KICKOFF: 7:00 p.m.
ANNOUNCERS: AJ Ricketts (play-by-play), Corey Brooks (color analyst)
RADIO: UConn IMG Radio Network; Varsity Network App; 97.9 ESPN Hartford, WGCH 1490 AM, WAVZ 1300 AM, WATR 1320 AM, WILI 1400 AM and 95.3 FM, WICH 1310 AM and 94.5 FM
ANNOUNCERS: Mike Crispino (play-by-play), Wayne Norman (color analyst), Adam Giardino (sideline)
RECORDS: UConn (2-4), FIU (2-2)
LAST WEEK: UConn pulled off the upset over Fresno State, 19-14; FIU went on the road to beat New Mexico State, 21-7
POINT SPREAD: UConn - 5
OVER/UNDER: 47.0 (odds via DraftKings)
SERIES HISTORY: The UConn Huskies and FIU Panthers have never met on the gridiron.
PREGAME PRESS CONFERENCE(S): FIU head coach Mike MacIntyre; UConn head coach Jim Mora
WEATHER FORECAST: Miami, FL
Fun With Numbers
1,079: Number of days between FBS wins on the road for UConn
37: Days since FIU has played a home game
3: Number of times UConn will play FIU in the future (2023, 2025, 2027)
66: Overall tackles by Jackson Mitchell, which is second-best in FBS
5: Average number of penalties committed by UConn per game (20th best in FBS)
150+: Number of quarterback Zion Turner’s family and friends expected to attend the game. Turner is from Miami and attended St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Ft. Lauderdale.
31: Games played at FIU by UConn long snapper Tommy Zozus, who transferred after the 2021 season
What to watch for
When UConn has the ball
Against Fresno State, the UConn offense looked mostly the same as it had against Syracuse, Michigan, and N.C. State: A steady diet of running the football combined with screens and short passes. But two crucial drives at the end of each half were spurred on by downfield passing.
The first came in the final drive of the first half, when offensive coordinator Nick Charlton resorted to a double reverse pass to scheme UConn receivers open down the field. To his credit, it worked like a dream. To Zion Turner’s credit, he got a deep ball out to Keven Clercius, setting up a field goal to bring the Huskies within one point at the half.
The second was a deep ball down the left sideline, also caught by Clercius, that set up UConn’s go-ahead score. With the team’s back against the wall, they opened up the offense a bit.
Against FIU they’ll likely look to establish the run again. But to score a convincing victory the Huskies will likely have to throw it down the field just a little bit more. The Panthers have one of the most porous pass defenses in FBS, giving up over 8 yards per pass attempt, and have allowed over 450 yards of total offense in three out of four games in 2022. Playing in front of a lot of family and friends in his home state, Zion Turner will need to bring his A-game. It’d be great if Charlton is willing to air it out.
When FIU has the ball
UConn’s defense dug down and delivered a terrific performance on Saturday night. They kept an FBS opponent under 200 yards of offense for the first time since 2015. UConn was ferocious up front, making Fresno State quarterback Logan Fife uncomfortable in the pocket and making plenty of mistakes. The defensive backs were handed turnover opportunities on a plate, but to their credit, they executed their defensive coverages well enough and were able to seize on them.
The Huskies had six tackles for loss and two sacks, bringing pressure on Fife on 14 dropbacks. Brandon Bouyer-Randle has taken a leadership role on the UConn defense, with four run stops and six tackles on the day. The Huskies will have to keep bringing the heat on FIU’s passing attack, because it’s pretty much all they bring to the table.
The Panthers average under 90 yards per game on the ground, and they’ve relied on quarterback Grayson James to air it out over 37 times a game to generate any type of offense. His main target is junior college transfer Tyrese Chambers, who burst onto the scene in 2021, ranking second in the nation with 23.7 yards per catch and breaking 1,000 yards receiving on the season. He’s been the main man on offense so far with 25 receptions already for 247 yards. Running back Lexington Joseph is the secondary option, with 215 yards of total offense on the season.