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Hot Takes Tuesday: UConn beats Tulane, barely

Here's some quick, kneejerk reactions to UConn's scintillating win over Tulane in the pouring rain.

Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

That was absolutely, and by a wide margin, the most miserable football game I've ever watched

I understand that nobody wants to go see a terrible football team in cold, pounding rain, especially when the much-better local team plays their biggest game of the season soon after, but good gracious, the television cameras showed what appeared to be about three hundred people in the stands for most of the game. A lot of times, the atmosphere at big-time college athletic events can mask a lackluster game. When the atmosphere is suffocating in its silence (think the atmosphere on the moon, or the dust storm in Prometheus), it can affect even those of us watching at home.

The game itself was terrible too, naturally. Yes, UConn earned the win with one great defensive play by Jamar Summers (thanks, Jamar. You are a superhero), but that game was one of those that probably would have been much more fun to watch in a three-minute highlight reel. Or, for this game, 45 seconds.

21 combined punts! 35.6 combined completion percentage! TWO TOTAL SCORING PLAYS! If you want to see the destruction of the college-football-industrial complex, you would have been rubbing your hands in glee while watching the UConn-Tulane game.

Unfortunately, the rest of us probably would have just been happy to have known UConn won after the fact.

Heat of take: Freezing cold; this opinion should be the popular one

Alright, the secondary's much better than I gave them credit for

Forget what I said in this article, please. The secondary is UConn's best defensive unit, even if I still think certain players are a little too inconsistent for my liking, and Jhavon Williams didn't play as well as I thought he would, and Obi Melifonwu isn't a world-shattering superstar (yet). Summers, who (again) single-handedly won the game for UConn on Saturday, is a terrific player, and the unit's all-or-nothing style has led to a lot of big plays against mediocre opposing quarterbacks. This is not a criticism in any way-- this is an acknowledgement that the Huskies secondary is intelligently exploiting an advantage. It doesn't always work in their favor, but it works enough to even out the risk-reward tradeoff.

With all the interceptions the UConn defense has taken away this year, they're generating more, and better, opportunities for a shaky offense. Against Tulane, when the offense was struggling to finish drives (not that I can blame Bobby Puyol for missing field goals under conditions that football is not meant to be played in), causing turnovers was absolutely necessary. The win was possible thanks to the secondary, which is better than I originally said they were, and I am very, very sorry for that.

Heat of take: Warm for me, fairly cold for everyone else

That's the last football game UConn will win this year

Ah, yeah, here's the really unfortunate part. Here's the thing: UConn only has Houston and Temple remaining on their schedule. And both Houston and Temple are very good this year. They're both ranked in the top 25 in the nation. They're much better than UConn.

So yeah, that elusive six-win season to earn bowl eligibility is probably going to have to wait another year. UConn had their chances earlier in the season (they really should not have lost to South Florida, and oh my god just kick the daggone field goal at Missouri and send it into overtime), but they've got two games remaining, and they've got five wins right now.

Trust me, I really, really want UConn to get back into a bowl, as it'd be great for the program, and important for recruiting, and extra bowl revenue definitely couldn't hurt...but yeah. It's not looking great for the Huskies for the rest of the year.

Bright side: this season has already marked a huge step forward for UConn football, and even if they don't make a bowl game in 2015, this season has been an unquestionable success. I'm just not liking their chances of beating either Houston or Temple, because both of those teams are very good.

Heat of take: Not particularly hot, but anything could happen, I guess