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TheOpenThread: Iowa St. Cyclones vs. UConn Huskies

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I do not want to alarm anybody, but 21 percent of the voters in our online survey think Scott McCummings should be UConn's starting quarterback tonight. That means one of two things: either 21 percent of our votes are members of the McCummings family, or UConn is in a lot of trouble. That's because, as I laid out in our poll, the only scenario under which McCummings should start is one where you believe that:

UConn can't pass, the receivers are junk and we should call it a day and go full-on wishbone and option all the time.

So yeah, there's not a lot of optimism out there right now, at least not on the offensive side of the ball. Online voters aside (a majority said Mike Nebrich should start), you can expect to see Johnny McEntee starting for the Huskies tonight. I'm not entirely opposed to that, as McEntee deserves more than one start against FBS competition, but if he starts heading down the road toward another 10-27, 3 INT performance Paul Pasqualoni better have a quick hook. Pasqualoni said he left him in last week because he wanted "consistency." That was a weak excuse then and it'd be even weaker tonight.

Yet, as down as people are on UConn's offense, they seem to be equally high on the defense and new coordinator Don Brown (motto: solve your problems with aggression).

The Husky defense will have their hands full with Iowa St. QB Steele Jantz who made a name for himself by throwing for 279 yds and 4 tds against rival Iowa. Those numbers are impressive, but there are a couple of caveats to keep in mind: Jantz is a JuCo transfer who will be starting in his first FBS road game, and he wasn't nearly as impressive in his first game of the year (18-40, 1 td, 3 int against Norther Iowa). Still if UConn struggles in pass protection, it could be a long night.

As far as the big picture goes, on paper UConn should be able to beat Iowa St., not because they're a clearly better team, but because neither of these teams is all that good. This is going to be a down year for the Huskies, they're certainly not returning to the BCS and they'll be lucky to make a bowl at all. But if they are going to make a bowl, winning tonight is going a long way. This is the toughest of UConn's remaining non-conference games. The hope was that the Huskies would be 5-0 coming out of their non-conference schedule. Last week blew that apart, but they can do just fine with a 4-1 record, unlike 3-2 which isn't a real option if this team wants any chance at a .500 season.\

The game starts at 8. ESPN2 has TV from Rentschler Field. Join us in the comments. Go Huskies.