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TheOpenThread: UMass Minutemen vs. UConn Huskies

It's back folks. Football is really back, and I don't know about you but I feel like my usual optimism is actually deserved this year -- or at least as deserved as it can be until we figure out if we have a quarterback. We've written a lot in the last day or two so let's hit some links to start off:

  • Here's our rundown of the offense. Short version? If Chandler Whitmer is good things I'll be happy. If Chandler Whitmer is bad things I will be very, very, very unhappy.
  • And here's our take on the defense. Short version? We're excited.
  • We broke down the schedule here and had you vote on it (do that if you haven't yet). As of this writing the poll results are stunningly acceptable and you should be commended for that. You're all lovely and smart.
  • Frank from UMass74 stopped by to break down the Minutemen for us. You can find that here. Quick summary: they're breaking in a new offense and hope to stay competitive, but Frank thinks UConn is at least two touchdowns better.
  • Also, our Pick'Em is back. Like last year it's free and there are prizes. Sign up ASAP because it includes some games from tonight.
  • Finally, we've got a primer welcoming you back for what is now the FIFTH season we've existed. We're thrilled to have you and like I said in the primer if you've been lurking tonight would be a perfect time to join us in the comments. It's more fun that way.

As for the game? I think UConn should win easy. Vegas has the Huskies as 3TD+ favorites, which might be a bit of a stretch but isn't unreasonable. The defense should be able to dominate a UMass team that will be overmatched just about everywhere. The same goes for the offense. So what should you look for? Obviously everyone's eyes will be on Whitmer and his brand new crew of receivers. They should be able to move the ball against UMass no matter what, so keep an eye on precision. Is he hitting his guys in stride? Does everyone seem to be in synch? If not, that's a bad sign.

The game kicks off at 7:30. SNY and ESPN3 have your TV coverage. This is your OpenThread so join us in the comments. Go Huskies.