"The best win we ever had". This quote by UCONN's Head Coach Randy Edsall at the end of the game sums it up for the Huskies. They came into town with the heart break of losing three close games in a row and on top of that, the heart break of losing a teammate and friend Jasper Howard weeks before. Something had to give. In a very honorable move Edsall said that he was going to send the game ball down to Miami to Jasper Howard's family.
This was one of the best college football games this year. Connecticut is a relatively new school on the scene of division 1 FBS football with only 8 years of experience. For them to come into the storied grounds of Southbend Indiana and beat the mighty Notre Dame Fighting Irish is simply amazing.
I think I had at least 4 heart attacks while watching this game. It started out with ND marching right down the field looking unstoppable on their first drive. Then the tide began to turn and UCONN grabbed momentum with a 43 yard touchdown run by Jordan Todman. That followed by a 39 yard Teggart field goal that snuck in the left upright gave the Huskies 10 unanswered points.
The running game of UCONN was too much for Notre Dame to handle. The Huskies had no secrets about the fact that they were going to run the ball. Time after time they lined up in a jumbo formation and pulled their guards blasting the Irish defensive line back off the line of scrimmage. That combined with the hard bruising running of Todman and Dixon lead to 241 yards on 46 carries and 3 touchdowns for the duo.
UCONN Kicked the game tying field goal with 1:10 to go in the game after having two consecutive touchdown runs by Andre Dixon brought back by horrible penalty calls. The Irish fumbled on the drive with the Huskies recovering deep in ND territory. With 2 seconds left on the clock Teggart's drawing kick drew too much as many of his kicks were doing all night, and missed the game winning field goal from 37 yards. I instantly fell to the floor as he put his hand on his helmet in disappointment of failing to deliver with the game on the line. As a Jets fans I had a nightmarish flashback of the Doug Brien debacle in Pittsburgh at Heinz Field in the playoffs. Teggarts teammates did not give up on him as they rallied around him and told him to keep his head up as all good teammates do, because they would need him later.
This sent the game to overtime where ND won the coin toss and deferred to the second possession. UCONN then scored on an 11 yard pass from Fraizer to Kashif Moore and ND responded on their possession with a 4 yard pass from Clausen to Micheal Floyd. In the second overtime ND started first with the ball and the stingy Connecticut defense held the Irish to a field goal. Knowing what they had to do now, the UCONN offense took the field from the 25 yard line.
UCONN got the ball down near the goal line and ran a trap play to the left side where Andre Dixon ran into the end-zone untouched to solidify a Husky victory. It was a very ironic game in the sense that the first QB that Charlie Weis recruited to Notre Dame was Zach Fraizer who ultimately was the QB that cost him his job.
(To the beat of American Pie by Don McLean)
Bye, Bye, Mr. Charlie Weis,
Lost to UCONN in Southbend, in 2 overtimes.
The ND fans were left, wondering why,
Saying this will be the day Weis says bye.