First Half Recap:
UConn is struggling in a few respects but they're competing well against a shifty Army team.
The first drive didn't get off to a good start, as Bryant Shirreffs pulled down to run on 3rd and 6 and fumbled while diving forward to gain extra yards. The Huskies defense would do a good job of limiting the Black Knights to a field goal on the ensuing drive.
UConn then drove down to Army's 6-yard line, aided by a 34-yard completion to Thomas Lucas, a short pass to Joshua Marriner resulting in 17 yards, and a pass interference penalty on a deep attempt to Noel Thomas.
Army took a 10-3 lead after quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw took a run down the middle 56 yards for a touchdown. UConn responded with a 90-yard touchdown drive capped off by a 10-yard scamper by Arkeel Newsome. Bryant Shirreffs ran the ball a couple of times for nice gains on that drive, and continued to demonstrate an ability to make something out of nothing when things broke down int he passing game. Unfortunately, UConn missed the extra point so the score was 10-9 in favor of Army.
Noel Thomas was involved early and often for the Huskies. He ended the half with 3 receptions for 68 yards, including two big gains on UConn's final drive before the half. Those plays helped the Huskies make it 12-10 before the half ended. Thomas was targeted on a couple of plays which ended with pass interference calls and another catch early that was technically a rushing attempt.
Overall, it was a decent first half for the Huskies but offensive line play needs to improve, both in pass-blocking and in the running game. Unlike last week, though, they take a lead into the halftime break. Hopefully they can hold on to it.
This is a new feeling.
For the first time in a really long time, we aren't heading into a UConn football game with a horrible fear of what will go wrong. In fact, there is reason for confidence.
UConn beat Villanova much more comfortably than the 5-point deficit might indicate. Offensively, they did it by rushing the football, running a diverse array from plays from a few simple formations primarily featuring two tight ends. The line had its breakdowns, but overall did a very good job. The Huskies were able to convert many short-yardage situations, blocking well even when the defense was expecting run. Tommy Myers emerged as a tall and strong receiving threat at tight end.
Defensively, the Huskies prevented big plays and showed discipline in containing dual-threat quarterback John Robertson. The interior defensive linemen did a great job of blowing up blockers and linebackers Junior Joseph, Graham Stewart, and hybrid Luke Carrezola made plays all over the field as a result. UConn might be seeing more of Matt Walsh this week, according to Jim Fuller of the New Haven Register, as the Hand-Madison product has been getting increased time with the first-team defense.
The stout defense and solid offense should continue against Army, where UConn will have a considerable size advantagein the trenches on both sides of the ball.
A win would give UConn its first 2-0 start since 2008. Villanova presented a very strong test to open the season- one which the Huskies passed. F+/ rating suggest Army is a weaker opponent than Villanova, so UConn should be able to take care of business at home if they are indeed the team which we saw last Thursday.
This is the open thread, where Husky fans near and far are encouraged to share their commentary in a safe place (mostly) free of internet trolls. You can also use a fun and nifty tool called the Gif Oracle by simply typing "@oracle gif me [category]" this can be done in the comments section of any article, but can be especially fun during games.
Prediction: UConn wins 24-13 - share your prediction in the comments while we wait for kick-off!