It is football law: the quarterback will receive disproportionate blame when things go badly, and will likely receive disproportionate credit when things go well. This is perhaps an instance of the latter.
Redshirt senior Chandler Whitmer, the oft-maligned quarterback who decided to stay at UConn for his final college season, earns our Player of the Game award after his performance last night on the road against ECU. Whitmer ran the no-huddle at times in our pass-happy attack with relative poise and aplomb, empowered by the slightly better protection afforded to him by the offensive line. In interviews he indicated how much fun he was having playing this style of football, and it showed in the Huskies' best offensive performance of the year.
He finished the day with 303 yards on 18/30 attempts (60%) and two touchdowns through the air. He took multiple shots deep, completing passes for gains of 88, 43, 37, and 32 yards. He also added a gritty rushing touchdown on a goal-line QB sneak, and delivered a great flying block after running back Ron Johnson reversed course on a run.
Chandler Whitmer has been a popular target of criticism given UConn's poor offensive performance, with many calling for Tim Boyle to start, but last night he showed that he can run an offense and make things happen. Despite losing his best target in Geremy Davis, who left the game with an ankle injury, Whitmer trusted the younger receivers to make plays and gave them the opportunity to do so by putting the ball in the right spot. It was downright heartwarming to see UConn's offense take so many shots downfield, when was the last time we saw that happen?
Crack one open @droppindimes_10, you earned it.
- Deshon Foxx - the senior receiver had 4 catches for 120 yards and a touchdown, including an 88-yard touchdown which was the longest passing play by a UConn offense in ten years. Averaging nearly 11 yards on each of his other receptions, Foxx made every touch count last night.
- The defense - 31 points and 500+ yards is a lot, but the Husky defense did a great job of containing ECU's potent attack. If it weren't for the offense fizzling out towards the end of the game, the defense probably would have been rested enough to make the requisite stops in crunch time. As it played out, the Pirates ran 100 plays, which must have been exhausting for the defenders. HCBD noted that it was basically like defending two games' worth of plays. Considering the loss of Byron Jones and the inexperience of the secondary, this defense can definitely help us win a surprising game this year against either Cincinnati, Memphis or UCF.
Check out our post-game recap with Mark Rogers TV!