UConn’s offense is in dire straights after scoring a grand total of zero points against FBS teams three weeks into the season, and have honed in on Noel Mazzone as a potential solution to their offensive woes. The Huskies have hired the coaching veteran to an offensive analyst role, the school announced on Wednesday, hoping he can provided much-needed ideas on that side of the ball.
“I have known Noel for several years and have great respect for him as a person and for his football mind,” Spanos said in a release. “Our entire coaching staff will benefit from his presence and I can’t wait for him to get to work.”
According to the Hartford Courant, Mazzone will be paid a $2,500 stipend for the week of September 14, “providing support to this interim head coach and offensive coordinator.”
The former UCLA, Texas A&M and Arizona offensive coordinator has plenty of work to do on the offensive side of the ball, as UConn’s unit ranks last in the FBS in points per play, 128th in yards per play and 126th in offensive SP+. Even though it’s only been a few days, Mazzone seems to have already made a little bit of an impact on the offensive end.
UConn RB Nate Carter on new offensive analyst Noel Mazzone: “I think he’s been a big help. He’s definitely opening our eyes to how we run things offensively,”— Neill Ostrout (@NeillOstrout) September 15, 2021
Mazzone’s own record has been a roller coaster, to put it lightly. His offenses at UCLA under Jim Mora were surprisingly effective, spent some time as Philip Rivers’ offensive coordinator at North Carolina State and was OC for solid offenses in Arizona State under Dennis Erickson from 2010-11.
But after leaving UCLA, Mazzone was at the helm of uninspiring offenses at Texas A&M and Arizona, infamously attempting to turn Heisman candidate and dual-threat quarterback Khalil Tate into a pure pocket passer and taking the No. 3 offense in the country into the 29th- and 30th-best, per SP+.
Mazzone is known as a quarterback whisperer, reputation gained from his time coaching Philip Rivers, and runs a spread offense with an up-tempto flair and a simplified playbook.