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Henry, Dixon in the books

By ANTONYA ENGLISH

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 29, 2000


STORRS, Conn. -- What appeared to be a sure catch for Connecticut tight end Rashad Drayton turned into a record-breaking event for USF senior defensive back Anthony Henry.

On a first-down pass from quarterback Luke Richmond, the ball bounced from Drayton's hands into Henry's. The interception was the ninth of his career, making him the all-time interception leader in USF history. Henry surpassed teammate Roy Manns, who has eight.

Adding to the record books, Otis Dixon's 1-yard touchdown run tied him with Rafael Williams for rushing touchdowns at 16.

UNLUCKY BREAK: With his offense driving for a score, UConn quarterback Ryan Tracey sprained his left knee with 26 seconds left in the half. Preliminary exams showed damage to Tracey's MCL and ACL and he's expected to be out the remainder of the season. Luke Richmond came in and finished 11-of-25 for 157 yards and one interception.

100-YARD CLUB GROWS: With his 6-yard touchdown run with six minutes left in the third quarter, UConn freshman Evan Benson became just the third player to rush for more than 100 yards against the Bulls this season, joining Kentucky's Chad Scott and Troy State's Demontray Carter.

Benson, who took over for the injured Taber Small last week, became the first UConn freshman to rush for more than 100 yards (119) since Barry Chandler ran for 118 in 1997.

NOT A I-A WIN JUST YET: Despite the opinion of the Connecticut sports information department and many of the USF players, Saturday's win did not constitute the Bulls' first victory over a Division I-A team.

Both UConn and USF are in "transition" season between I-AA and I-A and are classified as I-AA teams by the NCAA in its statistical categories. They will both be classified as I-A next year.

STILL GOING. AND GOING. AND GOING: When senior center Joey Sipp was removed from the game on a cart in the third quarter of last week's game against Liberty, it looked like a serious streak might be in jeopardy.

Sipp, who has started every game since the Bulls' inception, sprained his right ankle and missed the rest of the game.

But his streak remained intact Saturday. Sipp began in his familiar spot at midfield, waiting for the coin toss as one of the team's captains. He played the entire game.

"It was a little scary last week when I rolled my ankle because it swelled up like a balloon," Sipp said. "I practiced Wednesday and Thursday and it felt good and it felt good (Saturday). I just thank the Lord for that."

CHANGE IS COMING: Its stadium is nothing to brag about -- a 16,200 capacity arena, nestled deep on a beautiful campus, with one side that resembles a small high school stadium and the other a large high school stadium.

But the Huskies can say they are playing in a temporary home. After a groundbreaking ceremony Oct.20, construction of the Huskies' new stadium, Rentschler Field, has begun.

The new stadium will be in East Hartford, about 20 minutes from the UConn campus, and will hold 40,000-plus fans.

The Huskies' first scheduled game in the new stadiums is Aug. 30, 2003 versus Rutgers.

FINALLY BACK: Redshirt freshman Casey Cobb played for the first time in two years after missing time with an injured knee. Cobb played on the punt-return team. Junior tight end Dan Rodimer was back after missing several games due to a concussion. It was Rodimer's second career start -- he also started at Kentucky, the last game he played before his injury. ... Chris Iskra got his second career start.

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