Week 2 of college football was not a particularly pleasant one for UConn fans, though the team has clearly improved from last year its inability to close out a golden opportunity for a statement win truly stings.
But hopefully like me you will find comfort in the fact that UConn’s next two opponents were blown out this past weekend. Some others around the conference picked up nice wins. Houston and USF are still scary and is East Carolina better than we thought?
Virginia (0-2), L to No. 24 Oregon, 44-26
After losing to Richmond at home in the season opener, Virginia losing at Oregon by a wide margin was hardly a surprise. The Ducks put up over 600 yards of offense on UVA, with an incredible 301 of those coming on the ground. They had the game in the bag by the end of the first half after a 17-point second quarter gave them a 30-6 lead at the break.
New head coach Bronco Mendenhall, who has beaten UConn twice while at BYU, is clearly in the early stages of a rebuild- the “Year Zero” we hear so much about and even experienced ourselves with Bob Diaco’s 2014 season. The Huskies are opening as 6.5-point favorites, according to VegasInsider.com, and should be able to take care of business at home.
Syracuse (1-1), L to No. 13 Louisville, 62-28
Is it hard to win when you host the No. 13 team in the country? I don’t know, why don’t you ask the 2015 Huskies.
Syracuse ran into a buzzsaw at the Carrier Dome as Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson was scoring at will through the ground (199 yards, 4 TD) and the air (411 yards, 1 TD) as the Cardinals blew out the Orange.
Still, Syracuse has some offensive weapons which will definitely challenge UConn. Quarterback Eric Dungey is an athletic passer who is more than capable of being dangerous with his legs. Senior wide receiver Amba Etta-Tawo is a sturdy 6-foot-2 target who could mean trouble for UConn’s seemingly beleaguered secondary.
It will certainly be an interesting matchup when the Orange’s fast-paced attack meets the Husky defense, that’s all we know for sure.
Houston (2-0), W over Lamar, 42-0
It appears the Cougars are still really good at American tackle football.
Cincinnati (2-0), W over Purdue, 38-20
Tommy Tuberville’s Bearcats put on for the #AmericanRising Athletic Conference with another win over a “power five” program, one of two on the week for the AAC. Purdue is not the most powerful team out there, but it was still a solid outing for Cincinnati.
Quarterback Hayden Moore threw for three touchdowns to go along with 250 yards through the air. He also ran for another two scores with 58 yards on the ground. The Bearcats also enjoyed a 5-0 advantage in the turnover battle, with senior safety Mike Tyson making three interceptions in the contest.
It’s going to be a tough one for UConn on Saturday, October 8th at Rentschler Field when the Bearcats come to town, especially if the visitors’ defense is also good.
USF (2-0), W over Northern Illinois, 48-17
The Bulls have a solid hold on their preseason status as the second-best team in the American after another dominant performance this past weekend. Quinton Flowers threw for 350 yards and four touchdowns, adding another 53 on the ground. He also did a great job of spreading the ball out, with five pass-catchers getting three or more receptions.
East Carolina (2-0), W over North Carolina State, 33-30
The Pirates claimed the second power five win of the week for the AAC over one of its many in-state rivals. Quarterback Philip Nelson threw for 297 yards and a touchdown as ECU has now beaten UNC, NC State, and Virginia Tech twice each since 2013. This will be a tough team to beat when the Huskies travel to Greenville, NC for their matchup on Saturday, October 29.
Temple (1-1), W over Stony Brook, 38-0
The Owls redeemed a bad loss to Army in the opening weekend with a win over the FCS Seawolves. PJ Walker threw for three touchdowns and the defense was stifling in the shutout effort. We’ll know a lot more about the Owls after they make a return trip to Penn State after handing the Nittany Lions a beating last season in Philly.
Boston College (1-1), W over UMass
BC beat the closest thing it has to a rival, in football quality, geography, and academic prestige, this past weekend, securing a really important win for the program. While fanfare has all but died for Eagles Football, claiming victory over the team that moved up from FCS in 2011 has buoyed the spirits of a fanbase so desperate for status that they’ve decided to pretend that they’re too good to even care about beating their hated rival.
BC quarterback Patrick Towles threw for 191 yards and two touchdowns, adding 66 rushing yards. His favorite target was sophomore receiver Jeff Smith, who caught both touchdowns in a 98-yard performance.
Tulane (1-1), W over Southern, 66-21
The Green Wave got new head coach Willie Fritz his first career win against an in-state FCS opponent. Behind two 100-yard rushers, and a 400+ yard team rushing performance, Tulane was able to dominate possession and jump out to a 21-0 lead.
For the rebuilding team to take care of business is promising, but Tulane will likely still have a tough go once conference play starts. The Green Wave start with Navy next week.