Hedrick, Miller lead Boise State over UConn 38-21
EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Grant Hedrick threw two touchdown passes to Matt Miller and caught one from the senior receiver on a trick play as Boise State beat UConn 38-21 on Saturday.
The Broncos (2-1), who put up 676 yards of offense a week ago, saw their defense make the big plays this week.
They scored on a fumble recovery in the first quarter and an interception in the fourth, held UConn (1-2) to 48 yards rushing and sacked the Huskies quarterbacks eight times.
''You don't score two touchdowns on defense very often,'' said coach Bryan Harsin. ''Especially early on in the game you never know if fumbles are going to happen. But good defenses are opportunistic.''
Boise State, which ran 89 plays a week ago (60 in the first half) had just 56 this week and did not have an offense snap for the first eight minutes of the game.
But by that time the Broncos were up 7-3.
UConn Tailback Arkeel Newsome fumbled on Huskies fifth play from scrimmage and Boise's Tanner Vallejo picked the ball up in the backfield and ran untouched 31-yards for a touchdown.
Hedrick found Miller for a 35-yard score in the second quarter, and Miller returned the favor on a trick play a few minutes later, hitting Hedrick for a 7-yard touchdown after getting the ball on an end-around.
''That pass I caught was kind of scary it was so wide open,'' Hedrick said. ''It seemed like the ball was in the air forever.''
UConn, a 16-point underdog, closed the gap to 24-21 in the third quarter. Shane Williams-Rhodes muffed a punt return and UConn's Jon Hicks recovered. Whitmer then found Geremy Davis for a 10-yard touchdown, and hit Arkeel Newsome for a 2-point conversion.
But Jonathan Moxey made a key fourth-quarter interception, stepping in front of UConn's Deshon Foxx at the UConn 37-yard line. That that led to a 9-yard touchdown pass from Hedrick to Miller in the back of the end zone.
Hedrick completed 19 of 27 passes for 233 yards and the two scores.
The Broncos got their second defensive score with 4 minutes left in the game when Donte Deayon ripped the ball from receiver Geremy Davis and ran 50 yards down the right sideline for the score.
''You are not going to win a game if you give them 14 points without putting their offense or special teams on the field,'' said UConn quarterback Chandler Whitmer, who completed 16 of 29 passes for 209 yards. He threw two touchdowns, but was intercepted twice.
He drove UConn 83 yards for its first touchdown, finding Deshon Foxx down the left sideline for a 48-yard reception and hitting tight end Alex Bloom over the middle for a 16-yard touchdown that gave the Huskies a 10-7 lead.
Foxx finished with 107 yards receiving on six catches.
Boise State running back Jay Ajayi, who came in averaging 158 yards a game and nearly 6 yards a run, was held to just 39 yards on 18 carries. The Huskies had just 290 yards of offense, but held Boise State to 292.
''There is some moments that we can hang our hats on, sink our teeth into and say, `Yes this is something that we accomplished. We can build on this; we can move forward on this,''' said UConn coach Bob Diaco.