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(Saturday, January 2nd)
Final Score: Connecticut 20, South Carolina 7
Birmingham, AL (Sports Network) - Andre Dixon ran for 126 yards and a touchdown, as Connecticut dominated South Carolina, 20-7, in the PapaJohns.com Bowl.
Zach Frazer completed just 9-of-21 passes for 107 yards, but threw for a touchdown and no interceptions to help the Huskies (8-5) take their third bowl win in four appearances.
The victory ended a season for UConn that was marked by the tragedy of cornerback Jasper Howard being killed on campus, only hours after the Huskies beat Louisville on October 17. UConn lost its next three games, but after an open week capped its season with four consecutive victories.
"I told the guys, I said, 'I challenge you on offense, I challenge you on defense and I challenge you on special teams to put everything together and do it for Jazz,'" Dixon said. "As you saw out there, I think that's definitely what happened today."
Stephen Garcia was limited to 129 yards on 16-of-38 completions, with one interception, as South Carolina (7-6) ended its season by losing four of five. Brian Maddox ran for the Gamecocks' lone touchdown.
"I thought we were ready to play, I thought our guys would play a lot better," South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier said. "But somehow or another, didn't luck out. Weather was beautiful. It was very nice first three quarters...cool at the end, but that had nothing to do with it. We just thoroughly got beat. I don't know what else to tell you."
UConn got on the board near the middle of the first quarter, when Frazer found Kashif Moore for a 37-yard touchdown strike. That capped a nine-play, 66-yard drive, and the Gamecocks turned the ball over on downs after failing to convert a 4th-and-1.
The Huskies took over at the South Carolina 32-yard line and reached the 16 before the drive stalled. Dave Teggart came out and kicked a 33-yard field goal with 3:35 left for a 10-0 lead.
Teggart's 44-yarder a little more than six minutes into the second quarter made it 13-0. The Gamecocks got into UConn territory on the ensuing drive, but again turned the ball over on downs, and it remained a 13-point game at the break.
The third quarter was scoreless, but Garcia fumbled late in the frame to give UConn the ball at the South Carolina 35. The Huskies then turned to Dixon, who ran eight times in the drive. His last was a 10-yard run to get across the goal line and make it a 20-0 contest less than two minutes into the fourth.
The UConn defense did the rest. The Gamecocks were forced into a three-and- out, then had another drive end on an interception by Robert Vaughn. South Carolina did score with 3:24 to play, after Garcia's 38-yard pass to D.L. Moore set up Maddox's two-yard touchdown run.
But the Huskies, feeding Dixon, the game's MVP, ran out the clock from there to secure the win.
South Carolina fell to 4-11 all-time in bowl games...UConn compiled 253 total yards and held the ball for nearly 35 1/2 minutes...South Carolina totaled 205 yards, including just 76 on the ground...Dixon reached the 1,000-yard mark for the season, as he entered the game with 967. Jordan Todman, the Huskies' leading rusher this season, had 36 yards on the ground.
01/02 22:01:27 ET