EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Rutgers coach Kyle Flood says he doesn't believe momentum can carry over from one football game to another.
But after starting the season 4-1, his Scarlet Knights (5-6, 2-5 American Athletic Conference) seem to be picking up speed while going downhill. They are 1-5 in their last six games and lost Saturday for the third straight week, falling 28-17 at Connecticut (2-9, 2-5).
"We don't look at it in terms of five losses in six games," Flood said. "Just like I wouldn't look at it in terms of five wins in six games. I don't believe in week-to-week momentum in football. I don't think it exists. If it did exist, then the team we played, it would have been hard for them to win the last two games."
Senior Chas Dodd, making his first start of the season for Rutgers threw for 286 yards and a touchdown. But he also threw two interceptions to UConn cornerback Taylor Mack, including one on the Husky 19-yard line with just 2 minutes left to end any hopes of a comeback.
The Huskies have now won two straight after losing their first nine.
"Coach is always saying we need momentum, carry momentum, so that is what we were trying to do," Mack said. "And we came out here and did it."
UConn quarterback Casey Cochran, making just his third start, completed almost 76 percent of his passes. The redshirt freshman threw for 311 yards and two touchdowns and Max DeLorenzo rushed for two scores for UConn.
DeLorenzo's second touchdown run, from a yard out, put the Huskies in front 21-17 in the fourth quarter. Cochran then led UConn on a 12-play, 56-yard drive on their next possession, with a 3-yard touchdown pass to freshman Brian Lemelle.
"It piles up after a while," said Rutgers linebacker Kevin Snyder. "We had them on the ground pretty well and we played hard, but we just couldn't get off the field on third down."
UConn converted nine of its 15 third-down attempts.
The Huskies led 14-10 at the half, its first halftime lead since it led Michigan in September — a game the Huskies lost 24-21.
But Dodd, who got the start over an ineffective Gary Nova, helped put Rutgers back in front in the third quarter. He found Quron Pratt down the left sideline for an 84-yard completion, the longest play of the season for the Scarlet Knights. That set up a 3-yard touchdown run from Justin Goodwin.
"''I felt like I played OK," Dodd said. "There was obviously some things in there I wish I had done better. But at the end of the day, we didn't get the "W'' and all that is irrelevant."