HOUSTON (AP) — Ta’Quan Roberson threw two touchdown passes, defensive tackle Jelani Stafford ran for two and UConn forced four turnovers and picked up its first win over the season 38-31 over Rice on Saturday.
Rice (3-3) led 14-0 after one quarter but the Huskies (1-5) scored the next four touchdowns, including Jackson Mitchell’s 50-yard scoop and score after a backwards pass for a 28-14 lead early in the second half.
J.T. Daniels’ second touchdown pass to Luke McCaffrey in the second half, a 30-yarder, pulled the Owls within 31-28 with 6:56 to play. But four plays later Roberson found Justin Joly over the middle and he turned it into a 59-yard score.
Chris Shearin picked off Daniel’s at the UConn 25 with 4:16 to play. After a punt, the Owls reached the UConn 5 before settling for a field goal with 40 seconds left but the Huskies covered the onside kick.
Roberson was 15 of 29 for 215 yards. He found Cameron Ross for 41 yards in the 28-point surge. That included Stafford’s two short runs, his second-straight game with two TDs. He scored the Huskies’ first TD as a fullback after Pryce Yates sacked Daniels and Stafford recovered at the 2. Two snaps later Mitchell contributed the defensive score.
Chris Hudson recovered a muffed punt to set up Stafford’s second TD.
Daniels was 33 of 49 for 362 yards with McCaffrey catching seven balls for 100 yards. Juma Otoviano had two touchdown runs in the first quarter.