Rhody Falls Just Short in Wild 56-49 Battle at Connecticut

Photo Credit: Shane Donaldson
Photo Credit: Shane Donaldson

How it Happened
Rhode Island had a chance to tie the score on the final play of the game, but the Rams came up just short in a wild 56-49 loss at Connecticut Saturday.

In a game that featured 15 touchdowns and 1,123 total yards of offense, the outcome went down to the wire. After UConn (1-2) scored on a 22-yard touchdown run by Kevin Mensah to go ahead with 57 seconds to go, Rhody (2-1) had one last gasp.

A 33-yard kick return from Ahmere Dorsey gave the Rams great starting position at their 33-yard line. JaJuan Lawson hit Aaron Parker for 18 yards to get the ball into UConn territory at the 49-yard line. Then, on fourth-and-16, Lawson hit Parker again, this time for 22 yards.

With 11 seconds left and first down at the UConn 16-yard line, the Rams had two shots to tie the game. However, an incomplete pass and a sack ended the game, allowing the Huskies to escape with the victory.

Inside the Box Score

  • Sophomore Isaiah Coulter had a new career-high in both receptions (10), and receiving yards (156). Over the last two games, he has caught 19 passes for 265 yards and two touchdowns, going over 100 yards in both games. Coulter already has surpassed the receptions, yards and touchdowns he had in 11 games last season. 
  • Redshirt senior JaJuan Lawson set a career-high with 351 passing yards, beating his previous best of 336 against Villanova on Nov. 11, 2017.
  • This is the second game in a row that Lawson has had more than 300 passing yards; he recorded 317 in last weekend's game against Albany. It also was his second straight game with four touchdown passes. The only other players in program history to pass for four touchdowns in multiple games were Tom Erhardt, who did so nine times from 1984-85, and Chris Hixon, who did so three times (1993-96).
  • In the last two games, the four touchdown passes have been to the same combination of senior Tyler Burke, sophomore Isaiah Coulter, junior Aaron Parker and redshirt senior Marven Beauvais
  • Lawson also rushed for two touchdowns for the first time in his career, setting a new career-high with 85 rushing yards. His 37-yard touchdown rush in the second quarter was the longest of his career. The last time Rhode Island had one player rush for two touchdowns was Harold Cooper in 2017 against Albany. 
  • Junior Naim Jones had a strong showing in his debut for the Rams. He rushed for 95 yards over 11 attempts and scored his first career touchdown. 
  • Junior Aaron Parker continued his trend of scoring in each game this season and extended his streak of catching at least one pass to 21 games.
  • Parker finished with seven catches for 128 yards and now has 14 career touchdowns in 24 games. This is the second straight game Parker and his cousin, Isaiah Coulter, have topped 100 receiving yards for the Rams. 
  • Senior Nas Jones had a career-high 10 tackles, including 2.0 sacks and 2.0 tackles for loss. Junior L.B. Mack III added a sack of his own. 
  • Seniors Justin Hogan and D.J. Stewart had fumble recoveries in the second half for the Rams. Rhode Island now has seven fumble recoveries through three games. Stewart's recovery was the first of his career.
  • Redshirt senior Monte Sinisi had a career-high seven tackles. His previous best was five in a game at Stony Brook in 2016. 
  • Redshirt senior Marven Beauvais' first catch of the day was the 80th of his career. He had three catches for 32 yards, and now has 82 grabs for his career.
  • Junior Rashod Dickerson recorded the first interception of his career.
  • Redshirt freshman Tyler Wipper had a career-high three tackles, including one tackle for loss. 
  • Senior Anthony Garro averaged 43.7 yards on 3 punts, including a long of 51 yards. 
  • Redshirt junior Zoe Bryant, Jr. made his first career reception when he grabbed a 24-yard pass from Lawson. He also rushed for 24 yards on two attempts before leaving the game with an injury.
  • Tyler Burke now has nine career catches. Five of those catches have gone for touchdowns. 
  • Sophomore C.J. Carrick remains perfect this season, after converting all seven of his extra-point attempts. He is 16-for-16 on extra points and 1-for-1 on field goals.
  • The anchor bearer was junior defensive end L.B. Mack III.

What's Next 
After a bye next weekend, Rhode Island travels to Harvard for a non-conference game Friday, Sept. 28. Gametime is set for 7 p.m.