Hoosiers Fall to UConn (8-30-03)
August 30, 2003
East Hartford, Conn.- The Indiana Hoosiers lost their season opener to Connecticut, 34-10. The game marked the opening of the Huskies' new $91-million, 40,000-seat Rentschler Field.
The Huskies scored on their first two series picking up a 38-yard field goal from Matt Nuzie to open the game and then quarterback Dan Orlovsky hooked up with O'Neil Wilson from 16-yards out.
Following the Connecticut touchdown, the Hoosiers responded with a nine-play drive that ended in a Bryan Robertson 28-yard field goal. Sophomore running back Chris Taylor carried the bulk of the load on the drive rushing for 18 yards on six carries.
Orlovsky would tack on another touchdown pass for the Huskies to extend the lead to 17-3 at the half. The second TD came from 13-yards out on a pass to Shaun Feldeisen with just over two minutes left in the half.
Connecticut took a 27-3 lead by scoring the first 10 points of the second half. Orlovsky found Wilson against this time on a nine-yard pass at the 13-minute mark of the third quarter. Nuzie added a 21-yard field goal from the 24-point lead. Orlovsky would finish 26-of-42 for 307 yards.
The Hoosiers would not go quietly as they scored on the ensuing drive. Junior quarterback Matt LoVecchio found senior wide out Glenn Johnson on a 30-yard catch and run. Johnson capped off the fourth-and-three play by diving three yards over a defender to get to the goal line. Along with the Johnson catch, a highlight on the drive was Taylor's 39-yard run on first-and-twenty.
On the next offensive play for UConn, junior linebacker Josh Moore stepped in front of an Orlovsky pass and returned it to the Huskie 21-yard line. The interception was the first of Moore's Hoosier career and it came in front of his home state. Moore is a native of Hamden, Conn. He finished the game with a team-high 13 tackles to go along with his interception.
The joint of energy was shorted lived as Taylor fumbled the ball two plays later. As Taylor fought for extra yards, a defender's helmet hit the ball and UConn made the recovering along the sideline.
"At times, we beat ourselves with turnovers," LoVecchio said. "That is something we stressed a lot in the offseason, and something we will have to continue to work on to eliminate. We have to protect the football."
Connecticut running back Terry Caulley punctuated the victory with a 43-yard run with 7:35 remaining for the final score of the game. After being held in check in the first half, 11 carries for 37 yards, Caulley broke loose in the second to finish the game with 22 carries for 166 yards.
"Defensively we did some good things and some bad things," Indiana linebacker Kyle Killion said. "We just have to continue to work on the bad things. We did pretty well in the first half stopping Caulley, but it the second half he broke containment. He is a good back that runs hard."
Sophomore safety Will Lumpkin, filling in for the injured Joe Gonzalez, finished with a career-high 12 tackles on the day. Killion also had a career-high in tackles with 10, including a sack.
A few bright spots for the Hoosiers on offense were Taylor and wideout Travis Haney. Taylor finished the game with 13 carries for 73 yards, including a career-long 39-yard run. Haney had a career day as well recording career-highs in catches and yards receiving. The 6-4 junior finished with three catches for 99 yards. In his Hoosier debut, LoVecchio finished with 211 yards passing on 13-of-29.
The Hoosiers will make the cross-country trip to Seattle, Wash. to battle No. 19 Washington next week. The game is set for 3:00 p.m. Indiana start time and will be televised by Fox Sports Net.
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