The UConn Huskies are in Dallas to take on SMU in a game where the visitors are heavy underdogs. On the plus side, we’re likely to see the scoreboard light up quite a bit as both teams are much better offensively than defensively.
Offensively, the Huskies will look to get Nate Hopkins and Kevin Mensah involved early and then open things up for Arkeel Newsome and to take some shots deep in the passing game. We know what to expect from Bryant Shirreffs, who has done a nice job of spreading the ball out to a variety of receivers. Today I’m rooting for breakout performances from Tyraiq Beals, Quayvon Skanes and/or Keyion Dixon; it’s only a matter of time.
Defensively, it’d be nice to see some pressure on the passer. If Ben Hicks has time to throw, he’s going to carve up the UConn secondary just like Peter Pujals, Kurt Benkert, and Thomas Sirk did for Holy Cross, UVA, and ECU. If the defense takes a big step forward it would go a long way towards the Huskies’ upset bid.
This is the open thread. Feel free to give us your pre-game predictions in the comments. Also, for those who may not be able to tune in on ESPNews, we’re going to be dropping live updates and assorted GIFs in here to keep you up to speed on the action.
UConn Depth Chart vs. SMU
Takeaways from UConn Loss to ECU
SMU Q&A with Underdog Dynasty
Mason Donaldson Emerges at WR After Mayala Injury
Preview: Keys to the Game, By the Numbers
11:24 - UConn received the kick and was marching down the field in a good rhythm before stalling in SMU territory. Michael Tarbutt missed a 44-yard field goal attempt slightly to the right.
8:11 - SMU responded with a 9-play, 74-yard touchdown drive capped off by a Courtland Sutton reception for the score. 7-0 SMU
6:26 - UConn answers back! After a nice third-down conversion by Quayvon Skanes on 3rd and 8, Shirreffs hit Aaron McLean on a quick out and he turned it upfield for a 64-yard touchdown. Tied 7-7
13:43 - Things had calmed down a bit with some defensive stops after UConn tied it, and it looked like UConn had another stop but an SMU drive was kept alive by a roughing the kicker penalty on the punt. Xavier Jones ran it in from 25 yards out to make it 14-7 SMU.
12:05 - UConn responds with a 42-yard field goal from Michael Tarbutt. 14-10 SMU
7:31 - 80-yard touchdown drive for SMU with Hicks hitting Trey Quinn for 21 yards to reach paydirt. 21-10 SMU
END 1st HALF
9:31 - Touchdown UConn! Nate Hopkins runs it in on 4th & 2 to cut the lead down to four. UConn had 1st & goal, but then moved back on two straight plays leading to a 3rd and 16. Shirreffs hit Aaron McLean for 14 yards and Edsall decided to go for it. 21-17 SMU
3:01 - UConn gets another stop, moves 60 yards down the field and stalled right at the goal line. Field goal from Tarbutt has us at 21-20 SMU.
0:14 - SMU mounts a much-needed 7-play, 73-yard drive and Hicks hit Quinn again for the score. 28-20 SMU
14:51 - TOUCHDOWN UCONN. Bryant Shirreffs hits Keyion Dixon deep for a 59-yard touchdown. Tyler Davis went up and over his defender to get the two-point conversion and THIS GAME IS TIED, 28-28.
11:46 - 34-yard touchdown pass to Courtland Sutton makes it 35-28, SMU
(Two more SMU touchdowns, we collapsed)
FINAL: SMU 49 - UConn 28