Connecticut Huskies...

>> Wednesday, July 1, 2009

In only their eight years as a Football Subdivision participant, UCONN reached their second straight bowl game (International Bowl) and blew out the Big East champion, Cincinnati 40-16. Coach Randy Edsall has been with the program from the beginning and has been an integral part of the quick improvement over a short span of time. Edsall possessed the best player in school history and one of the best players in the country, Donald Brown, last season and replacing him will be no easy task.

New offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead has been given the opportunity to turn UCONN into something besides a one-tricky pony. UCONN has been a run heavy team for the past several years and Moorhead plans to instill a no-huddle offense that will translate into more passing opportunities for junior quarterback Zach Frazer. Frazer started several games last season, but would still be considered slightly unproven at the quarterback position. The wide receivers are expected to see quite a few more chances to make plays in the new offense and Kashif Moore appears to be up to the task. Moore will be joined by Marcus Easley and Brad Kaunch on the outside. Tailbacks Andre Dixon and Jordan Todman are expected to replace Brown in the backfield, but neither are capable of putting up the lofty numbers of their predecessor. The offensive line lost starting left tackle William Beatty to the NFL and senior center Keith Gray to graduation and appear to be deficient in the talent department. Moe Petrus, a Freshman All-American, will attempt to anchor the line and will be joined by Mike Hicks at right tackle and senior Alex LaMagdelaine.

The defensive unit lost five starters, including defensive end Cody Brown and cornerback Darius Butler to the NFL ,from a defensive unit that improved as the season progressed. Senior Lindsey Witten and junior Marcus Campbell will take over at the defensive end positions and be joined by sophomores Tywon Martin and Kendall Reyes on the defensive line. Linebacker Scott Lutrus, a second-team all-conference selection, returns to headline the linebackers. Lutrus compiled 106 tackles last season and will be flanked by Greg Lloyd and Lawrence Wilson on the outside. The defensive backfield possesses a talent in free safety Robert Vaughn , but Jasper Howard, Aaron Bagsby and Robert McClain are all unproven at their respective positions.

UCONN's recruiting class was far from spectacular and ranked 75th in the country, according to Steve Greene, a 6'4", 302 pound guard, is the most talented of the bunch and has an opportunity to push for a spot on the opening day depth chart. Wide receiver Dwayne Difton isn't flashy, but has the ability to become a solid playmaker for the Huskies.

September 5th-@Ohio-Win
September 12th-North Carolina-Loss
September 19th-@Baylor-Loss
September 26th-Rhode Island-Win
October 10th-@Pittsburgh-Loss
October 17th-Louisville-Win
October 24th-@West Virginia-Loss
October 31st-Rutgers-Loss
November 7th-@Cincy-Loss
November 21st-@Notre Dame-Loss
November 28th-Syracuse-Win
December 5th-South Florida-Loss

Season Projection: 4-8 (2-5 Big East)