East Hartford, CT (SportsNetwork.com) - Darius Tice ran for 69 yards on 11 carries and the South Florida defense came up big, as the Bulls topped the Connecticut Huskies in a defensive slugfest, 13-10, in American Athletic Conference play at Rentschler Field.
USF is 2-0 in league play for the first time since 2003 and only the second time in school history. Bobby Eveld completed only 8-of-28 passes for 106 yards and an interception for the Bulls (2-4, 2-0 AAC), who beat Cincinnati last week.
For UConn, the game marked the debut of interim coach T.J. Weist, who took over the reins following head coach Paul Pasqualoni's dismissal last Monday in the wake of the team's 0-4 start. Lyle McCombs headlined the loss with 164 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries for the Huskies (0-5, 0-1).
UConn had a golden scoring opportunity early in the first quarter when Byron Jones intercepted an Eveld pass at the USF 29. However, the Huskies offense went three and out, and Chad Christen came on to kick a 32-yard field goal.
The Huskies offense sputtered again later in the opening frame, as Tim Boyle was sacked by Ryne Giddins and lost the ball, which was then scooped up by South Florida's Aaron Lynch and returned 44 yards the other way for a touchdown.
UConn regained the lead, 10-7, on a 52-yard TD scamper by McCombs on the first play of the second quarter.
The Bulls answered with a 47-yard field goal from Marvin Kloss on their next possession to tie the score at 10-10 with 11:50 to play in the half.
The score would remain the same until Kloss kicked a 44-yarder to put USF on top, 13-10, with just over four minutes to play in regulation. UConn had one final drive beginning from its own five-yard line with just under two minutes to play but could only get to midfield.
For the Bulls, the win was their second straight without an offensive touchdown. They managed to win despite just 228 yards of total offense on the day.