2013 Connecticut Spring Football Analysis
Connecticut Huskies 2013 ...
Head Coach: Paul Pasqualoni
Why To Get Excited … George DeLeone is no longer calling plays on offense. DeLeone became a lightning rod for criticism for a necrotic offense that averaged only 17 points per game. In his place steps T.J. Weist, whose eight returning starters are about to get introduced to a far more attacking style of play-calling from its new coach.
| 2013 Schedule|
9/7 OPEN DATE
9/28 at Buffalo
10/5 OPEN DATE
10/19 at Cincinnati
10/26 at UCF
11/2 OPEN DATE
11/16 at SMU
11/23 at Temple
Why To Be Grouchy … the Huskies are losing a ton of talent on defense. Of last season’s five All-Big East performers, only one, LB Yawin Smallwood, is still in Storrs. While Connecticut has developed a tradition of feisty defenses over the past seasons, beleaguered head coach Paul Pasqualoni and his assistants will need to develop new stoppers at each level beginning in the spring.
The Number One Thing To Work On Is … fixing the offensive line. At least three seniors are expected to man the front wall, but a veteran presence guarantees little for this unit. At the heart of last season’s offensive stumbles was an O-line that ranked 100th nationally in sacks allowed, and did a poor job of creating space for RB Lyle McCombs, the team’s top offensive threat.
Team Concerns For 2013: Will the offense ever work? The Huskies averaged a pathetic 17.75 points per game with no running game and way too many turnovers. It all starts with a line that gets four starters back, but has to be far stronger in pass protection. Turnover margin has to start becoming a positive after coming up with a mere six picks and six fumble recoveries. The special teams have to be far stronger, especially on kickoff returns, averaging under 20 yards per try, and punting, averaging under 36 yards per boot.
Non-Conference Games: Towson, Maryland, Michigan, at Buffalo
Realistic Best Case Record: 8-4
Worst Case Record: 4-8
Likely Finish: 5-7
Pre-Preseason Projected Wins: Towson, at Buffalo, at SMU, at Temple, Memphis
Pre-Preseason Projected Losses: Maryland, Michigan, USF, at Cincinnati, at UCF, Louisville, Rutgers
Schedule Analysis: With a big home stretch to start the season, the pressure will be on to beat Maryland after the Opening Day layup against Towson. With Michigan to follow and South Florida to start the Big East campaign, four of the first five games are in Storrs – being 4-1 would be great, but 3-2 might have to do. However, with the road game at Buffalo, there’s a nasty stretch of three road games in four and five in seven with the two home games coming against USF and Louisville. Fortunately, UConn gets Rutgers at home, but it might come down to the regular season finale against Memphis to have a shot at a bowl game.
The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... The passing game. UConn needs more offensive weapons, and it's trying to get them for the passing game with quarterbacks Tim Boyle and Richard Lagow each big passers who can push the ball down the field, and if everything works out well, Noel Thomas,
Brian Lemelle and tight end Tommy Myers should help make the air show go. Corner Javon Hadley from Miami is one of the team's better recruits, and linebacker Jalen Stevens is a good get out of South Carolina, but inside linebackers Junior Joseph, Cory Jasudowich and Matt Walsh are all interesting big-tackling prospects.
2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 67. That Class Was Heavy On ... Quarterbacks. Paul Pasqualoni didn’t have a chance to do much of anything last year, and it showed with a mediocre class that might have been the weakest in the Big East. This year, he needs an upgrade in talent across the board, but he also needs to find a quarterback to build around – or at least challenge Scott McCummings and/or Mike Nebrich down the road. The running game was bad last year, but the passing game has to improve quickly if Johnny McEntee can’t get the job done.
2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 78. That Class Was Heavy On ... Variety. New head coach Paul Pasqualoni didn’t have time to do much, but he was able to come up with his bookend offensive tackles for the near future with Paul Nwokeji and Xavier Hemingway talented
prospects who’ll be great with two years in the weight room. Kamal Abrams should be the team’s No. 1 target in 2014, and linebackers Marquise Vann and Jefferson Ashiru fit the UConn mold and Deson Foxx has more speed than the normal Husky running back, but all eyes will be on quarterback Michael Nebrich to see if he can finally add some pop to the passing game. With his 4.5 speed, he’ll be more of a runner than a bomber.
2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 67. That Class Was
Heavy On ... Linebackers. The
stars of the class might be quarterbacks Scott
McCummings and Ty-Meer Brown, and they'll have
dangerous receiver prospects to throw to in Tebucky
Jones and Geremy Davis, but the best aspect of the
class is at linebacker with Brandon Steg a
sure-thing All-Big East star for the inside and
Reuben Frank, Yawin Smallwood, and Josh Alexander
all defenders to get excited about.
2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 72. That Class Was
Heavy On ... receivers. Although the Husky quarterbacks haven’t exactly been crisp since Dan Orlovsky graduated, they haven’t been helped by the receivers either. Connecticut had one of the worst units in the country a year ago, which explains why the position got so much attention from Randy Edsall and the staff. Three of the four commits rank among the top 150 receivers, led by Ft. Lauderdale product Dwayne Difton.