UConn grinds out win over Buffalo
EAST HARTFORD, Conn. - Connecticut running backs Lyle McCombs and Martin Hyppolite combined for 157 yards rushing and two touchdowns to lead Connecticut to a 24-17 win over Buffalo on Saturday. Chandler Whitmer, who completed passes to eight different receivers, threw for 227 yards and another score as UConn (3-2) opened up a 24-7 lead in the third quarter and held on to win. Buffalo (1-3), which was playing without injured running back Branden Oliver, had the ball with a chance to tie late in the game, but failed to convert on fourth down at its own 39-yard line. Quarterback Alex Zordich threw for 220 yards and ran for 76 to lead the Bulls.UConn improved to 2-1 this season against the Mid-American Conference. The Huskies beat Massachusetts in their season opener, but lost last week at Western Michigan. McCombs, UConn's 166-pound tailback was the Huskies workhorse, carrying the ball 29 times for 97 yards. His 2-yard fourth-down touchdown run gave the Huskies a 24-7 lead with just over 5 minutes left in the third quarter. But Buffalo went into its bag of tricks to pull within 24-14. Zordich completed a 4-yard pass to Alex Neutz in the right flat, who then pitched the ball to running back Brandon Murie. He raced down the right sideline, breaking a Byron Jones' tackle on the way to a 50-yard touchdown. The Bulls got within a touchdown on a 44-yard field goal by Patrick Clarke with 2:23 left after a 43-yard pass from Zordich to Neutz. UConn receiver Geremy Davis recovered the onside kick, but UConn punted it away three plays. The Bulls took the ball at their own 20 and managed one first dow. But Zordich was stuffed by linebacker Yawin Smallwood after a 2-yard gain on a fourth-and-4 from the 39, and the Huskies ran out the clock. Tight end Ryan Griffin's 36-yard catch and run over the middle on the first play of the second quarter capped a 10-play 92-yard drive that gave the Huskies a 10-7 lead.