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October 2, 2010
Commodores can't withstand second-half onslaught
In a game of big runs, Vanderbilt came out with the short end of the stick on Saturday afternoon in East Hartford, Conn.
Connecticut scored the game's last 26 points, as the Huskies rallied from a 21-14 deficit just before halftime and strolled to a 40-21 victory at Rentschler Field.
Vandy scored 21 unanswered points in a 3:38 span during the second quarter, but committed a pair of key second-half turnovers, and watched at the Huskies' Jordan Todman ran wild for most of the day.
The UConn tailback, who was questionable for Saturday, carried 37 times for 190 yards and a pair of scores, and caught a pass for 12 yards.
Things were looking good for VU just before half, when Jonathan Krause raced untouched down the right sideline for a 44-yard score off an end-around pitch with 5:28 left before the break.
Just moments before, quarterback Larry Smith had connected with Brandon Barden and Udom Umoh on a pair of quick scoring strikes, as the 'Dores stormed from a 14-0 deficit, which had been set up by Krause's fumble in VU territory on the game's first play from scrimmage.
But just as VU seized the momentum, it was quickly gone.
Quarterback Cody Endres led UConn on a nine-play, 73-yard drive, and connected with Kashif Moore with 1:04 left in the half.
The Huskies took the second-half kickoff and marched down the field for the go-ahead score when Endres found Corey Manning in the back of the end zone, just 3:17 unto the period.
A Dave Teggart field goal later in the quarter put the Huskies up 10, and when Smith threw his second interception of the half on an ill-advised throw over the middle, Connecticut's Blidi Wreh-Wilson scooted 44 yards for a score to essentially put the game away.
The Huskies out-gained VU by just 49 yards, but VU's three turnovers were huge. Smith's other interception came on the first snap after Warren Norman's 46-yard kickoff return set the Commodores up one yard shy of mid-field.
Vandy also failed to convert on a fourth-and-1 at the Connecticut 14 on its second drive of the game.
Smith was 15-of-25 passing for 157 yards, and added 64 yards on 13 carries, with 57 of those rushing yards coming on the first play of the second drive.
Endres was 21-of-30 for 179 yards, and threw for a pair of scores against one Casey Hayward interception.
The Commodores return home to face Eastern Michigan next weekend.