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UConn football 2019 season preview: The long road back

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Everything you need to prepare for UConn’s final season in the AAC.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

The start of UConn’s 2019 football season is just nine days away. Thanks to some real-life conference realignment news this summer, the season will have some interesting subplots as the Huskies complete their final year as members of the American Athletic Conference.

Unfortunately, expectations are low at the moment. Heading into year three of the Randy Edsall Reclamation Project, there is not much reason to expect anything to be significantly better than last year’s one-win performance, or the previous season’s three-win campaign.

Last year, a great senior quarterback propped up an inconsistent offense and the defense was one of the worst in college football history. The offense will almost definitely take a step back with David Pindell gone and the defense will be hard-pressed to improve enough to make up for that loss.

If you look really hard, there are some signs of progress. Edsall has recruited talented players, like defensive tackle Travis Jones, who are mostly still underclassmen but getting valuable reps. The staff also brought in transfers and junior college players, like linebackers DJ Morgan and Dillon Harris, who will be playing key roles this season.

While expectations are low, Randy Edsall needs to prove this program is heading in the right direction in 2019. His job doesn’t depend on it, but fans can only tolerate so much non-competitive football.

This year’s schedule is going to be a challenging one. We’ve got a preview coming in the next few days for each FBS opponent. By our unofficial measurement, here’s how they shake out:

Really Should Win

Wagner

Possibly Winnable

UMass - Huskies looking for revenge in Amherst

East Carolina - Rebuilding team with new head coach visits The Rent late in the season

Navy - Downtrodden Midshipmen will still test UConn at home

Not Likely But Plausible

Illinois - Not the scariest team from the Big Ten to be visiting the Rent

Tulane - The Green Wave rising in the AAC West

Temple

Almost Certain Loss

Indiana - A strong running game and suspect defense, but still comfortably better than UConn

UCF, USF, Cincinnati - The AAC East Heavyweight preview

Houston - A powerful offense will probably be enough to cover up a defense in transition

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

We’ll also be previewing every UConn position group:

Offensive line - Possibly the rock of the offense

Quarterbacks - Mike Beaudry named starting quarterback

Pass-catchers - Almost completely new faces at WR and TE

Running backs - A key part of the offense

Defensive front seven - The reason we have hope for defensive improvement

Defensive backs - Should be better, we hope

Special teams - All hail Luke Magliozzi

Our football coverage will be spearheaded by Luke Swanson, recently of the Daily Campus, along with myself, Daniel Connolly and Dan Madigan. Ian Bethune will be on the photo and video, as always. Feel free to reach out to any of us on Twitter or in the comments section with feedback, requests, or hate mail!