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UConn football vs. Houston Cougars: How to watch, by the numbers, what to watch for

It’s Senior Day for the UConn football team in the final game of the 2021 season.

NCAA Football: Memphis at Houston Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

TIME: 12:00 p.m.

TV: CBS Sports Network

ANNOUNCERS: Jason Knapp (play-by-play), Ross Tucker (color analyst), Tina Cervasio (sideline)

RADIO: UConn IMG Radio Network; Varsity Network App; 97.9 ESPN Hartford, WINE 940 AM, WGCH 1490 AM, WICC 600 AM, WAVZ 1300 AM, WATR 1320 AM WILI 1400 AM and 95.3 FM

ANNOUNCERS: Bob Joyce (play-by-play), Ben Darnell (color analyst), Adam Giardino (sideline)

RECORDS: UConn (1-10), Houston (10-1)

LAST WEEK: UConn defeated by UCF, 49-17. Houston beat Memphis, 31-13

POINT SPREAD: Houston -32.5

OVER/UNDER: 54

SERIES HISTORY VS UCONN: The UConn Huskies and Houston Cougars have met three times previously with the Cougars holding a 2-1 advantage.

DEPTH CHART: UConn; Houston

OPPONENT PREVIEW: Houston

WEATHER FORECAST: East Hartford, CT

Fun With Numbers

765 - The number of days between UConn football wins vs FBS teams (as of game day)

1505 - The number of days between UConn football wins vs FBS teams at Rentschler Field (as of game day)

2 - Number of kickoff returns for touchdowns by Brian Brewton this season. The last time it was done was in 2010 when Nick Williams also did it twice.

112 - Total tackles by Jackson Mitchell, which is eighth-best in the country

10.2 - Tackles per game by Mitchell, which is eighth-best in the country

4 - Blocked punts by Houston which leads the country

5 - Blocked kicks by Houston which is second-best in FBS

6 - Houston is one of six schools ranked in the top 20 of the AP Poll in football and basketball. The others are Alabama, Baylor, Michigan, Ohio State, and Oregon

What To Watch For

In a completely forgettable year for UConn football, the team will spend the weekend of the year where the majority of teams face their most hated rivals playing a meaningless game at Rentschler Field against their one-time conference mates Houston.

The two teams have inverted records: UConn is 1-10, Houston is 10-1 and competing for a conference title. The Cougars still have plenty to play for, looking ahead to a conference title tilt against top-5 Cincinnati in both of the programs’ last season in the AAC.

Houston hangs its hat on its elite defense. The Cougars are 31st in the country in defensive SP+ and 10th in yards allowed per game. A lot of that is down to their elite defensive line and pass rush, ranking no. 15 in the nation for sacks per game. All-Conference defensive end Derek Parish anchors the edge-rushing unit, while Atlias Bell and Logan Hall anchor the interior line, both leading the defensive line in run stuffs.

On offense, Houston relies on a balanced rushing and passing attack. Running back Alton McCaskill has taken on the majority of the rushing load, ranking top ten in the country with 15 rushing touchdowns. Houston doesn't totally air it out on offense, but head coach Dana Holgorsen sets up his quarterback Clayton Tune, a 2700-yard passer with 22 touchdowns to just 8 interceptions, for success with RPOs and air raid concepts.

UConn, on the other hand, will continue to start Steven Krajewski in its final game of the season, and Saturday will see their usual running back rotation of Robert Burns, Nate Carter and Kevin Mensah.

Will Houston have a Thanksgiving feast of their own against a prone UConn defense, or get stuffed by the Huskies while looking ahead to the conference championship game? I have a feeling I know the answer, but stranger things have happened.