TIME: 12:00 PM
TV: ACC Network
ANNOUNCERS: Wes Durham (play-by-play), Roddy Jones (color analyst), Taylor Davis (sideline)
ANNOUNCERS: Mike Crispino (play-by-play), Wayne Norman (color analyst), Adam Giardino (sideline), Bob Joyce (pregame host)
RECORDS: UConn (1-8), Clemson (6-3)
LAST WEEK: UConn has been off the past two weeks. Clemson beat Louisville, 30-24.
POINT SPREAD: Clemson -41
SERIES HISTORY: The UConn Huskies and Clemson Tigers have never met on the gridiron.
OPPONENT PREVIEW: Clemson
WEATHER FORECAST: Clemson, SC
Fun With Numbers
1.2 Million - Number of dollars UConn is being paid to play Clemson
750 - The number of days between UConn football wins vs FBS teams (as of game day)
1491 - The number of days between UConn football wins vs FBS teams at Rentschler Field (as of game day)
99 - Total tackles by Jackson Mitchell, which is fourth-best in the country
11.0 - Tackles per game by Mitchell, which is third-best in the country
775 - A win over UConn would give Clemson 775 wins as a program, which would make them the 14th team to accomplish the feat
14 - Number of offensive touchdowns surrendered by the Clemson defense in nine games (12 have come in regulation)
2 - Players from Connecticut on Clemson roster (Taisun Phommachanh (Stratford) and Tré Williams (Windsor))
3 - Players from South Carolina on UConn roster (Marquayveon Evans (Chester, SC), Dal’mont Gourdine (North Charleston, SC) and Eric Watts (Sumter, SC)
What to watch for
While UConn interim head coach Lou Spanos told the media after their most recent game that the Huskies’ myriad problems would be all but solved by the end of their double-bye week, it’s a tall order to do it against their opponents this week.
Clemson might not be having the best season in their history, but UConn still has an uphill battle this weekend away from home.
The Tigers are having their worst season in nearly ten years, currently 6-3 with losses to Pitt and North Carolina State and a tough loss to Georgia (keeping within a score’s defense of the Dawgs is impressive in retrospect; no other team has come close to that all year.
Their offense has been well below average, and they’ve yet to prove that they can move the ball on the ground or through the air, scoring more than 21 points exactly three times this year, once against an FCS school.
Quarterback DJ Uigalelei has been inconsistent all year, averaging just 5.3 yards per pass attempt, and has not looked impressive on the run either, averaging under 150 rushing yards per game.
At least in the past three years, if any defense could kickstart an ailing offense, it would be UConn’s. They’ve given up over 300 yards of total offense all but once this year, in their only win vs. Yale, but the statistics like them and they’re up to 124th in defensive SP+ from 129th earlier this season, so that’s something!
So, who wins in the battle of stoppable (relative to recent history) force vs. very movable object? If history is any indication, not UConn. Three of their last four opponents gained over 400 yards of total offense, and with Clemson’s superior athletes on offense, it shouldn’t be too much of a task to just run right over them.
Jim Mora, UConn’s new head coach, will be on the sidelines for the first time on Saturday, getting a firsthand look at the proceedings. His former offensive and defensive coordinators, Noel Mazzone and Lou Spanos at UCLA, have been with the Huskies for around half of the season, and should be able to get him up to speed fairly quickly on the roster.
Mora will have to re-recruit most of the roster, especially with the advent of the transfer portal and now that players don’t have to sit out a season before transferring. One player Mora will have to work his hardest to keep on the roster is quarterback Tyler Phommachanh. The program announced that he would remain out for the rest of the season on Tuesday, but with only one more game to play before burning his redshirt, that conclusion was all but foregone.