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GAMEDAY College Football

Connecticut 36, Liberty 33

(AP Photo /Bryan Woolston)

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. - Zion Turner threw a 30-yard scoring pass to Kevens Clercius late in the fourth quarter to lead UConn to a 36-33 win over No. 19 Liberty.

With the win, the Huskies (6-5) are bowl-eligible under first-year coach Jim Mora after winning only once last season.

Turner found Clercius for the go-ahead score with 5:43 left and connected with Keelan Marion on a 2-point conversion to put UConn up three.

Turner finished 15 of 21 for 103 yards. Robert Burns led UConn's rushing attach with 104 yards on 11 carries with a touchdown. Victor Rosa finished with 62 yards on 10 carriers with two TDs.

The lead changed hands multiple times in the fourth quarter. UConn's Victor Rosa bounced off a number of defenders and scampered 27 yards for a TD that gave the Huskies a 28-27 lead. On the next play, Liberty regained the lead 33-28 when Demario Douglas raced 75 yards for a score.

TJ Green led Liberty (8-2) with 119 yards rushing on 24 carries and a touchdown. Quarterback Jackson Bennett went 22 for 36 for 201 yards and a TD.

Liberty's only other loss came against Top 25-ranked Wake Forest in September.

Burns returned the opening kickoff to midfield. UConn reached the end zone eight plays later, with Rosa scoring from 16 yards out. Turner was perfect on the drive, connecting with Aaron Turner four times for 29 yards, including twice on third down.

The Huskies' defense also did their part, intercepting Bennett once and with two sacks in the first half, including one by Eric Watts that resulted in a touchdown. Linebacker Jackson Mitchell scooped up a fumble by Kaidon Salter and returned it 32 yards for a 14-3 lead.

Despite trailing twice by double digits, the Flames seized momentum in the second quarter when linebacker Ahmad Walker picked off Turner near midfield. Malik Caper bulldozed his way into the end zone eight plays later, cutting the deficit to 21-17 with 35 seconds left before halftime.

Liberty then grabbed its first lead on a Green 1-yard run, capping a seven-play, 80-yard drive to begin the second half.

THE TAKEAWAY

UConn: The Huskies are now bowl-eligible in their first year under Mora, completing a remarkable turnaround.

Liberty: Losing to the unranked Huskies - no matter how improved they look - is a major dent to Liberty's resume. They'll look to bounce back against Virginia Tech at home.

November 12, 2022


Scoring Summary
First Quarter LibUConn
UConn TD 10:28 Victor Rosa 16 yd run (Noe Ruelas kick) 0 7
Lib FG 7:31 Nick Brown 33 yd FG 3 7
UConn TD 1:47 Jackson Mitchell 31 yd fumble return (Noe Ruelas kick) 3 14
Second Quarter LibUConn
Lib TD 13:00 CJ Yarbrough 3 yd pass from Johnathan Bennett (Nick Brown kick) 10 14
UConn TD 5:16 Robert Burns 1 yd run (Noe Ruelas kick) 10 21
Lib TD 0:35 Malik Caper 1 yd run (Nick Brown kick) 17 21
Third Quarter LibUConn
Lib TD 12:33 T.J. Green 1 yd run (Nick Brown kick) 24 21
Lib FG 4:24 Nick Brown 34 yd FG 27 21
Fourth Quarter LibUConn
UConn TD 14:52 Victor Rosa 27 yd run (Noe Ruelas kick) 27 28
Lib TD 14:39 Demario Douglas 75 yd run (failed 2pt pass) 33 28
UConn TD 5:43 Kevens Clercius 30 yd pass from Zion Turner (Keelan Marion 2pt pass from Zion Turner) 33 36
Team Stats
  Liberty Connecticut
First downs 29 15
  Rushing 13 9
  Passing 13 4
  Penalty 3 2
3rd Down Efficiency 6-15, 40% 4-13, 31%
4th down efficiency 1-3, 33% 1-2, 50%
Rushes-Yards 41-267 38-208
Passing Yards 207 110
Return Yards 64 107
Completions-Attempts-Int 23-39-1 16-22-1
Sacks-Yards Lost 2--8 0-0
Punts 3 4
Punts-Average 37.3 44
Fumbles Lost 2-1 1-1
Penalties - Yards 9-71 7-77
Time of Possession 27:42 32:18
Liberty Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
J. Bennett 22 36 201 1 1
K. Salter 1 3 6 0 0
Connecticut Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
Z. Turner 15 21 103 1 1
D. Houston 1 1 7 0 0
Liberty Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
T. Green 24 119 5.0 1
D. Douglas 2 105 52.5 1
J. Bennett 5 25 5.0 0
M. Caper 8 18 2.3 1
K. Salter 2 0 0.0 0
Connecticut Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
R. Burns 11 104 9.5 1
V. Rosa 10 62 6.2 2
Z. Turner 5 23 4.6 0
D. Houston 10 21 2.1 0
Liberty Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
D. Douglas 7 70 10.0 0
T. Green 4 31 7.8 0
A. Henderson 1 25 25.0 0
C. Snead 2 22 11.0 0
D. Butler 1 20 20.0 0
J. Jackson 2 18 9.0 0
N. Frith 2 12 6.0 0
B. Hanshaw 1 5 5.0 0
C. Yarbrough 1 3 3.0 1
M. Caper 2 1 .5 0
Connecticut Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
A. Turner 10 66 6.6 0
K. Clercius 2 28 14.0 1
D. Harrison 3 9 3.0 0
Z. Turner 1 7 7.0 0
Liberty Interceptions
Player Int Yards
A. Walker 1 19
Connecticut Interceptions
Player Int Yards
C. Shearin 1 28
Liberty Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
A. Alves 3 112 37.3
Connecticut Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
G. Caratan 4 176 44.0
Liberty Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
D. Douglas 1 -8 -8.0
Connecticut Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
V. Rosa 1 -1 -1.0
Liberty Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
D. Douglas 3 53 17.7
Connecticut Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
V. Rosa 2 42 21.0
R. Burns 1 38 38.0
Liberty Missed FG
Player Length
Connecticut Missed FG
Player Length




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