First Half Recap: UConn 17 - UCF 14
I told you!
Under the cold and the rain, UConn is competing their hearts out against UCF and actually has the lead against the 5-2 Knights.
The Huskies powered through the inevitable early turnover, a fumble on failed exchange between Alex Mateas and Chandler Whitmer, and kept UCF relatively in check thanks to some solid defense and a blocked field goal attempt.
Things were looking bleak early on for the Huskies- after the first quarter UConn had gained about 30 yards and couldn't seem to stop the Knights' offense. Luckily, the Knights were not able to capitalize on three redzone chances, only getting one touchdown out of it.
The Huskies' fortunes changed when Deshon Foxx stepped in at quarterback and took a zone-read keeper 68 yards TO THE HOUSE to tie it up at 7.
After another UCF touchdown from running back William Stanback, his second, the Huskies answered back with a touchdown drive of their own capped by a 38-yard touchdown on a beautifully thrown ball from Chandler Whitmer to Noel Thomas to tie things up.
Looking to get into field goal range at the end of the half, UCF was intercepted by Andrew Adams, his second pick, and the Huskies actually turned that into a field goal which brings us to the half where WE ACTUALLY HAVE THE LEAD.
Stanback already has over 100 yards rushing, but the Huskies have a chance here and the offense looks invigorated after the Foxx touchdown.
LET'S GO HUSKIES!!
If today's game with UCF is anything like the game last year, a 62-17 drubbing in Orlando, I am seriously going to regret these words, but I really believe them. Leave it to me to preach patience while we were struggling, but completely overreact once there are signs of progress.
I think UConn can beat Central Florida today.
Check the weather. It's supposed to be a cold, rainy day- the kind where offensive explosion is (hopefully) limited and the warm-weather players struggle in unfamiliar conditions. Weirdly enough, I thought we had a chance even before finding out about the weather.
UConn's offense finally got going last week, and showed they can execute a set of plays which mitigates the weaknesses of the offensive line. The quick pass attack kept the ball out of Chandler Whitmer's hands and for the first time all season into the hands of multiple offensive playmakers -- particularly at wide receiver -- who were able to gain yardage consistently. Once the safeties started anticipating the short passes, we had some opportunities to go deep. If the Huskies can display the same offensive competency, maybe the defense and special teams can add some points of their own and help out in the victory effort.
Our defense is good. I mean really good. ECU ran 100 plays last week, which is absurd, and mostly not the defense's fault. For UConn to hold them to the totals which they did is, believe it or not, quite impressive. They will have their hands full today against a very talented group of wide receivers, but our front seven should be able to stymie the running game, and if they can be disruptive in the passing game it can help out our inexperienced secondary which will be without senior captain Byron Jones for the rest of the season. If they can generate pressure on the Knights' relatively inexperience quarterback, hopefully it can lead to turnovers and easy points.
While the basketball team has "WTF" losses, where we are left thinking to ourselves "How the f*&# did we lose to Houston," UConn Football made a tradition out of "WTF" wins. And we are due. If there was ever a game for UConn to surprisingly pull out a win it would be today against a UCF team which has a history of playing down to their competition. The eventual Fiesta Bowl winners last year almost lost to Temple at home. We can make it happen.
It's Homecoming, and UConn will be unveiling a statue to commemorate Jasper Howard, the cornerback who was senselessly murdered the night of the Louisville Homecoming game in 2009. That season, in the wake of his death, the Huskies went on a streak of heartbreaking losses before beating Notre Dame and making a run to bowl eligibility- beating South Carolina in their bowl game to finish off the season strong. Hopefully these positive vibes can help out the upset bid.
Family and former teammates of @UConnFootball Jasper "Jazz" Howard gather for a photo prior to game with UCF pic.twitter.com/LHm6OWkVCm— Stephen Slade (@ssladephoto) November 1, 2014
We've had limited coverage this past week, and for that I apologize. Last week was a little hectic for me, but we should resume to our normal productivity levels next week.