AMHERST, N.Y. -- There are several things that University of Connecticut coach Paul Pasqualoni is going to remember about this trip to Buffalo.
The first is that it made him the winningest coach in Big East history with 109.
The second is the coming out party for explosive receiver Nick Williams, who had two catches for 113 yards.
The third and perhaps most memorable?
He almost didn't get to see it.
Pasqualoni missed the team bus to the game because he was stuck in an elevator. The 62-year-old head coach was holed up in the team hotel's elevator for close to an hour before he escaped by climbing down a ladder.
"We stop at the eighth floor and it just stops cold. It wasn't a good feeling," Pasqualoni said. "They got an engineer. It was like the movies; he dropped down and pulled the top off the elevator. I thought we were going to have to climb, but they dropped a ladder down. We got on the ladder and climbed down."
That wasn't the only escape for the Huskies and Pasqualoni on Saturday night.
Williams had two touches for 113 yards, including a 49-yard touchdown catch-and-run with 4:52 left, and the Huskies escaped from UB Stadium with a 17-3 win on Saturday night.
Williams, a 5-foot-9 jitterbug from East Windsor, N.J., led the nation in kickoff returns a year ago. The coaching staff has tried to work him into the offense this season, but through three games it was to no avail. He finally made his mark on Saturday.
Williams' first touch came late in the first half with UConn and Buffalo (1-3) locked in a defensive game at 3-3. Williams caught a 5-yard slant and then put his legs to work, going all the way to the Buffalo 4-yard line before he was tracked down for a 64-yard gain.
Two plays later, quarterback Johnny McEntee found fullback Mark Hinkley in the flat for a 4-yard touchdown pass to put the Huskies up, 10-3, at the half.
The UConn offense began the second half like the first. It punted on its first four possessions and struggled to move the ball.
Then, McEntee made the novel play of getting the ball to Williams. This time it was a 9-yard slant, and Williams spun out of a tackle by Buffalo's Najja Johnson. There was no catching Williams, who raced through the secondary for a game-clinching touchdown.
"I had high hopes that I would help out the team more than I have recently," Williams said. "So, it was a good feeling to make a catch and have a little more of an impact on the team offensively."
It's those kind of plays that the coaching staff is looking for.
UConn's running game was ineffective, as it averaged less than 2.0 yards per carry -- 40 attempts for 79 yards. The passing game under McEntee (12-of-21, 213 yards) was passable but hardly explosive.
The explosion was left for Williams, who led the nation with a 35.0 average on kickoffs last season.
"Some guys have play speed and Nick plays fast," Pasqualoni said. "I couldn't tell you what his 40-yard dash is, but, boy, it looked fast when he had that ball running up the field and changing direction and started to head for the right pylon."
It's a good thing the Huskies had Williams' plays to bail them out, as Buffalo proved to be tough and stubborn. Lyle McCombs managed only 62 yards on 31 carries, and the Huskies punted eight times and had a field goal blocked.
Without the two Williams plays, UConn's offense managed only 180 yards of offense.
Luckily, the defense was up to the task. UConn held Buffalo running back Branden Oliver to 84 yards, well-below his average of 119. The Huskies also made some plays on defense that helped turn the game.
Holding onto a 10-3 lead in the third quarter, Bulls quarterback Chazz Anderson found Alec Neutz down the right side for a 45-yard catch, beating UConn cornerback Gary Wilburn. Wilburn was in the game for Blidi Wreh-Wilson, who was injured at the end of the first half and didn't return. The Bulls couldn't get the ball in from the 4-yard line, as a third down pass from Anderson was intercepted by UConn's Yawin Smallwood to end the threat.
It wasn't a pretty game for the Huskies. The offense punted eight times, and after Williams' catch, they managed only 100 yards passing.
The running game is a major concern, as the offensive line -- UConn's bread and butter -- has been inconsistent in the last two games.
The longest run by a running back for UConn was a McCombs 7-yard run.
Still, the Huskies didn't turn over the ball, and, after losing a pair of fourth-quarter leads in losses to Vanderbilt and Iowa State, they held on at Buffalo.
"No matter how ugly, it is hard to get wins at this level," Williams said, "It feels good to get back in the win column and go in the right direction."