STORRS, Conn. (AP/WTNH) – UConn football appeared to be picking up some momentum, having won two straight games coming into Saturday night’s showdown with Missouri.
Tigers quarterback Drew Lock threw for 377 yards and five touchdowns as Missouri routed Connecticut, 52-12 on Saturday night.
It’s the second time in four games the Huskies have given up 50-plus points, after Memphis hung 70 on them in East Hartford back on October 7.
“We’re not going to show this film to these guys,” UConn coach Randy Edsall said. “We’re going to move forward and just make sure we have the right guys out there.”
The Huskies allowed Missouri quarterback Drew Lock to complete a career-high 31 passes on 37 attempts, and throw for five touchdowns against their pass defense, which ranks as the nation’s worst.
Missouri earned its first road win and is on its first winning streak in more than two years.
“We’re talking about our outside guys being able to run by anybody,” Lock said. “And then being able to take the hitches all night made my job a lot easier, because you get 6 or 7 on those, miss a tackle and you get a first down on those as well. That just allowed us to get in our shots a little more.”
Connecticut (3-5) forced a safety after an errant Missouri snap on the opening drive, but the Tigers scored on their next five possessions to lead 31-5 at halftime.
Lock completed 14 of 15 passes in the first quarter, three of them for touchdowns, including two to freshman tight end Albert Okwuegbunam.
He also hit J’Mon Moore for two scores and hooked up with Johnathon Johnson for a 72-yard catch and run in the third quarter.
The Tigers (3-5) had 583 yards of offense, 408 through the air.
Johnson had five catches for 128 yards. Moore caught eight balls for 96 yards. Witter ran for 73 yards in place of Damarea Crockett, who had what could be season-ending surgery on his right shoulder last week after suffering an injury in the Tigers Oct. 14 loss to Georgia.
“I think when the offense is going that spreads throughout the entire team and sideline,” said head coach Barry Odom. “(Drew)’s got a really high skill set and receivers are catching the ball well.”
Missouri: Lock becomes the first Missouri quarterback to throw for at least five touchdowns five times. He has 7,298 yards passing and now trails only Brad Smith (8,799 yards) and Chase Daniel (12,515 yards) on Missouri’s all-time passing list.
“That’s really cool to me, growing up a huge Missouri Tiger fan, watching all those guys,” Lock said. “Putting my name with those guys, that’s the biggest part,” ’cause that’s the coolest thing to me.”
Over his last five games, Lock is 114-for-166 passing for 1,668 yards. He has thrown 20 touchdowns and just three interceptions.
UConn: The Huskies were coming off back-to-back wins over Temple and Tulsa, but have not won win three in a row since 2015. UConn has now given up more than 350 yards passing to six of its eight opponents.
The Tigers, who beat Idaho 68-21 last Saturday, had not won two straight since beating Southeast Missouri ad Arkansas State to start the 2015 season. The win at Arkansas State also was the team’s last road win.
EJECTED BY COACH
UConn safety Jamar Summers intercepted Missouri backup Micah Wilson near the end of the third quarter, but was then flagged for taunting with his team down 45-12 and found himself in the locker room for the rest of the game.
“I sent him off,” said Edsall. “Not going to disrespect the game that way and play in this program.”
Missouri: The Tigers return home to resume SEC play by hosting Florida next Saturday.
UConn: The Huskies begin the toughest stretch of their schedule by hosting No. 17 South Florida next week in a game rescheduled from September because of Hurricane Irma. The Bulls are coming off their first loss of the season. The Huskies then travel to the sunshine state to face No. 18 UCF.