West Point, NY—The Army took care of UConn on Saturday in front of 25,030 fans at Michie Stadium 52-21 as the struggles continue for the winless Huskies.
The Huskies, now 0-4 for the first time since 2013, were outplayed by Army’s triple-option offense from the start as it allowed 397 rushing yards and six touchdowns on the ground. UConn’s offense went scoreless on their first seven drives of the game, three of which ended in a punt, two by turnover on downs, one on an pick and another as time expired in the first half, trailing 42-0 at the break. The second half didn’t show any better for the Huskies, they were outscored 21-10 in the half as well.
But aside from quarterback Tyler Phommachanh, a native of Stratford and an Avon Old Farms alum, his 38-yard touchdown run in the third quarter was UConn’s first score against an FBS opponent all season — a kickoff return from Brian Brewton later in the period and another Phommachanh touchdown in the fourth quarter, UConn’s performance against the Black Knights was dismal. The offense just made too many mistakes to establish any continuity in the first half.
Phommachanh finished 11-for-26 for 109 yards with no passing touchdowns and one interception. He also ran for 60 yards and two touchdowns with a 42.3% completion.
“Do we have a long way to go? Yes, but he did alright for a first game,” UConn interim coach Lou Spanos said of Phommachanh, whose older brother Taisun is a quarterback at Clemson.
The Huskies has lost 29 of its last 30 games against FBS teams.
There were some positives for UConn to take away, first, they scored points against an FBS opponent. Not having done that in 658 days, since a Nov. 30, 2019 loss to Temple. (The Huskies didn’t play any games in 2020.)
Aaron Turner had a career-high 49 receiving yards on two catches while also breaking off a 22-yard run on his only carry of the afternoon.
“Thank God they gave the opportunity,” Phommachanh said. “Shout out to the coaches for giving me the opportunity.”
The Black Knights’ game plan is no secret. Army (3-0) run the triple-option, and they carried the ball more than 60 times in each of their first two games this year.
Saturday wasn’t any different, Army came out the gate playing smashed mouth football from the coin toss.
The Huskies opened the game with a three-and-out, the Black Knights needed just 1:56 to put together a 4-play, 64-yard drive started by a 58-yard run by Brandon Walters which capped off a 2-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Christian Anderson. UConn responded with an 8-play, 28-yard drive ending in a turnover on downs. Army scored two minutes later on a 39-yard touchdown pass from Anderson to a wide receiver Isaiah Alston for a 14-0 lead and never looked back.
The Black Knights averaged 5.9 yards per carry on 67 attempts.
“Army’s speed was definitely one thing that was an adjustment early on,” defensive back Jeremy Lucien said. “Because it’s a little bit hard to replicate the speed that they run their plays at in practice. But, honestly, they didn’t throw a single thing at us that we didn’t see all week. Going forward we just need to get adjusted to that speed a lot faster.”
UConn will play Wyoming on Saturday at Rentschler Stadium at 3:30 p.m.