Connecticut got its first win on the road this season while becoming bowl-eligible with a 23-6 domination of Syracuse.
The Huskies (6-4, 3-2) had struggled on the road thus far this season, losing at Michigan, Temple, Rutgers, and Louisville. The Huskies were 4-18 on the road since joining the Big East going into the game at the Carrier Dome.
Jordan Todman once again proved why he should have been a semifinalist for the Doak Walker Award. The star running back ran for 130 yards and two touchdowns in the win.
Quarterback Zach Frazer felt more comfortable than ever this year in the win. The senior was 13 of 21 for 98 yards, getting excellent conversions on fourth down two times. Though he was not explosive, as always, it was the running of Todman that was key to UConn's offense.
Dave Teggart missed a 49-yard field goal attempt, but hit two from 35 yards and one from 21 to help the Huskies pull away.
UConn only gained 254 yards of total offense, but the defense once again held strong, holding Syracuse to 235.
The Huskies shut down Syracuse running back Delone Carter, who ran for only 67 yards on 19 carries. Quarterback Ryan Nasib threw 20 completions on 36 attempts for 171 yards.
Junior defensive lineman Kendell Reyes made life miserable for Nasib. Reyes grabbed an interception and forced a fumble on a sack which was recovered by Trevardo Williams at the Orange four yard line. Todman would score on the ensuing drive.
UConn's defense was all around solid on Saturday. This continued a hot streak for them. UConn only allowed 13 points against West Virginia and threw Pittsburgh's offense way off balance, despite 28 points, but enough to give the Huskies a crucial win.
The Huskies have now beaten Syracuse (7-4, 4-3) five times in seven meetings. The team that has won the rushing game came out victorious each time.
The win ensures a bowl game for UConn, but Randy Edsall's men have even more in mind.
In 2007, UConn had its first taste of BCS aspirations. The Huskies earned a share of the Big East title, but could win it outright with a win at West Virginia. They ended up losing 61-21, ending their BCS dreams.
Those fires have been rekindled.
After a frustrating 0-2 start to the Big East in a start to the season mauled by injuries and suspensions, the Huskies have won three in a row (West Virginia, Pittsburgh, and Syracuse), upsetting the balance in the conference and sit in with a chance to win the Big East outright for the first time ever.
The Huskies joined the Big East after two years as an independent in 2004. Winning the conference outright and advancing to the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl would be a huge statement for the program.
UConn have a record of 3-2 in the conference. They sit in a tie with West Virginia behind Pittsburgh who are 4-1 in the Big East.
If UConn win their remaining two games (against Cinicinnati next Saturday and at South Florida on Dec. 4), then they will need West Virginia to win the Backyard Brawl over Pittsburgh and the Huskies would be going to the BCS for the first time ever.
UConn will go in with expectations to win their last two games. After that, all they can do is let fate take its course.
No matter what though, UConn will be in a bowl for the fourth straight season and fifth time since becoming an FBS school in 2002.