2012 UConn Football Preview:
UConn didn’t have a great 2011 season but for head coach Paul Pasqualoni’s first year with the Huskies it wasn’t bad either. Finishing out the season at 5-7 and 3-4 in conference play UConn will be hoping to improve their win/loss ratio in 2012. The Huskies would love nothing more than have a repeat of the 2010 season and receive another Bowl bid. In order to achieve this there are some must wins in the 2012 schedule. The season opener against UMass has the potential to set the precedence for the season. A win here and two more against Buffalo and Temple can give UConn a big confidence boost going into the tougher parts of there schedule.
Offensively the Huskies need to maintain their low turnover margin from 2011. They were second in the Big East and nineteenth in the nation. However, to be a contender in 2012 UConn will need more big plays. The Huskies conservative style of play will get them the same results as 2011, a low turnover margin but only 38 plays of 10 yards or more. The O will need to find a good balance between the conservative plays and the explosive big plays. Above all things UConn must settle the quarterback competition. Last year three QB’s played in at least eight games, Johnny McEntee, Scott McCummings, and Michael Nebrich. To make matters even worse the Huskies added two new editions under center, Casey Cochran and Chandler Whitmer. All the components of the offense are in place with Lyle McCombs returning at running back and Michael Smith at wide out. Without a primary quarterback to run the offense a rhythm can’t be established to win those close games in the fourth quarter.
With eight starters returning on defense expect a solid performance from the Huskie D. The 2011 recruiting class brought two redshirt freshman adding depth to the linebacker position. With a secondary that is back to full health the Huskies should be able to defend the pass just as well as they defended the run last year. UConn produced the best defense against the run last year and also ranked tenth in the nation with 31 turnovers. With the top three tackler’s, two leading sacker’s, and the three players who tied for the most interceptions all returning, UConn’s defense will be the strength of this team.
CONNECTICUT HUSKIES EXPERIENCE:
Location: Hartford, Connecticut
Stadium: Rentschler Stadium
Conference: Big East Conference
Rivals: UMass Minutemen
Notable Alumni: Nick Giaquinto, Nick Didio, Brian Kozlowski, Alred Fincher, Dan Orlovsky
The University of Connecticut Huskies fielded its first football team in 1896. The program was a perennial conference championship contender first in the New England Athletic Conference and then the Yankee Conference. UConn made its first Div I-AA playoffs in 1998 in its 100th season, and 1999 won its first game against a Div I-A team, beating Buffalo 23-0. The UConn Huskies would beat a Big East team for the first time in 2001, and play their first bowl game in 2004, where they routed Mid-American Conference Champs Toledo 39-10 in the Motor City Bowl in Detroit behind the leadership of MVP Quarterback Dan Orlovsky. This gradual success is recognized as the fastest progression from Div I-AA to Div I-A in college football history.
The Connecticut Huskies play their home games at Renschler Field in East Hartford, Connecticut. The stadium holds 40,000 spectators and was opened in 2003. It was designed to be expandable, and with UConn’s recent success will likely hold more in the future. A game at Renschler Field is an unforgettable experience. Witnessing the rabid fans of such a growing program support their team makes it nearly impossible not to root with them. Buy UConn Huskies football tickets and witness a team on the rise!
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