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College Football Satur-Freude

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The Huskies may not have been in action, but there was still plenty to cheer about Saturday.

NCAA Football: Middle Tennessee at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The UConn Huskies’ game against No. 21 South Florida was canceled due to Hurricane Irma, but that doesn’t mean Husky fans couldn’t enjoy themselves on Saturday. Three teams who we have a particular disdain for struggled on their way to bad losses and our former head coach continues to flail in tremendous fashion.

More Like Syra-Lose

We’ll start with the Syracuse Orange, a football program which hasn’t been relevant since the Clinton presidency and holds a losing record against UConn. The Orange got the best of the Huskies last year in the two teams’ first gridiron meeting since the Big East breakup, but with a competent coaching staff in place in Storrs, there’s hope Randy and the boys can exact revenge in the return trip next season.

Syracuse opened its season with a big win over Central Connecticut State and had to be feeling pretty good about the possibility of a 3-0 start with Middle Tennessee State (ranked 100th in S&P overall efficiency rankings) and Central Michigan (102nd) visiting in consecutive weeks before a road trip to LSU.

Not so fast, Otto. Middle Tennessee State pulled off the upset in the Carrier Dome, primarily on the back of a strong defensive performance. The cherry on top of this schadenfreude sundae was that the MTSU defense was led by Scott Shafer. That’s right, former Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer.

It’s gonna be a long season for this guy.

Dan Madigan

Rutger

Do you know who isn’t good at collegiate revenue sports? I’ll give you a hint, they won the first college football game ever played and it was basically all downhill from there.

Rutgers football has struggled mightily since joining the Big Ten. What was supposed to be a resurgence of the program driven by improved local recruiting has only led to the likes of Penn State, Maryland, Michigan, and Ohio State doing a much better job tilling New Jersey’s fertile recruiting grounds.

The Scarlet Knights opened their season with a 30-14 loss to Washington, which isn’t all that bad. Washington is a top-10 team and national writers actually had praise for Rutgers’ performance despite the end result. But they rutted hard Saturday with a 16-13 loss to Eastern Michigan in which they trailed the entire way. Rutgers is almost certainly in line for another season of historic losses to teams which are technically in their league, but who they’ll never actually compete with.

Dob Biaco

I honestly believed Bob Diaco was going to do well as a defensive coordinator after being fired by UConn. Despite his disappointing tenure as the Huskies’ head coach, Diaco ran a solid defense in Storrs and, I thought, would probably continue to do so at the major college level like he did in his previous stop at Notre Dame.

So far, it has not been the case.

One week after allowing a 36-point, 497-yard performance at home to the Sun Belt’s Arkansas State, Diaco’s defense gave up 42 points to Oregon... in the first half!

Nebraska trailed 42-14 at the break and, to its credit, rallied to within a score late in the fourth quarter but still ended up taking the loss. Oregon finished with 566 yards of offense.

For those keeping track at home, Bob’s defense is averaging 39 points allowed and 531.5 yards per game and sits 105th in the country with 6.5 yards per play allowed through two games. Luckily, Bob refuses to let your fancy math get in the way of his good time.

Speaking of a good time, Diaco is definitely not having one in the photo above. He may still be cashing checks from UConn larger than most of us will make in our lifetime, but at least we get the pleasure of knowing how truly uncomfortable this year will be for him as pressure mounts across a challenging Big Ten slate.

Boston College Dropped By Chief ACC Rival

Wake Forest and Boston College have a lot in common. They’re small private schools with insufferably pretentious alumni and athletic departments that have no business labeling themselves as “power five” for any reason beyond the fact that they made the right friends at the right time. Their football games have been pretty close over the past few years, highlighted by a 3-0 triumph by the Demon Deacons in their last visit to the outskirts of Boston. It’s quite the budding rivalry.

This year, coming off a promising 7-6 season, it looks like Wake Forest might actually be decent and Boston College... probably is not. Steve Addazio played some of his greatest hits, with “Vanilla play calling that a Pop Warner coach could have called,” as the Eagles offense committed four turnovers which turned out to be the difference in the game.

UConn Football is undefeated.