EAST HARTFORD, Conn. – Temple finished the regular season with a big win en route to a bowling game while sending UConn to the NCAA record book for all the wrong reasons.
Connecticut native Isaiah Wright, who played West Hartford near the ball, raced for a touchdown and kicked for another, while Temple beat the Huskies 57-7 on Saturday.
The Owls (8-4, 7-1 Americans), who started the year 0-2, finished the regular season with three straight victories and wins in six of their last seven games.
It took Temple just two minutes to go 71 yards to the first score of the game, an 18-yard run by Wright, who took a step in an option play. After UConn tied the game in 7 minutes, Wright picked up the kick in the 1-yard line and advanced 99 yards to the middle of the field for a touchdown.
"Previously playing UConn, I've never really done what I felt I should do," said the junior. "So when I got into this game, I just wanted to make sure I did not feel the way I felt before."
The Owls scored in seven of their first eight places and took 40-7 after two quarters. They never took their foot off the accelerator and finished with 516 yards in total.
"They keep playing," said Temple coach Geoff Collins. "If we are in the break or if we have 33 in the break, we just want to play our brand of football." "It's a very good brand."
UConn, on the other hand, has some work to do on its reputation in football.
The Huskies (1-11, 0-8) this season gave the highest number of yards (7,409), yards per game (617.4), points (605) and points per game (50.41) of any major college football team in history of the NCAA.
At one point during the second quarter, UConn threw an interception and fumbled three times in consecutive offensive games. The Huskies recovered the last two fumble but played another interception on the next play, which was carried out by Christian Braswell of Temple for a touchdown.
"2018 is over, 2019 starts tomorrow," said UConn coach Randy Edsall. "And guys have to have a determination to work and get bigger, faster, stronger, because that's the only way you'll be able to compete."
Kevin Mensah ran 24 times for 94 yards to UConn, giving him 1,045 yards for the season.
UConn: The Huskies have not beaten an FBS opponent this season. The Huskies also ran out of conference games for the first time since being 0-4 at the Yankee Conference in 1954.
Temple: Wright now has three returns for scoring this season. He also had 73-yard returns against USF and 59 yards against Eastern Carolina this season. Temple defense or special teams have scored in nine of the Owl's 12 games.
"(Wright) is as dynamic as a college football player," Collins said. "I'm very proud of who he is and the type of competitor and player he is."
NOT RUSSIAN, NO PROBLEM
Temple quarterback Anthony Russo did not dress and stood on the side with a plaster in his right hand. Reserve Frank Nutile, who started the first two games of the season, completed 9 of 12 passes for 184 yards and one interception. Redshirt's Todd Rye, from Redshirt, made it 3 to 3 for 39 yards and a touchdown. He also ran six times for 32 yards and a score.
Defender Ryquell Armstead (five-yarder, 56 yards) limped up after a 31-yard run in the second quarter that set a touchdown. He did not return. Collins declined to say whether he or Russo would be ready for the game of the cup.
The UConn season is over.
Temple awaits a bowl offering.
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