Late moxy helps Dixon, Huskies down Cardinals

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. -- Andre Dixon dragged defenders on a
5-yard touchdown run with 1:32 left and Connecticut overcame a late
10-point deficit to beat Louisville 21-17 on Friday night, getting
some help from a controversial punt return.

It was the biggest win of the season for UConn (6-1, 2-0 Big
East), and keeps the Huskies in first place in the conference. The
Cardinals, once considered national title contenders, dropped to
4-4 overall and 1-2 in the Big East.

Dixon ran 22 times for 115 yards and the score. His final run
capped a nine-play, 71-yard drive that began when Louisville,
leading 17-14, had a pass knocked away on fourth-and-3 from the
Connecticut 29 with 5:50 left.

Tyler Lorenzen, who attempted just 18 passes, then led Huskies
down the field for the winning score. He was 9-for-18 for 130 yards
and no interceptions.

UConn linebacker Danny Lansanah picked off Brian Brohm's pass at
the UConn 20 to secure the win in the waning seconds. It was one of
three UConn interceptions.

Playing much of the game in a driving rain and wind gusting at
over 20 mph, Brohm completed 29 of 41 passes for 228 yards.

UConn scored its first points on a Larry Taylor's controversial
74-yard punt return. With the Huskies down 7-0 with 13 minutes left
in the third quarter, Taylor settled under a 45-yard punt and
appeared to call for a fair catch at the Connecticut 26.

showed Taylor putting up his right hand, and Louisville players
stopped their pursuit as soon as he caught the ball. But Taylor
sprinted left, then down the sideline and the referees didn't stop
the play.

Louisville coach Steve Kragthorpe called a timeout before the
extra point in an effort to get the officials to take another look,
but after a consultation, they said a fair-catch signal isn't

The official definition of a fair-catch signal in the rule book
calls for a player to raise his hand above his head and wave it
back and forth more than once, something Taylor didn't do.

Trent Guy returned the ensuing kickoff 80 yards to the UConn 8,
but that play was called back because of a holding penalty.

Later in the quarter, UConn thought it had recovered a muffed
punt at the Louisville 1. But officials ruled Connecticut's Tyvon
Branch touched the ball first, downing it on the 16.

That prompted
the UConn student section to begin the tossing novelty hats they
had been given before the game onto the field.

Brohm then directed the Cardinals on a 14-play, 78-yard drive
that ate up over 7 minutes and ended with Art Carmody's 23-yard
field goal that put the Cardinals up 10-7.

UConn's Donald Brown fumbled on UConn's next possession, and
defensive tackle Earl Heyman picked up the ball and rumbled
34-yards for a touchdown, and Louisville seemed to be in control.

But Taylor returned the kickoff to the 50 and UConn took just
five plays to score, with Tyler Lorenzen hitting a diving D.J.
Hernandez for a 7-yard touchdown strike.

Brohm drove Louisville back into UConn territory, but cornerback
Tyvon Branch broke up a fourth-down pass attempt, setting up the
winning drive.

Brohm completed his first eight passes. He found Scott Kuhn in
the back of the end zone as time expired in the first quarter for a
7-0 lead and the only points of the first half. The seven-play,
39-yard drive included five runs by Brock Bolen.

Brohm, who came in having completed 68 percent of his passes for
2,765 yards, relied mostly on short passes early, completing 12 of
14 in the first half for 98 yards. The Cardinals had been averaging
almost 560 yards per game, including 398 yards through the air.
They had 321 in this one.

UConn seemed to have a harder time with the wet ball early. The
Huskies attempted just one pass in their first 21 plays, and
fumbled three times on their opening possession.

Brandon Cox recovered the last one at the Cardinals 18. A
second-quarter drive was stopped on the Louisville 10, when
Connecticut failed to convert on a fourth-and-1.

Scott Lutrus led the UConn defense with 18 tackles and an