Cochran's record day helps UConn rout Memphis 45-10
East Hartford - T.J. Weist made his case to stay on as UConn's head football coach, with the help of some record-setting offensive performances from his Huskies.
Quarterback Casey Cochran threw for a school record 461 yards and four touchdowns and wide receiver Geremy Davis caught 15 balls for 207 yards and a score as UConn beat Memphis 45-10 Saturday in the season finale for both teams.
Cochran, the ex-New London and Masuk star in just his fourth start, completed 36 of 54 attempts and didn't throw an interception in leading the Huskies to a third straight win after an 0-9 start to the season.
Davis who set a UConn record for catches in a game, also became UConn's first 1,000-yard receiver since 1998 and first in the FBS era.
"It's important to have that kind of success for this offense, for those players, for this team," said Weist, who has led UConn since Paul Pasqualoni was fired four games into the season.
Weist said he wants to keep the job, "more than anything in my life besides my family."
Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch threw for 169 yards and a touchdown as Tigers closed the season with their third consecutive loss.
It was last college game for 29 seniors, 14 from UConn (3-9, 3-5 American Athletic Conference) and 15 from Memphis (3-9, 1-7). UConn junior linebacker Yawin Smallwood, who has seven tackles to finish the season with 118, also announced he will leave school for the NFL.
The Huskies racked up 538 yards of offense, while holding Memphis to 257.
Cochran, a redshirt freshman, became the first UConn quarterback to throw for 400 yards since Dan Orlovsky in 2004. He had 259 yards and three touchdowns in the first half.
"Casey was doing his thing out there," said Deshon Foxx, who had 11 catches for 137 yards and two scores. "He was reading the defenses and putting the ball on the money and we was just trying to catch the ball and make plays for him."
Foxx caught an 18-yard strike in the back of the end zone that gave the Huskies a 7-3 first-quarter lead. He added a 32-yard catch-and-run for a TD on a screen pass on a fourth-and-1 play in the fourth quarter, and his 18-yard fourth-quarter catch gave Cochran his passing record.
But the 6-foot-3 Davis was Cochran's favorite target, going up and grabbing several balls out of the hands of defenders, including a 15-yard fade route in the left side of the end zone in the second quarter.
The Huskies drove 63 yards in the final minute of the half, capping the drive when Cochran rolled right and threw a swing pass back to the left side, which running back Lyle McCombs caught and jogged into the end zone from 11-yards out.
"I don't run a fast 40, I don't have the arm strength that some of these guys have," Cochran said. "But when I step on the field, that's when it's a little different for me."
McCombs capped the Huskies' first drive of the second half with a 7-yard touchdown run.
A 21-yard catch by Davis in the third quarter put him over 1,000-yard mark, setting up a 46-yard field goal by Chad Christen. Davis is the first UConn receiver to get that milestone since Carl Bond and John Fitzsimmons both did it in 1998.
He had a 45-yard catch-and-run in the fourth quarter to set up another touchdown and he broke the school record on an 18-yard catch with 6½ minutes left in the game.
Memphis opened the scoring with a 43-yard field goal, which was set up by a 34-yard pass to Keiwone Malone, after Lynch had baited cornerback Byron Jones on a run-pass option.
The Tigers didn't score again until Lynch hit Malone for a 10-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter that cut the UConn lead to 31-10.
"I thought we played hard, but we didn't make a play on either side of the ball," said Memphis coach Justin Fuente.
UConn athletic director Warde Manuel said face-to-face interviews for a new football coach will begin today. Manuel, speaking before the game, would not say whether Weist would get an interview, but acknowledged he has done an impressive job.
He declined to say who else might be in the running, but said money would not be an impediment to hiring the right candidate, with one qualification.
"This is not a Nick Saban situation," he said. "I don't want you all writing, well Warde says there is unlimited money. No there's not."
UConn wore special green ribbons on their helmets to honor the victims of last year's shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary school, which occurred a year ago next Saturday.
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