Cochran Shows Promise in Loss

We've run out of adjectives to describe UConn's futility so we'll just cut to the chase: For the ninth time in nine games, the Huskies lost, this time a 38-21 defeat at the hands of SMU.

The Mustangs led 21-7, but the Huskies' 14-point second-half effort wasn't nearly enough.

"Second half, we came out and made some plays," interim coach T.J. Weist said, according to the Hartford Courant. "We had our second-best rushing game of the year and I thought Casey at times took us down the field. We had a couple good drives -- but we're so inconsistent on offense with moving the football, holding on and making plays. We have to break the mentality we're in."

Redshirt freshman Casey Cochran made his first career start and he was a vast improvement over Tim Boyle. It's unfair to blame Boyle for the team's four losses during his four starts -- he's a true freshman with little time in this system, and inconsistencies along the offensive line and in the running game certainly didn't help him -- but Cochran's play mirrored how Weist described him in the week leading up to this game: A good decision maker and smart with the ball.

And while Cochran wasn't perfect, he wasn't bad. He finished the day 25-of-42 for 227 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.

"The first few series we didn't do much with the ball and that's mostly on me, you know," Cochran said. "Lyle (McCombs) and Max (DeLorenzo) ran the ball as hard as they could. The O-line really stepped it up this game. I think they had their best game they had all year. I think the story of the game comes down to that first half. I think maybe if you put 14 points on the board, 21 points on the board in the first half, then the second half would have been a lot of easier."

For the record, McCombs went for 103 yards and DeLorenzo added 64 more.

Despite staring 0-9 in the face, there's reason for optimism in UConn's locker room.

"There was a lot of encouragement with that game," Cochran said. "If you saw our sideline, if you saw us, an offense moving the ball down the field, it was a great thing to see for most of the game. Everyone was excited. Everyone was into it. When we hit Sean on that fourth-and-goal, everyone was fired up. When we hit Geremy (Davis) down the other end of the field, we were all fired up. When Max ran it in, we were all fired up, and we're right on the brink of being a great offense, on the brink of being a great team, and it's putting the pieces together. I think the biggest thing is, I need to perform better in the first half. I warmed up later and into the second half, but I need to step up and perform for my team and be there for them in the first half. That's going to be our big thing this week."

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