UConn's Deshon Foxx returned a punt 72 yards for a touchdown and the Huskies held off Stony Brook 19-16 on Saturday to give Bob Diaco his first victory as a collegiate head coach.
UConn's Geremy Davis caught six passes for 113 yards and a 30-yard touchdown and moved into seventh place on the Huskies all-time receiving list with 1,980 career yards.
"It took us 10 weeks last year just to get one win," Davis said. "A win is a win. These guys fought hard — defense, offense and special teams."
The Seawolves (0-2), a FCS team that lost to Bryant a week ago, led much of the first half and trailed just 12-10 at halftime.
But Foxx gave UConn (1-1) a 19-10 lead in the third quarter when he grabbed a 61-yard Luke Allen punt that had bounced over his head, turned left, then reversed field and found a seam down the middle.
"He definitely outkicked his coverage," Foxx. "I got a lucky bounce and when I was turning around I noticed that I had a whole lot of field to work with, so I just did what I can do and I had great blockers.
Stony Brook, which outgained UConn 300 yards to 223, put together a 14-play, 88-yard drive in the fourth quarter, capped by a 14-yard touchdown pass from Conor Bednarski to Will Tye. But the Seawolves failed to recover an onside kick and could not move the ball after getting it back in the final minute deep in their own territory.
UConn opened the game with a five-play, 40-yard drive that ended with a 42-yard field goal from Bobby Puyol, who added a 27-yarder in the second quarter.
Stony Brook took a 7-3 first-quarter lead after a punt pinned UConn on its own 1-yard line. Safety Max Martinez then stripped tailback Josh Marriner and Naim Cheeseboro recovered in the end zone.
The Seawolves added another field goal late in the quarter after Chandler Whitmer fumbled while cocking his arm, giving Stony Brook the ball at the Husky 20 yard line.
The Huskies had just 63 yards of offense before putting together a 70-yard drive late in the second quarter that put the Huskies up to stay.
Whitmer, who started for an injured Casey Cochrane, found Davis in the right corner of the end zone for a 30-yard touchdown pass. The extra point was blocked.
Whitmer completed 12 of 27 passes for 142 yards. He also was the Huskies leading rusher with 52 yards on 13 carries.
The Huskies also were helped by their kicking game. Puyol's first field goal was the longest of his career, and punter Justin Wain averaged just under 42 yards on nine punts. Stony Brook was forced to start six second-half drives inside its own 20-yard line.
"The team today showed a lot of grit and grind," Diaco said. "Our brotherhood shined through; our culture shined through."