Preview 2018: Previewing and looking ahead to the UConn Huskies season with what you need to know.
Preview 2018: UConn Huskies
So Round 2 of the Randy Edsall era hasn’t gotten off to a rousing start, and it’ll take time to get back to form.
UConn was all D, no O under former head man Bob Diaco, and at least Edsall got the offense going a little bit more in his first season. But it was still a fourth year in the last five for the program with three wins or fewer.
The Huskies needed three years to build up in Edsall’s first stint as the head coach, going 9-24 before finally starting to break through. But life is tougher now in the American Athletic Conference than it was as an independent in the early 2000s.
For Edsall, proving he still has the touch is a must, struggling through a mediocre run at Maryland, and then will last season’s dud in Storrs.
When his teams are rolling, the running game is great to control the clock and control the tempo – they have to do something to make up for the talent gap.
But they also need a few breaks. The 2007 UConn team that won nine games was helped by a relative down year in the Big East – it feasted off the mediocre. The same went for the team that went to the Fiesta Bowl in 2010, getting most of the tough games at home.
For this year, the Huskies have to keep looking for young players to build around and continue to try finding something that consistently works.
The offensive line won’t be strong enough to do everything Edsall might like, but the skill players are good enough to do more if the blocking is better.
The O went flat way too often – failing to score more than 24 points in any of the last six games – but QB David Pindell is a promising veteran and the receiving corps gets just about everyone back.
The defense that allowed 202 more points than the 2015 version – allowing 37 points or more in eight of the 11 games against FBS teams – has to start taking the ball away, has to come up with more big stops, and has to find a steady defensive front with a lot more playmakers. Other than that, everything is great.
There’s not going to be a quick fix here for Edsall and the Huskies. But after the last several years, any improvement will be fantastic – and it’s coming.