According to a Board of Trustees Document, UConn football has added Clemson to its 2021 football schedule. The Huskies will travel down to South Carolina to take on the Tigers on September 11, 2021 and receive a $1,200,000 payout for the game.
Luckily, the game is still five seasons away as Clemson is the reigning national champion and UConn’s still trying to clean out the stench of Bob Diaco’s fishcake.
If all goes well and Randy Edsall is still under the helm, UConn might be able to keep it competitive with the Tigers. Barring some major changes at either school, it’s unlikely this would be a very winnable game for the Huskies but hopefully they’ll be improved to the point where headlines won’t be saying “Clemson Scored Again” the next day.
The Huskies have pulled off some big non-conference wins in the past. Here are some of the biggest non-conference regular season wins from the first Randy Edsall era.
Nov 23, 2002 vs Iowa State (W 37-20)
UConn closed out the season in style, winning the last four games to finish 6-6 while scoring 199 points in that span, more than the 2016 team scored all season long.
The win over Iowa State also marked the Huskies’ first victory over a bowl-eligible opponent, as the Cyclones went on to play Boise State in the Humanitarian Bowl.
The Husky offense was clicking as then-sophomore QB Dan Orlovsky threw for 233 yards and three touchdowns. Running back Terry Caulley picked up 191 yards on 32 carries along with a touchdown of his own. The defense did their part as well, forcing four turnovers on the day.
Aug 30, 2003 vs Indiana (W 34-10)
The Huskies opened Rentschler Field with a bang, taking down a Big 10 opponent with ease in front of a nearly sold out crowd. While they were still a year away from joining the Big East, it was the first major milestone in joining the FBS.
Terry Caulley had a legendary game that included a run where he was “Still on his feet!” and a 43-yard touchdown en route to 166 yards on 22 carries. Orlovsky threw for 307 yards and a trio of touchdowns.
Even though Indiana was BAD that season, Rentschler Field was still christened with a victory of a Big Ten team, something many believed was impossible.
Sep 19, 2008 vs Baylor (W 31-28)
On the surface, beating a Baylor squad that finished just 4-8 by three points doesn’t seem like a big victory. However, the Bears’ starting quarterback that day was Robert Griffin III, a future Heisman Trophy winner and No. 2 overall draft pick. After falling to the Huskies, Griffin had high praise for the Rentschler Field crowd:
When we played at UConn my freshman year, that was the loudest place I've ever been as a football player. The stands are right next to the field, it was packed, and everyone was yelling. That was probably the coolest place for me to play at aside from Texas, Texas A&M, and Nebraska.
Donald Brown ran for 150 yards and two touchdowns but Jordan Todman also got a few carries. Perhaps the most unique stat was Darius Butler, yes the current NFL cornerback, had two catches for 24 yards.
Nov 21, 2009 at Notre Dame (W 33-30)
Without a doubt, UConn’s victory over Notre Dame stands as the greatest in program history. Not only did the Huskies defeat the most famous and decorated school in college football history on the road but it was the team’s first victory after Jasper Howard’s tragic death.
After the game, U-C-O-N-N chants echoed around Notre Dame Stadium as an emotional Randy Edsall exclaimed “Jazz this is for you.”
The Huskies went on to win four in a row to close out the season, ending with a big win over South Carolina in the Papajohns.com Bowl.
Which games do you think are the biggest non-conference games in program history? Comment below!