Villanova (0-0) at Connecticut (0-0) Sept. 3, 7:30, ESPN3
Why You Need To Care: After winning just two games in his debut, Bob Diaco is pining for a new direction in his second year at the helm of Connecticut. But as openers with FCS teams go, the Huskies drew a difficult assignment. Villanova is coming off an 11-win campaign, and returns the preseason CAA Offensive Player of the Year, QB John Robertson, and Defensive player of the Year, LB Don Cherry.
Why Villanova Will Win: The Wildcats are not a typical FCS program. And they won’t be unnerved by an FBS opponent, taking Syracuse into double-overtime last year before falling by a point. Robertson is a terrific dual-threat and the best offensive player in this game.
Why Connecticut Will Win: The defense in Storrs will be sneaky-good this season, with veteran leadership back on every level. The Huskies will be especially capable on the back seven, as linebackers Marquise Vann and Graham Stewart and safeties Andrew Adams and Obi Melifonwu eyeball Robertson’s every move.
Player Who Matters: UConn has its own multi-dimensional talent behind center, NC State transfer Bryant Shirreffs. The newcomer has impressed the staff with his mobility and leadership, feeding hope that the Huskies might finally have an answer behind center.
What’s Going To Happen?: It won’t be pretty, but Connecticut is poised to hand Diaco the fast start to 2015 he’s craving. While the offense will sputter, forcing Shirreffs to shoulder the load, the D will come up big in the fourth quarter to preserve a close victory.
Prediction: Connecticut 24, Villanova 21, Line: No Line, o/u: No Line
Must See Rating: 5: True Detective, Season 1 – 1: True Detective, Season 2 … 1.5