KICKOFF: 7:00 PM
TV: ESPNU, WatchESPN
ANNOUNCERS: Clay Matvick (play-by-play), Dan Orlovsky (color analyst), Paul Carcaterra (sideline)
ANNOUNCERS: Mike Crispino (play-by-play), Wayne Norman (color analyst), Adam Giardino (sideline)
POINT SPREAD: UCF - 24
Fun with Numbers:
12 - UConn is 12-3 in home openers at Rentschler Field.
74 - The most even match-up on the field today will be when a potentially okay Husky offense (ranked 74th in S&P+ last year, could be slightly better this year) goes up against a middle-of-the-road Knights defense (74th in S&P+ last year, might be slightly worse) that could be vulnerable in the passing game.
13 - UCF brings a 13-game winning streak into Pratt & Whitney Stadium after last year’s 13-0 national championship season.
21 - UCF’s ranking heading into the season, a huge disrespect that UConn might pay for.
120 - This is the 120th season of UConn Football, and hopefully not the last.
8 - UConn has eight players from Florida, including true freshman DBs Jalon Farrell and Keyshawn Paul, who are both on the two-deep. Redshirt senior center Ryan Crozier hails from the Sunshine State as well as does backup quarterback Marvin Washington, a former UCF commit.
0 - Both schools are tied with zero national championships all-time.
What to Watch For
A Solid... UConn... Offense?
As previously mentioned, this is not a bad match-up for the Husky offense. So while we at The UConn Blog have appropriately tempered expectations on the 2018 season as a whole, this side of the ball is definitely worth watching. How will David Pindell look after an up and down 2017? What will John Dunn’s offense look like? How will the split and usage look for running backs Zavier Scott and Kevin Mensah? Does this offense have its act together or does it have a long way to go?
Former Husky star and longtime NFL quarterback Dan Orlovsky is the latest in an awesome wave of UConn grads succeeding in sports media, joining the esteemed company which includes former UConn Bloggers Mac Cerullo and Andrew Callahan. Orlovsky will be making his broadcasting debut on ESPNU at the Rent. He’s going to do amazing.
Many smart people are predicting UCF will win this game. They might be right, but UConn has some things working in its favor. UCF has a new head coach, a championship hangover, and an opponent that is really easy to overlook that might be slightly better than the really bad team most expect it to be.
Moreover, UConn’s offense could be decent, and if they can luck into some turnovers and big special teams plays maybe they can keep it close and pull it off with the home crowd behind them.
Defensive Stress Test
This is a tough situation for a young Husky defense, and it may get ugly. If they can prevent it from getting hideous, that’d be a nice sign of progress and hope for better games down the road.