Sept. 19, 2008
EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Baylor freshman quarterback Robert Griffin had accomplished a lot in his first two career starts. Leading the Bears to a fourth-quarter comeback in his third would only add to his lore. Griffin came up just short in that effort as Baylor dropped a heart-breaking 31-28 decision Friday at Connecticut.
The game was billed as a showcase for Griffin and Connecticut running back Donald Brown, and neither disappointed.
Brown ran for 150 yards and two touchdowns, while Griffin threw for 208 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another. Griffin consistently scrambled his way out of trouble and drove the Bears (2-2) to the UConn 39 with under a minute to play before his fourth-down pass fell incomplete, just past the out-stretched hands of a diving Kendall Wright along the left sideline.
UConn quarterback Tyler Lorenzen showed he also can run. Lorenzen carried the ball eight times for 73 yards and two touchdowns, including a 34-yard quarterback draw that gave the Huskies a 24-21 lead. He passed for 125 yards, but threw two interceptions.
There were six lead changes, the final one when Brown took a toss and ran 3 yards for a touchdown with just over 6 minutes remaining. The run completed a 30-yard drive set up by Connecticut's defense, which almost caught Griffin in the end zone for a safety. UConn instead forced a punt and got the ball back on the Baylor 30 after a penalty on the Bears for interfering with the returner.
A pass-interference penalty on Dwain Crawford put the ball at the 9.
Griffin gave Baylor its final lead, 28-24, with 11:13 left when he hit Wright over the middle from 19 yards out. The drive appeared to be stopped when Dahna Deleston made a diving interception at the UConn 20. But cornerback Darius Butler, who was blitzing on the play, was called for roughing Griffin, keeping that drive alive.
Wright had six catches for 114 yards and the score.
Griffin completed his first four passes, including a 16-yard touchdown toss to Justin Akers that was initially ruled an incomplete pass. Replays clearly showed that Akers was able to get a foot down in the back of the end zone. It was the first passing touchdown, and the second TD of any type, allowed by Connecticut's defense this season.
Brown carried seven times during a 12-play, 80-yard drive that tied it at 7 early in the second quarter. Lorenzen took the ball in on a 7-yard quarterback draw.
Griffin found Akers again, running free over the middle from 14 yards out with 8:38 left in the half to make it 14-7.
UConn then went on an 11-play, 53-yard drive, giving the ball to Brown on eight of those plays, including the 1-yard plunge that tied it.
UConn coach Randy Edsall said the game plan was to give Brown about 20 to 25 touches during the game. He had 112 yards on 22 carries in the first half, and finished with 34 carries overall.