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Towson 33 - UConn 18: An Unmitigated Disaster

A season opening loss to an FCS opponent was the last thing UConn needed

This is the face of a dead man walking.
This is the face of a dead man walking.
Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

You wake up in the morning, go out and grab some cider doughnuts and show up to work in a great mood because, despite all the crap that's happened over the past few months, football season is here and your team will finally have a chance to put all the negativity behind them and move forward on a positive note.

And then you lose to Towson.

You have high hopes for your team, which despite the continued employment of Paul Pasqualoni, returns plenty of experience on both sides of the ball and is expected to implement the type of high-tempo offense that fans have been clamoring for years.

But then you lose to Towson.

Your team has been trapped in a seemingly unending vortex of negativity for the past two and a half years, during which time it finished 5-7 in back-to-back years, fielded an unwatchable offense and saw just about every one of its conference rivals move on to new and better homes, leaving it behind stuck with a bunch of outcasts. National pundits routinely belittle and mock your team and its new conference, and the only way to change that narrative is to come out of the gates hot and win football games.

So of course, you go out and lose the first game to f***ing Towson.

I really don't know what to say about last night, other than that it was an unmitigated disaster, a dumpster fire, a train wreck and every other analogy you could possibly come up with. UConn lost 33-18 to an FCS opponent, and while I'm normally not one for hyperbole, I feel confident in saying that this was the worst loss in UConn football history, and it's really not even close.

UConn is trying to change the perception that it's an inferior football school and that it deserves a spot in a conference like the ACC or the Big Ten, so obviously going out and losing to an FCS team to start the year is not going to help UConn's case.

And worse yet, Towson dominated UConn in every facet of the game right from the get go. They ran the ball all over UConn, completed short, medium and deep passes whenever they wanted, and they absolutely crushed UConn's offensive line. Chandler Whitmer had some quality throws, but it seemed like every other play he was running for his life the moment he had the ball in his hands.

Even more discouraging is that it looks as if there has been little improvement in any of the areas that sunk the Huskies last year. The offensive line still can't block, the secondary still gives up big plays, the offense still can't convert on 3rd down, and in the midst of a late rally, they still find a way to make a backbreaking mistake that puts the game out of reach.

There were a handful of bright spots. Overall I thought Geremy Davis and Shakim Phillips both played well, and Obi Melifonwu had a solid first game at safety. Most importantly, even if the Huskies couldn't get much going on offense, at least you could tell they were trying new things. You had some no huddle, some empty backfield sets and some deep passes, and mercifully the old run-on-first-down-every-time strategy was nowhere to be found. Unfortunately, the players couldn't execute for most of the game, and by the time they started to get things going, it was already too late.

I could comb through the numbers and give you a whole list of nauseating statistics, but the one that really leaves me at a loss is this. Towson had possession of the ball for 36:23, while UConn only held the ball for 23:37. Let me repeat, Towson controlled the ball for nearly an entire quarter longer than UConn. That is absolutely unacceptable. If you didn't know better, you'd probably have thought UConn was the FCS team based on those numbers.

Bottom line, if this isn't rock bottom for the Huskies, then I shudder to think of what is. The team will have two weeks to digest this catastrophe, and if they have any sense of pride whatsoever, they will learn from it and make damn sure that when Randy Edsall and Maryland come to town on Sept. 14, they're ready to play.

And if they're not? Well... I don't think coach Pasqualoni's hot seat could possibly get any hotter at this point no matter what happens next. I guess if there's any positive UConn fans can take from last night, it's this. After that loss, there's no way Pasqualoni keeps his job past this year. He's finished, and while Warde won't fire him midseason, he's a dead man walking, and the next 11 games should serve to represent his slow, painful march to the grave.

Lets just hope he doesn't end up dragging UConn down there with him.