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UConn football vs. Army Black Knights: How to watch, by the numbers, what to watch for

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The Huskies take on a fellow independent that boasts one of the best rushing attacks in the country.

Western Kentucky v Army Photo by Edward Diller/Getty Images

KICKOFF: 12:00 P.M. ET

TV: CBS Sports Network

ANNOUNCERS: Jason Horowitz (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: Mike Crispino (play-by-play), Wayne Norman (color analyst), Adam Giardino (sideline), Bob Joyce (pregame host)

RECORDS: UConn (0-3), Army (2-0)

LAST WEEK: UConn was shutout by Purdue, 49-0; Army took down Western Kentucky, 38-35

POINT SPREAD: Army -34.5

OVER/UNDER: 48.5

SERIES HISTORY: The UConn Huskies and Army Black Knights will meet for the eighth time on the gridiron. The Huskies hold a 5-2 advantage.

DEPTH CHART: UConn; Army

OPPONENT PREVIEW: Army

WEATHER FORECAST: West Point, NY


Fun With Numbers

694 - The number of days between UConn football wins (as of game day)

11 - Consecutive wins by Army at Miche Stadium

129 - UConn’s ranking in the SP+ (out of 130)

140 - Miles between the Burton Family Football Complex and Miche Stadium

298.5 - Average number of rushing yards by Army through two games.


What to watch for

Mazzone’s impact

Athletic director David Benedict brought in Noel Mazzone to serve as an offensive analyst this week. Mazzone spent decades as Power 5 offensive coordinator, most recently at UCLA, Texas A&M and spent 2019 and 2020 at Arizona. Anyone that has watched even a few snaps this season knows the Huskies’ offense is bad — it ranks last in FBS in points per play and 126th in offensive SP+ — but here’s hoping Mazzone, who as of now is only on the staff for the remainder of this week, was able to make a few tweaks to help the offense score its first touchdown of the season against an FBS opponent.

Quarterback questions

So far, the biggest change Lou Spanos has made as interim head coach was to put Steven Krajewski under center instead of opening day starter Jack Zergiotis. The results were mixed to say the least, but Krajewski showed enough promise to probably get another game as the starting quarterback. Spanos doesn’t necessarily feel the same though — he didn’t confirm Krajewski would start on Saturday despite being listed as the starter on the depth chart. If Krajewski doesn’t go, one presumes Zergiotis would get the first crack, but he’s listed as the backup alongside redshirt junior Micah Leon and freshman Tyler Phommachanh. It’s not impossible to think that UConn may trot out their third and possibly fourth quarterbacks of the season in this game, the Huskies’ fourth of 2021.

Set the tone, but keep it going

For as bad as UConn has been already this season, they have been able to get out to strong starts. While the Huskies have been outscored 94-0 by FBS opponents this year, they’ve given up only 14 of those points in the first quarter, one touchdown in each of the two games. If UConn can stay in it after the first 15 minutes against Army, they’ll need to make the necessary adjustments to ensure they don’t get burned in the final 45 minutes like they have all season. That’s a tall but attainable task for a UConn defense going up against run-heavy team designed to break opponents down with long, sustained drives.

Army’s offensive onslaught

There’s no other way to put it - Army is one of the most dynamic offenses in the country. While the Black Knights do most of their damage on the ground with a triple-option offense executed with literal military precision, Army takes advantage of teams constantly guessing run with a handful of play action passes for big gains. The Black Knights currently rank seventh nationally with 298.5 ground yards per game and average just under 100 passing yards per game. UConn isn’t great against the run, ranking 100th nationally in rushing defense, but the Army offense serves as a major test for defensive tackle Travis Jones, who could easily become a first or second-day draft pick with a strong performance this season.