Sorry for the delay, I went to this game in the stands so didn’t have my normal gameday note-taking capabilities.
UConn’s win over Virginia certainly doesn’t inspire confidence in this Husky team's ability to win eight or more games, but once again credit to Bob Diaco and the players for battling back from a deficit and capturing the victory.
Here are the key takeaways from Saturday’s game.
The Offense Is Trying
It’s work in progress, but we saw a lot more four-wide and shotgun from the Husky offense than before. Though Diaco and offensive coordinator Frank Verducci have wanted the offense to look a certain way, with a run-heavy pro-style approach, they seem to be open to the idea of changing it based on what has done well. That is good.
There may be a learning curve, but ultimately opening up the UConn offense and finding more and better ways to quickly get the ball into playmakers’ hands is the way to go. This season’s success will be determined by the offense’s ability to step up. How quickly the offense can find a groove in this revised scheme will be the key, especially with three tough games coming after Syracuse, at Houston, at home against Cincinnati, and on the road against USF.
The outcome of all three games so far has been determined on the final play, which isn’t what you want to see against Maine, or even Virginia, but isn't bad for a road game against Navy. Though it has had fans angry through three quarters and on the edge of their seats for the fourth, the players are developing a comfort in these situations which will serve them well across the season.
The Defense Is On Track
It got off to a really bad start on Saturday, with Virginia seemingly moving the ball at will early on, but the defense pitched a shutout in the second half and made stops when needed. When you take out the defensive touchdowns scored by Maine and Navy, UConn has allowed 21 and 14 points before holding UVA to 10. The Syracuse offense will certainly be a challenge, but Diaco's defense has been playing well.
Puyol and Battery Cold As Ice
Kicker Bobby Puyol has been in some critical situations already and seems to be up for the task. His long snapper and holder, true freshman Nick Zechinno and Tyler Davis, have been cool under pressure as well.
So far Puyol has knocked in kicks from 43, 38 and 37 yards out in key moments without any difficulty. All three of those field goals gave UConn the lead and two of those were game-winners. Puyol took home AAC Special Teams Player of the Week for his efforts against UVA.
Did we miss anything? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!