PHILADELPHIA - Bryant Shirreffs threw for three touchdowns, Tyler Cole had a pick-six, and Connecticut held off Temple 28-24 on Saturday to end an eight-game skid in conference play.
The Huskies’ defense forced two turnovers and stopped Temple on downs three times, including the Owls’ final drive, which ended in an incomplete Hail Mary pass with seconds left.
Marshe Terry recovered a fumble that set up Shirrefs’ 6-yard TD strike to Hergy Mayala to give Connecticut (2-4, 1-3 American Athletic Conference) its first lead at halftime, 14-7, this season. Jordan Swann made his first career start because Jamar Summers came down with illness on Saturday morning, and Swann forced the fumble to lead to the score.
Shirreffs, who was 18 of 28 for 105 yards, hit Arkeel Newsome on a short TD pass on the opening drive of the second half to give the Huskies a 21-7 lead. It was the first double digit lead for the Huskies since Oct. 22, 2016 vs. UCF.
Then Cole picked off a pass by Logan Marchi and returned it 34 yards for a 28-14 lead. It was UConn’s first interception returned for a TD since Summers’ pick at Tulane in 2015. The Tulane game was also the last road game the Huskies won before Saturday. The win marked the end of a nine-game road skid for the Huskies.
Arkeel Newsome made history for the Huskies by recording his 100th career reception. He became the first UConn running back to accomplish the feat.
Quayvon Skanes scored his first career touchdown to open to scoring for the Huskies in the second quarter and tie the game at 7.
Temple (3-4, 1-3), which converted a fumble and an interception into scores, rallied in the fourth, but settled for a field goal with 11:14 left after being stopped on the Huskies’ 6.
Marchi, a graduate of St. Paul Catholic in Bristol, threw for a career-best 356 yards on 54 attempts and Temple outgained Connecticut 473 yards to 244.
The Huskies return home for their Homecoming game vs. Tulsa at noon on Oct. 21 on ESPNU.