things weren't going right. Good teams find a way to pull out the tough ones.

Aug. 28
Connecticut 35 ... Hofstra 3
Donald Brown ran for four touchdowns on the way to a 28-0 first half lead and UConn coasted from there. While the Huskies weren't sharp in the second half, the defense did enough to keep Hofstra from getting back in the game by generating seven sacks and holding the Pride offense to 170 total yards. The two teams combined to turn the ball over eight times.
Player of the game: Connecticut RB Donald Brown ran 23 times for 146 yards and four touchdowns and caught a pass for seven yards.
Stat Leaders: Hofstra - Passing: Cory Christopher, 17-28, 130 yds, 2 INT
Rushing: Cory Christopher, 21-25. Receiving: Aaron Weaver, 4-25
Connecticut - Passing: Tyler Lorenzen, 14-25, 184 yds, 3 INT
Rushing: Donald Brown, 23-146, 4 TD. Receiving: Ellis Gaulden, 4-62
Whoopty doo. What does it all mean, Basil? ... Connecticut might have beaten Hofstra without a problem, but it showed it still has a lot of work to do. If the passing game was an issue coming into the season, it remained that way after Tyler Lorenzen completed just 14 of 25 passes with three interceptions. Between the seven penalties and the five turnovers this was a sloppy game, and while the Huskies are better than Temple, they can't make the same mistakes next week against the better Owl defense.

2008 Recruiting Class

Star of the Class

Erik Kuraczea OL 6-1 305 Ansonia, Conn. / Ansonia
A two-time all-state selection…The 2006 Hartford Courant Defensive Player of the Year…Twice named all-league…Helped Ansonia to the 2006 and 2007 State Championships...Recorded 77 tackles, 20 of them for a loss, with eight sacks…Team captain.

Potential Instant Impact Players

Jerome Junior DB 6-1 210 Baltimore, Md. / Archbishop Curley
Named to the 2007 all-state team by both the Hartford Courant and the New Haven Register…A two-time all-conference selection…On the track, placed second in New England in the 100 meters.

Trevardo Williams DE 6-2 215 Bridgeport, Conn. / Bridgeport Central
An honorable mention all-state selection in 2007…Named to the Baltimore Sun All-Metro team…Part of the Baltimore Touchdown Club’s “Super 22”…Registered 153 career tackles with 13 sacks…Also gained 608 yards rushing on 76 carries with eight touchdowns and blocked three punts on special teams….Captain of tack team that won the 2007 Outdoor state championship.


Rest of the Class

Bennett, Jimmy OL 6-8 280 Alexandria, Va. / West Potomac
Delahunt, John TE 6-3 245 Ottawa, Ont. / Holy Trinity
Edwards, Matt DB 6-0 190 Holliston, Mass. / Holliston
Gratz, Dwayne DB 6-0 180 Piscataway, N.J. / Piscataway
Griffin, Ryan TE 6-5 225 Londonderry, N.H. / Londonderry
Jennings, Ted DE 6-5 212 Dayton, Ohio / Chaminade-Julienne
Johnson, Jory OLB 6-1 220 Mobile, Ala. / St. Paul's / The Hun School
Manning, Corey TE 6-4 238 Tyrone, Ga. / Woodward Academy
Masters, Adam OL 6-5 275 Bethesda, Md. / Walt Whitman
Moore, Sio LB 6-1 215 Apex, N.C. / Apex
Parker, Brian WR 6-4 205 Sarasota, Fla. / Bradenton Prep
Portee, A.J. DE 6-4 215 Austell, Ga. / Mays
Sheppard, Gerrard WR 6-2 195 Owings Mills, Md. / McDonogh School
Smith, Michael WR 6-0 185 Houston, Texas / Westside
Todman, Jordan RB 5-10 180 North Dartmouth, Mass. / Dartmouth
Turner, Casey QB 6-4 230 Chesapeake, Va. / Great Bridge
Williams, Jerome LB 6-1 225 Burlington Township, N.J. / Holy Cross
Wirth, Ryan DT 6-2 275 Medford, N.J. / Cheshire (Conn.) Acad.
Wreh-Wilson, Blidi DB 6-0 175 Edinboro, Pa. / General McLane

2008 Early Lookahead
Why to get excited: The defense was fantastic throughout 2007 considering the offense didn't do much, and with eight starters coming back, it should be even better. The offense might have struggled, but with almost everyone returning, it can't help but be improved. The non-conference schedule is manageable playing Hofstra, at Temple, Virginia, Baylor and at North Carolina.
Why to be grouchy: Yeah, the O should be better, but can anyone actually play? Tyler Lorenzen still has to prove he can consistently lead the attack, while a receiver has to emerge as more of a go-to gamebreaker. Terence Jeffers is good, but he has to be great. The D might be loaded with experience, but it has to go on without heart-and-soul all-star MLB Danny Lansanah.
The number one thing to work on is: Winning games on offense. UConn got by on defense, not turning the ball over, and taking advantage of almost every opportunity. While it led the way to a big season, there were times when the O needed to take over and it couldn't. The passing game has to be more explosive.
Biggest offensive loss: OG Donald Thomas
Biggest defensive loss: LB Danny Lansanah
Best returning offensive player: RB Andre Dixon, Jr.
Best returning defensive player: DE Julius Williams, Sr.

2007 Recap
Recap: The hands-down surprise of the year in the Big East, Connecticut defied the odds by going 9-4 and winning a share of the league title.  With a win over West Virginia on Nov. 24, the no-frills Huskies would have been the outright champs, earning a BCS bowl berth that was unimaginable just three months earlier.  Connecticut won plenty of games the old-fashioned way, snuffing out opponents with a no-name defense and controlling the clock with talented sophomore backs Andre Dixon and Donald Brown.           

Offensive Player of the Year: RB Donald Brown

Defensive Player of the Year: LB Danny Lansanah

Biggest Surprise: The defense.  Not a whole lot was expected from a unit that lacked star power or high-profile recruits.  Opportunistic and air-tight against the pass, Connecticut allowed just 19 points and 194 yards passing a game behind anonymous players, such as Lansanah, LB Lawrence Wilson, and DE Julius Williams. 

Biggest Disappointment: Connecticut wasn’t supposed to beat West Virginia in Morgantown with so much at stake, but a 66-21 loss robbed the program of earning the national respect that it sorely craves.  After taking a 7-0 lead, the Huskies were never competitive, a stark reminder how far they must travel before measuring up with a team like the Mountaineers. 

Looking Ahead: With so much of last year’s squad, including coveted head coach Randy Edsall, returning in 2008, there’s no reason to believe Connecticut won’t be right back in the bowl hunt again next November.  Unlike this past fall, however, the Huskies won’t be able to sneak up on the rest of the Big East.