UConn Offense Leads Way To First Win Huskies Capture 56-49 Shootout Over Rhode Island

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. --- With the UConn and Rhode Island football offenses combining for 105 points, 659 yards passing, 464 yards rushing, and threatening to score on every possession, it still took a big defensive play to secure the Huskies' first victory of the season.

Junior linebacker Eli Thomas sacked Rhode Island quarterback JaJuan Lawson with the ball on the UConn 16-yard line and time running out, clinching a 56-49 victory for the Huskies (1-2) Saturday before 20,691 at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field.

UConn running back Kevin Mensah had barreled into the end zone on a tough 22-yard run to give the Huskies the 56-49 lead with just 0:57 remaining, but the way the game had been played, that was plenty of time for Rhode Island to mount a threat.

The Rams (2-1) drove to a first down on the Husky 16 with 0:11 to go, and after an incomplete pass, had 5 seconds left, and one play, to score the tying TD.

Thomas made sure that didn't happen – producing a huge sigh of relief from the UConn sideline.

"(Defensive end) James Atkins did a real good job all game opening things up for me," Thomas said. "He opened it up and I just did my job and hit the quarterback. The offense did a really good job today. As a defense, we had to step up and we did at the end and that's all that matters."