KICKOFF: 3:30 p.m.
TV: CBS Sports Network
ANNOUNCERS: Chris Lewis (play-by-play), Robert Turbin (color analyst), Keiana Martin (sideline)
ANNOUNCERS: Bob Joyce (play-by-play), Wayne Norman (color analyst), Adam Giardino (sideline)
RECORDS: UConn (1-5), USF (3-4)
LAST WEEK: UConn was off last week; USF was spanked at home by FAU, 56-14
POINT SPREAD: USF -2.5
OVER/UNDER: 54 (odds via DraftKings)
SERIES HISTORY: UConn and USF have met 17 previous times. The Bulls hold a 12-5 advantage. They last played in 2019 when USF beat the Huskies, 48-22, at the Rent.
WEATHER FORECAST: East Hartford, CT
Fun With Numbers
8: USF has won the last eight matchups against UConn dating back to 2012.
16: While members of the old Big East and the AAC, USF, and UConn met 16 times.
7: Justin Joly had a career-high seven catches for a career-high 96 yards in the win over Rice.
5: UConn defensive lineman Jelani Stafford leads the Huskies with five touchdowns.
55: Jackson Mitchell has 55 tackles for UConn which leads the team. His average of 9.2 tackles per game ranks him 21st nationally.
6: In their first four games, the Huskies had forced just one turnover. In their last two games, they have forced five, which includes a +5 margin in the last two games.
2: USF is second in the country in plays per game. They go fast.
506: QB Byrum Brown is USF’s leading rusher with 506 yards and 7 touchdowns on the ground to go with 1662 passing yards and 12 passing TDs on the season.
What to Watch For
The UConn-USF rivalry has been known for having plenty of legendary moments. They aren’t legendary in the traditional “what a good display of football!” sense but rather for being emblematic of the insanity and unfiltered stupidity that is college football.
In that respect, this was a perfect rivalry. USF winning the last eight meetings has put a damper on the previously back-and-forth nature of this series, which was at 6-5 at the time I wrote the article linked above. This game presents a chance for the Huskies to get another win against an AAC opponent after beating Rice last week, and also get a win streak going for the season.
Containing Byrum Brown
A true dual-threat QB, Brown could cause a lot of problems for UConn, whose defense has had trouble with mobile quarterbacks.
The Husky defense needs to show improved discipline to keep Brown in check and also prevent him from going over the top in the passing game. Head coach Jim Mora has said the Bulls like to go deep about eight or nine times per game. This will be a good opportunity for Jackson Mitchell to lead UConn to a win with some big plays, the Huskies will need them.
UConn running backs, go!
USF has allowed over 200 yards rushing in each of its last three games. This should be great news for Victor Rosa and Cam Edwards, UConn’s promising backfield duo. Rosa is the proven feature back with Edwards spelling him and DT Jelani Stafford available for goal-line situations. Behind the Huskies’ powerful O-line, UConn needs to get the run game going but also manage it creatively since opposing defenses are expecting it.
Can Roberson keep it going?
Ta’Quan Roberson has had two straight good games, completing over 70 percent of his pass attempts with four touchdowns through the air and numerous big plays. He’s finding Cam Ross deep and hitting Justin Joly frequently, while also finding Brett Buckman to be a reasonably dependable target. He’s also more than capable of making plays with his legs, either when scrambling or on designed runs, though we’ve seen less of that lately.
Roberson also changed his jersey number to “1” which is in honor of his mother, who died when he was four years old, as Roberson told former Husky football player John Robinson on his podcast. He had worn 1 through his entire athletic career before college, and when it became available this season he jumped on the opportunity.
The redshirt junior seems to have found his groove. If he can keep this up, that’ll be good for UConn’s desire to keep bowl hopes alive and also take some positive momentum into the season’s biggest game, at Boston College.