BIG EAST FB: UConn beats South Florida 19-16 for BCS bowl berth
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) – Dave Teggart had four field goals, including a career-long 52-yarder with 17 seconds to play, as Connecticut clinched the Big East’s automatic Bowl Championship Series berth Saturday night with a 19-16 win over South Florida.
Lawrence Wilson had an interception return for a touchdown and Teggart kicked three field goals, including one from 50 yards early in the fourth, to put Connecticut (8-4, 5-2) up 16-6.
Two plays after South Florida linebacker Sam Barrington recovered a fumble by Jordan Todman at the UConn 30, Bobby Eveld pulled the Bulls within 16-13 on a 28-yard TD pass to Dontavia Bogin 6 1/2 minutes into the fourth.
Maikon Bonani knotted it at 16 on his 22-yard kick with 1:16 left to complete an 11-play, 74-yard drive.
UConn, which won five straight conference games after starting 0-2 in league play, went 2-4 on the road this year. Todman, who came in averaging 148.1 yards rushing a game this season, picked up 93 yards on 33 carries.
Eveld started for South Florida (7-5, 3-4) in place of B.J. Daniels, who hurt his right leg during a 23-20 overtime win on Nov. 27 at Miami. The freshman went 22 for 41 for 195 yards, with a touchdown pass and three interceptions.
Daniels has a combined 13 passing and rushing touchdowns this season.
South Florida took a 3-0 lead on its first possession when Bonani made a 42-yard field goal. Teggart tied it at 3 on his 40-yard field goal nine minutes into the game.
The Huskies went up 10-3 when Wilson returned a deflected pass 55 yards for a touchdown with 1:11 left in the second. It came one play after South Florida’s Jon Lejiste stopped a UConn drive with an interception at the South Florida 7.
Teggart extended the Huskies’ advantage to 13-3 with a 22-yard field goal midway through the third. Bonani cut the Bulls’ deficit to 13-6 late in the third on his successful kick from 38 yards out.
South Florida lost for the second time in its last six games.
Bulls coach Skip Holtz coached at Connecticut from 1994-98, when the Huskies were an NCAA Division I-AA program with plans to go to Division I.