Huskies take a step back
Kalamazoo, Mich. - UConn coach Paul Pasqualoni wanted to make Western Michigan quarterback Alex Carder have a tough afternoon on Saturday.
But it was Carder and his teammates who made it a rough day for Pasqualoni's Huskies.
Carder threw for 237 yards and a touchdown to lead Western Michigan to a 30-24 win over UConn in a game that was delayed 30 minutes at the start due to lightning storms in the area.
"We were generating the right amount of pressure (but) he wasn't as uncomfortable as we'd like to see him," Pasqualoni said. "He's a hard guy to make uncomfortable. We just didn't play well enough at times in the coverage and didn't get to him. When you're playing against a senior, a top flight guy, that's a problem."
Carder completed 18 of 34 passes and led the Broncos to a 17-0 advantage before leaving the game late in the third quarter after hitting his throwing hand on a helmet.
"I feel fine, we'll take it a game at a time," he said. "I'll talk to the doctor and see where I'm at."
It marks the second straight season that Western Michigan (2-2), from the Mid-American Conference, has defeated Connecticut (2-2), from the Big East.
"That's a great win; that's a team in the top five in a lot of categories defensively," said Western Michigan coach Bill Cubit. "They were 2-1 coming in and lost to N.C. State 10-7. They're hard-hitting, big and physical but our kids stayed toe-to-toe with them."
Chandler Whitmer was 28 of 44 for 333 yards passing and three touchdowns for UConn, but was sacked six times. Lyle McCombs rushed for 119 yards while Geremy Davis caught nine passes for 123 yards for the Huskies.
Josh Schaffer caught six of Carder's passes for 106 yards, including a 30-yard touchdown early in the third quarter that gave the Broncos a 24-7 lead.
"We were as prepared as we could have been," Carder said. "They have some great athletes out there; we just had the upper hand. We knew we'd have to run great routes. When they brought pressure, we picked it up. As an offensive unit we came together."
Connecticut pulled within 24-17 on a 2-yard pass from Whitmer to John Delahunt and a 32-yard field goal from Chad Christen midway through the fourth quarter.
But on the Huskies' next drive, Desmond Bozeman returned a Whitmer fumble 53 yards for a touchdown. It was the Broncos' first fumble recovery for a touchdown in three years. The score also pushed Western Michigan past the 10,000-point total in team history.
"I want to thank my whole defensive line," Bozeman said. "They were doing the job the whole day. It was a special moment for the defense."
Whitmer added a 7-yard TD pass to Davis with 54 seconds to play, but the Broncos recovered the onside kick.
The Broncos built the 17-0 lead in the first half on touchdown runs of 1 yard by Antoin Scriven and 9 yards by Dareyon Chance and a 44-yard field goal by Andrew Haldeman. Chance led Western Michigan with 66 yards rushing.
The Huskies didn't get on the scoreboard until 2:36 was left in the first half on Whitmer's 9-yard pass to Ryan Griffin. UConn, which returns home next Saturday to face another MAC opponent, Buffalo, had a 425-330 advantage in total yards.
This marked the first appearance at Western Michigan for a Big East team.
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