It was a wild opening weekend of college football. We put together an overview of how UConn’s future opponents did.
South Florida (2-0)
The Bulls have won both of their games by impressive margins, but have started slowly in each contest. Against San Jose State, they gave up 16 unanswered to start the game but scored 28 in the second quarter on their way to a 42-22 victory. This past Saturday, USF trailed FCS Stony Brook 10-7 at the half, ultimately prevailing 31-17 after surviving a competitive second half.
Through two games, the Bulls have three players over 100 yards rushing in running backs Darius Tice (151 yards, 3 TD) and D’Ernest Johnson (114 yards, 2 TD) and quarterback Quinton Flowers (137 yards, 1 TD). Flowers also has 398 passing yards and has thrown four touchdowns to one interception.
The No. 19 Bulls may see a change in their ranking in the next top-25 polls but are likely to be ranked heading into this weekend’s matchup with the Huskies at Pratt & Whitney Stadium in both teams’ conference opener.
UVA won its opener against FCS William & Mary, 28-10. Quarterback Kurt Benkert, who transferred from ECU, threw for 262 yards and three touchdown passes as the Cavaliers comfortably rode to victory. Running back Jordan Hill (20 carries, 80 yards, touchdown) seems to have emerged as the primary ballcarrier.
The Huskies will travel to Charlottesville for their first road game of the season on September 16.
SMU roughed up FCS Stephen F. Austin, 58-14, in its opener. Sophomore Ben Hicks got the start at quarterback, beating out a couple of transfers for the job, although junior D.J Gillens did get a few snaps in, rushing for 34 yards and two touchdowns. The timeshare under center will be interesting to keep an eye on, with Hicks looking like the early leader. This could be a breakthrough season for the Mustangs, who the Huskies will visit on September 30.
Sophomore running backs Patrick Taylor Jr. and Darrell Henderson each rushed for over 100 yards and combined for three touchdowns as the Tigers comfortably dispatched Louisiana Monroe, 37-29. Memphis put up 319 yards on the ground and were plenty stout defensively, as Mike Norvell’s squad held a 37-14 lead going into the 4th quarter. UConn will host Memphis on a Friday night on October 6th at 7 p.m. in a game which will be televised on ESPN.
However, they are led at quarterback by former UConn commit Logan Marchi, who threw for 245 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions. More salt in the wound as the Huskies are still in search of stability under center.
UConn will head to Philly to face Temple on October 14.
Another victim of a beatdown by a top-tier team, Tulsa lost to No. 10 Oklahoma State 59-24. However, they appear to have a strong running game as Corey Taylor II finished with 20 carries for 111 yards (5.6 yards per carry) and two touchdowns while quarterback Chad President ran for 69 yards on eight carries (8.6 ypc).
It’s hard to get the pulse of a team after a game like this, but the Golden Hurricane do appear to be strong offensively, with some questions on defense. They come to Rentschler Field to take on the Huskies on October 21.
When UConn and Mizzou last faced, the Tigers staved off the upset in a defensive battle with a 9-6 win. This season’s meeting projects to have a lot more going offensively.
Mizzou beat Mississippi State in a shootout, 72-43. Quarterback Drew Lock broke the school’s single game record for passing yards (521) and touchdowns (7) while running back Damarea Crockett ran for 202 yards on 18 carries (11.2 ypc) with two touchdowns.
The majority of Lock’s throws came downfield as four receivers finished with over 20 yards per catch, headlined by J’Mon Moore, who caught four passes for 187 yards, good for a ridiculous 46.8 yards per catch.
Members of the Huskies’ secondary are certainly going to have their hands full when the Tigers come to the Rent on October 28.
East Carolina (0-1)
Although it can be easy to get frustrated with UConn’s performance against Holy Cross, it can always be much worse, as AAC #AmericanPow6r member East Carolina reminded us.
Not only did the Pirates fall to an FCS team, they were beaten rather easily by James Madison, 34-14. In fairness, the Dukes are defending national champions and would be a tough out for any Group of 5 team, but East Carolina should have put up a better fight. The Pirates mustered just two touchdowns, both of which came in the second half. They will be traveling from their mythical state to face the Huskies on November 4.
The Knights began their season in explosive fashion, demolishing Florida International, 61-17.
They let the Golden Panthers hang in early. McKenzie Milton threw an interception in the 2nd quarter with UCF up 14-7 but FIU could only manage a field goal and then the Knights dropped 40 unanswered points propelled by three FIU turnovers. Milton finished with 360 passing yards and four touchdowns through the air.
The Knights looked strong in Week 1, albeit against a weak opponent, but should be a pretty challenging contest when the Huskies visit for everyone’s favorite trophy game on November 11 in Orlando.
Boston College (1-0)
Redshirt freshman quarterback Anthony Brown threw for 191 yards and two touchdowns as BC took care of business on the road against Northern Illinois, 23-20. The Eagles avoided overtime when NIU missed a 39-yard field goal with 21 seconds left in the game.
The BC defense performed pretty well against the pass, holding Husky QB Ryan Graham to 15-for-38 passing with 190 yards, but the Huskies’ rushing attack ran for 164 yards, led by Graham’s 99 yards rushing on just 12 attempts. Overall, it was a solid performance for BC on the road against a team which has been known to take down power conference opponents.
Boston College will play UConn at Fenway Park on November 18 at 7 p.m.
The Bearcats struggled offensively in their opener against FCS opponent Austin Peay, but left with a 26-14 win. They gained only 248 yards offensively while the visiting Governors gained 224 rushing yards alone. Cincinnati QB Hayden Moore went 17-for-28 passing with 151 yards and three touchdowns, in a team effort which leaves a lot to be desired.
UConn will play its season finale against the Bearcats on November 25 at Nippert Stadium on the Cincinnati campus.