BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Had he pulled it off, UConn quarterback Jack Zergiotis‚Äô unorthodox play early in the second half against Indiana Saturday would have earned him a clever nickname like ‚Äėgunslinger‚Äô or ‚Äėgambler.‚Äô
As it turned out, the freshman‚Äôs left-handed flip of the ball toward running back Art Thompkins as he was about to be sacked was merely a gift, one Indiana linebacker Cam Jones easily intercepted and returned 46 yards for a touchdown.
‚ÄúI went through my reads and at the last second, as I was being taken down, I saw Art. I tried to make a play out of it but sometimes when you try to do too much it doesn‚Äôt work out,‚ÄĚ Zergiotis said after the Huskies‚Äô 38-3 loss to the Hoosiers.
In what was his second career collegiate game, Zergiotis was 14-of-28 for 90 yards through the air. The Huskies had trouble running all day, increasing the pressure on Zergiotis to throw, and the quarterback himself admitted he never got truly comfortable in the pocket.
‚ÄúIt was a freshman on the road for the first time in a Big Ten place,‚ÄĚ UConn coach Randy Edsall said. ‚ÄúHe got rattled a little bit early and never could get out of the funk.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúWe couldn‚Äôt take the pressure off him a little bit so when you have to sit there and throw the ball all the time, that‚Äôs just not going to work,‚ÄĚ Edsall added.
Zergiotis, a Montreal native who made his debut against Illinois two weeks ago, said he at least learned a few things from his Indiana experience.
‚ÄúJust to stay locked in even if I take a shot or two,‚ÄĚ Zergiotis said. ‚ÄúI have to forget about it and move on to the next play.‚ÄĚ
Steve Krajewski replaced Zergiotis at quarterback with just under nine minutes to play in the game but Edsall was quick to point out that he‚Äôs not ready to make a permanent change at the position.
‚ÄúIt was good to get Steven a few snaps there at the end,‚ÄĚ Edsall said. ‚ÄúIt was just to try to get him some experience in there.‚ÄĚ
UConn kicker Clayton Harris booted a 41-yard field goal early in the game, the longest of his career. It was made the redshirt freshman a perfect 6-for-6 on field goals in his brief tenure at UConn.
That streak was snapped later in the first half, however, on a 50-yard attempt into the wind. The kick had enough distance but was wide right.
UConn tight end Donovan Williams made the trip to Indiana but did not play in the game. He was apparently injured during practice leading up to the game. ‚Ä¶ Indiana‚Äôs usual starting quarterback, Michael Penix, was in uniform but did not warm up because of a shoulder injury. ‚Ä¶ Robert Holmes replaced Cam DeGeorge at left guard for UConn in the third quarter. ‚Ä¶ UConn defensive tackle Lwal Uguak recorded a sack and now has a team-high 3.5 this season.