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25 Questions Connecticut

This week looks to be the hardest one our schedule... Wait what? Temple beat these guys? Ok this looks the be the second hardest on our schedule!

The fact it's an away game and the huskies will be spitting mad may make this more difficult than our home date against the owls.

UConn and Buffalo last played in the international bowl when Husky special teams did everything in their power to give us the game, and we still could not take it. Both teams seems to be a step down from their 2008 squads.

Connecticut began the year with a trip up to Ann Arbor where the wolverines walked all over them (30-10). They then took out their frustrations on Texas Southern (62-3), and with a skip in their step they headed down to the Linc to take on Temple. The owls did was send UConn packing 30-16.

Because the Big East only has eight football members UConn gets five out of conference games so after Buffalo they get Vandy. They then face a big east schedule with four away and only three home games. Right now, after Temple, UConn has no throw away games.

Program:

Where are the Huskies at:

It's hard to argue with the job that Randy Edsall has done in Storrs. When you put aside the potential struggles they might have this year you see a body of work that went from sixth place in the A10 to four bowl games in the past six years and one conference co-championship.

Last seasons schooling of South Carolina showed that the program is not to be trifled with, even by SEC teams. They held the Gamecocks off the scoreboard until there was just three minutes left in the fourth.

Season High Point:

Drubbing Texas Southern in a fit of OMG rage following week one. UConn had no mercy  on the tigers as they scored 45 first half points and racked up nearly 450 yards of offense.




Season Low Point:

What's more painful being completely outclassed by Michigan or being mostly outclassed by Temple? I'm going to have to go with Temple. UConn got only one touchdown, on a 59 scamper from Todman. Aside from that drive (62 yards) the Huskies only had two drives longer than forty yards and both of those (71 and 80 yards) ended with Field goals.

Offense:

Do they take care of the Ball?

They have yet to throw an interception, turning the ball over three times this season with fumbles (one in each game this season).

How is their Passing Offense?

The Huskies are struggling in the passing game. There is a distant grumbling from the fan base that QB changes need to happen but for now Frazer is still the man. He is trowing 50% and for about 150 a game, even against texas Southern his performance was nothing magical (6/9 - 104 yards)

The UConn blog did a great breakdown of a critical drive in the Temple game demonstrating just where they struggle.

How is their Rushing Offense?

Part of the reason their numbers are so low passing is because UConn has a very solid running option. UConn is averaging more than 225 yards per game on the ground, with Jordan Todman accounting for about 150 of that. Right now two of the top ten Big East Running backs are Huskies (Todman #1, Frey #9).

Of the Big East teams to have played three games UConn is nearly 50 yards per game ahead of the next best Big East Rushing team.

How are their Receivers?

Tied to their struggles at QB the Huskies don't have anyone who has jumped out as a huge threat so far this season. Losing Marcus Easley and Brad Kanuch left them with a vacuum that they have yet to fill.

Michael Smith and Kashif Moore do have the quickness to make something happen after they get the ball but having seen the Michigan and Temple game I don't see them getting into a position to help their QB. They tend to be pretty well covered in those games.

How about their offensive line?

Solid, most of their struggles at QB have nothing to do with pressure. The Huskies are allowing less than a sack per game, even for a team which is ground intensive that's not bad.

That pass protection, along with the running game, makes this a hard line to attack. UB's defensive line is fast this season, much faster than 2008, but I don't know that it will be enough. Most of the linemen on their roster are up around, or over, three hundred pounds.

Are they High Powered?

Make no mistake the Huskies moved the Ball on Temple to the tune of nearly 400 yards, they moved on Michigan for almost 350 so moving the ball is not a problem. What's killed them is drives stalling out short. Two get more than seven hundred yards in two games and to have between them only two touchdowns is down right shameful.

I would call them high powered, for a team that runs the ball, but the complete lack of a passing threat makes stopping them academic. Hold them up on first and keep second from being more than five yards, the rest takes care of itself.

How Well do they convert on 3rd?

Terrible, they are just outside the bottom 30 teams in the Bowl Subdivision. Even UB who has struggled mightily is ranked ahead of them

Can their offense close a drive?

Yes and no.
  • Yes they score often, 93% of the time, when in the red zone.
  • No when only 61% of your red zone scores are Touchdowns that is a problem.
Defense:

How Good is their defense?

Average, they are middle of the pack in the Big East and 55/120 nationally. They are giving up 330 yards per game. They are only giving up 19 points a game but a third of that is weighted with Texas Southern, outside of that they are giving up 30 per contest.

Do they take the Ball Away?

They have five on the season (three were against Texas Southern) so while they are not tearing the world up when it comes to turnovers they are taking it away more often than they are losing it.

Can they stop the Run?

Bernard Pierce ran all over them, Denard Robinson ran all over them. Sadly we don't have anyone who has distinguished themselves to that level. But with Gill and Oliver getting better week by week there may be an opening for the first 100 yard game against UConn.

Can they stop the Pass?

They have talent in the secondary and a respectable pass rush, both things that worry me going into this game as UB has really struggled when any pressure is applied. Right now UConn is giving up less than 170 yards per game.

How do they perform on third downs?

They are giving up more than 40% of third downs, that is a monster number that sinks them to 84th in the nation right now.

How is their red zone defense?

Only eight times have opponents gotten into the red zone, but all eight were scores. To their credit opponents are scoring touchdowns to field goals at only a 62% clip (5 TD's, 3 FG's). When opponents get into the Red Zone they tend to drive the ball in on the ground (4:1)

How well do they get after the QB?

They are averaging more than two sacks a game with no clear man to key on. No Husky averages more than half a sack per game (nobody has two sacks). This is the worst kind of pass rush to face.

Do they get after you in the backfield?

UConn averages more than eight TFL's per game led by Harris Agbor and Greg Lloyd who both have one per game.

Special Teams:

How is their return game?

UConn is one of the worst kickoff return teams in the nation, which should line up well with Buffalo one of the worst Kickoff defense teams in the nation. It's the non moving returner against the completely porous defense.

How well do they defend returns?

UConn has a respectable coverage team, giving up less than 20 yards per kickoff return and under ten per punt return.

How well do they Kick?

They are having troubles in the kicking game. UConn is only 6/9 on field goals and the two misses against Temple were absolute killers (not as much as having drives stall in the first place but killers not the less).

Dave Teggart is 4/5 from 30-39 and 1-3 from 49-50.

How Well do they Punt?


While their punter is technically a wide receiver (at least according to ESPN and the NCAA sites) he does a fine job on special teams. He is averaging a net of 38 yards per punt which puts him near the top half of punters in the league.


How good is UConn at home?

Out of conference UConn plays well at home. They have a great facility which should be loud this week.

How Big is this game for Each Team?

I would say this is likely a bigger game for UConn, UB has every excuse in the world to struggle at this point. UConn, if they lose, would have the ignominy of two straight games dropped against MAC Foes, something no Big East team wants to hear about all year from their conference mates.