CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) -Chris Gould kicked a 19-yard field goal with 3:20 to play Saturday and mistake-prone Virginia won its sixth consecutive game and knocked Connecticut from the ranks of the unbeaten with a 17-16 victory.
The Cavaliers (6-1) trailed 16-14 and had struggled on offense all day before driving 79 yards to Gould’s second game-winner in as many weeks. Last Saturday, his 34-yarder with 8 seconds left gave Virginia a 23-21 victory at Middle Tennessee.
Quarterback Jameel Sewell completed a 30-yard pass to Chris Gorham and an 8-yarder to Tom Santi on third-and-5 during the winning drive, then tried to run it in on a draw play on third-and-goal from the 7. He was tackled just shy of the goal line.
The Huskies (5-1) got consecutive 11-yard runs from quarterback Tyler Lorenzen after Gould’s field goal to reach Virginia’s 44, but UConn lost 21 yards when a snap in the shotgun zipped passed Lorenzen, a false start penalty that made it second-and-31 and then fumbled on the next snap, Jeffrey Fitzgerald recovering for Virginia.
Gould’s field goal try from 35 yards with 27 seconds to play missed wide left, giving the Huskies three chances to complete a long pass or draw a penalty. The Cavaliers defended them all and hung on to win the first meeting between the schools.
The Huskies took their first lead since early in the game midway through the fourth quarter, driving 81 yards to Tony Ciaravino’s third field goal, a 25-yarder.
The drive was helped by consecutive pass interference calls against Virginia, the first against Mike Parker and the next a 15-yarder against Vic Hall on a deep pass to Terence Jeffers. That gave the Huskies a first down at the Cavaliers’ 30, and three runs moved it to Virginia’s 6 before the defense stiffened and Ciaravino converted.
Sewell, who did not play well, had helped Connecticut make it close with a bad interception early in the second half, and Robert Vaughn returned it 32 yards to the Cavaliers’ 6. Two plays later, Lorenzen hit Steve Brouse for the touchdown.
That made it 14-13, and while Virginia’s defense didn’t let the Huskies get anything started, Connecticut also bottled up Sewell and the Cavaliers offense.
Once the Huskies went ahead, though, Sewell and Virginia responded.
The Cavaliers recovered from a sloppy start, driving 59 yards in 11 plays on their fourth possession to Keith Payne’s 1-yard touchdown run. Payne also caught a 16-yard pass from Sewell on the march, and the touchdown was the first of his career.
Virginia made it 14-6 two possessions later after the Huskies tried a 52-yard field goal that missed. Sewell scrambled for 18 yards on a third-and-7 play, and cornerback Vic Hall came on as a running back and threw a 35-yard option pass to Chris Gorham.
Sewell capped the drive with an 8-yard pass to John Phillips.
The Huskies converted turnovers by Virginia on its first two possessions into field goals, but probably should have gotten more, especially on the second one.
After Dahna Deleston intercepted a deflected pass and UConn drove 26 yards to a 45-yard field goal by Tony Ciaravino, Andrew Pearman fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Cody Brown recovered for the Huskies at Virginia’s 13. Andre Dixon ran for 9 yards on the next play, but the next two went for no gain and Ciaravino kicked a 21-yard field goal.