I come to bury UConn football, not to praise it. And make no mistake, burying it is the goal, hopefully in a pit so deep and dark that none of us have to think of the 2012 season for a long, long time. I have neither the energy nor the inclination to look for something positive after this game. Tonight's 40-10 loss to Syracuse was an absolute disaster from start to finish and it easily snatched the "Worst Loss in UConn HIstory" title from last week's Temple game.
UConn is now 3-5 and 0-3 in the Big East. Any reasonable or objective analysis of the rest of the schedule would project UConn to finish 3-9, with an outside chance of stealing a game from USF to pick up a fourth win. No matter what happens, this feels like a lock to be UConn's worst season since 2001, when they won two games as they transitioned to D-IA and fielded a roster of only 65 scholarship players.
UConn, once the home of Terry Caulley, Donald Brown and Jordan Todman was able to muster a grand total of -6 rushing yards beyond a George DeLeone-coached line that is inexcusably bad, injuries or not.
If the horrid play weren't enough, there were injuries too. Captain and key lineman Adam Masters went down in the first quarter. Yawin Smallwood was injured in the second (though he returned), but Trevardo Williams and Mike Smith both got knocked out late and both (especially Williams) are the type of players UConn can't afford to lose for any amount of time.
Fine, I guess I can mention something positive. As I see it there are two things worth mentioning. First, Chandler Whitmer, despite being asked to survive the football equivalent of Pickett's Charge on every play played well and looked like the type of player who could be very effective in his junior and senior years if he gets adequate coaching. Second, he'll probably get that coaching because with every passing second it's becoming harder and harder to defend the idea of Paul Pasqualoni getting a third year as UConn's head coach.
I love UConn, and I will watch every game for the rest of the season out of what a bizarre and self-defeating sense of obligation, but it's hard to do it with any hope or passion. I've quit. I'm done. I might show up, but it'll be hard to care. And if that's how I'm going to feel, I have a hard time holding the players to a higher standard. I'm sure they've tried hard, but they're playing on a go-nowhere team for a program-killing coach. This season is done, and if they want to act like it at this point I won't blame them.