Connecticut running back Arkeel Newsome is lifted into the air by Connecticut quarterback Bryant Shirreffs after Newsome scored a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game at Rentschler Field, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015, in East Hartf
Jessica Hill
September 03, 2015

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Bryant Shirreffs threw for 202 yards and two touchdowns in his first start and UConn held off Villanova from the championship subdivision 20-15 on Thursday night in the season opener for both teams.

Tight end Tommy Myers had a 14-yard touchdown catch on UConn's opening drive and set up a touchdown on the first drive of the second half with a 69-yard catch and run.

Ron Johnson ran 23 times for 69 yards and a score for the Huskies and Arkeel Newsome took a middle-screen pass 27-yards for a touchdown with just under 5 minutes left that proved to be the game winner.

Villanova quarterback Jon Robertson, last season's offensive player of the year in the FCS, completed 17 of 32 passes for 153-yards and a touchdown. He also ran for 66 yards and another score.

The Wildcats converted 9 of 17 third-down attempts, but came up short on a key fourth-and inches in the fourth quarter, when Robertson bobbled the snap at the UConn 36.

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