Sophomore QB Matt O'Connell tied a school record with 35 completions and passed for 403 yards to lead the No. 7-ranked Tommies (2-0) to a 43-9 victory over UW-River Falls (0-2) in Saturday's college football play at UST's O'Shaughnessy Stadium in St. Paul.
The game lasted 3:15 on the watch and included 129 passes — 74 attempts alone by Falcon freshman QB Ryan Kusilek. UST rolled up 636 yards of offense and ran 96 plays with 34 first downs. The Toms built a 15-0 first-quarter lead and led 29-3 after three quarters.
UST won its ninth in a row at home and moved its regular-season win streak to 26 games.
O'Connell completed 35-of-52 passes for 403 yards with two TDs with two intercepted. It was UST's first 400-yard passing game out of 52 games of the Glenn Caruso era. he passed for 301 alone in the first two quarters. Aaron Terrell-Byrd broke a 75 yard TD run in the third quarter and finished with 120 yards on 11 rushes. Dan Ferrazzo had 10 catches for 148 yards. Ryan Toney had 69 rushing yards and TDs of 4 and 2 yards.
UWRF's Kusilek completed 39-of-74 passes for 342 yards and one TD. Jake Ryan and Nathan Bradnt each had nine receptions, with Brandt getting their lone touchdown from 10 yards out with 12:11 remaining.
The Tommie defense held the Falcons to minus 12 yards rushing and just 5-of-26 on third- and fourth-down conversions. Twelve different UST defenders had either a interception, sack, break up or tackle for loss.
St. Thomas won despite four turnovers, 10 penalties and two onside kicks that River Falls converted in the second half.
St. Thomas opens conference play next Saturday on the road against archrival St. John's.