UConn defense bounces back, Huskies edge Temple, 28-24

(AP Photo/Stephen Dunn)

PHILADELPHIA — Bryant Shirreffs threw for three touchdowns, Tyler Cole had a pick-six, and Connecticut held off Temple 28-24 on Saturday to end an eight-game skid in conference play.

The Huskies defense forced two turnovers and stopped Temple on downs three times, including the Owls’ final drive, which ended in an incomplete Hail Mary pass with seconds left.

Marshe Terry recovered a fumble that set up Shirrefs’ 6-yard TD strike to Hergy Mayala to give Connecticut (2-4, 1/3 American Athletic Conference) its first lead at halftime, 14-7, this season.

Shirreffs, who was 18 of 28 for 105 yards, hit Arkeel Newsome on a short TD pass on the opening drive of the second half, then Cole picked off a pass by Logan Marchi and returned it 34 yards for a 28-14 lead.

It was UConn’s first interception returned for a TD since Jamar Summer’s pick at Tulane in 2015.

Temple (3-4, 1-3), which converted a fumble and an interception into scores, rallied in the fourth, but settled for a field goal with 11:14 left after being stopped on the Huskies 6.

Marchi threw for 356 yards on 54 attempts and Temple outgained Connecticut 473 yards to 244.

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