First Half Recap: Boise State 21, UConn 10
UConn made a bold, respectable decision to take the ball after winning the coin toss today.
Unfortunately, after a UConn first down, the Boise State defense blew through the UConn line on a running play and blasted Arkeel Newsome right after the hand-off, resulting in a fumble and #Scoopandscore. 7-0 Boise State, uh-oh.
UConn took the ball and impressively drove 60 yards down the field, with Whitmer going 4-7 for 56 yards against a vulnerable Bronco secondary. The drive ended with a field goal after a run on 3rd and 10 to make it 7-3.
The Broncos offense was quiet for the rest of the first quarter and into the second as the UConn defense looked great. The Huskies got the ball back with about 12 minutes left and drove down the field on a 42-yard gainer by Deshon Foxx in a drive which ended in passing touchdown (!!!) from Whitmer to true freshman TE Alec Bloom, who made a nice catch in the back of the endzone. UConn was in the lead, 10-7.
Unfortunately, the Husky offense sputtered and the Bronco's eventually found their way. Quarterback Grand Hedrick hit Matt Miller for a 35-yard touchdown with 5 minutes left in the half in what was their first sustained drive of the game. 14-10 Boise State.
After another failed UConn drive, the Broncos took the ball after a shanked punt on the UConn 35. The Huskies had them at 3rd and goal but the Broncos scored on a trick play with Hedrick catching a reverse-pass for the touchdown, making it 21-10, which would be the score going into the half.
UConn held an explosive Boise State offense to 14 points in the first half, and the Broncos needed a late touchdown to even get there. It goes without saying, but fumbling and giving up a touchdown on your opening drive is a back breaker. We can't be doing that.
Outside of that the Huskies really have looked solid. The offense has been able to move the ball, through the air, and the defense has been quite stout. We can't blame the defense for giving up that late touchdown with a short field. The Broncos have 6 sacks in the first half, need to limit that, and we need to get Geremy Davis more involved.
In the second half I'd like to see UConn open it up offensively and see if we can keep it close on the back of our defense, but no matter what I would say this has been a promising half for UConn Football.
This is the last game of the Bob Diaco preparation phase. Hopefully after today Diaco and his staff find out who they can can count on once the AAC schedule starts.
The goal is improvement today, folks. Chandler Whitmer played 100% of the snaps last week against Stony Brook and hopefully he can build on last week's performance. We know what we get with Whitmer, but I'm optimistic Mike Cummings can at least find ways to get the ball into the hands of guys like Geremy Davis and Arkeel Newsome. If the offensive line can show improvement and the return of Andreas Knappe from injury can provide a boost, maybe our quarterback has more time in the pocket than in the past two weeks.
Bob Diaco said earlier this week that Tim Boyle will play. How much remains to be seen, but it should be an interesting facet to keep an eye on today. If we're burning his redshirt anyway, I'd like to see Boyle earn a majority of the snaps over the course of the season.
Defensively, as in most years, UConn has a chance to be pretty solid. The Boise State attack should be a good test for the Husky defense today, but don't hold the final score against them given the situations UConn's offense may put them in. If the defense can frustrate Boise's up-tempo offense and make some stops, I would be very pleased.
This is a really talented and well-coached team we have a chance to see play at the Rent. Hopefully UConn can return the favor when they visit Boise in 2018.