UConn Huskies Preview 2022: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the UConn season with what you need to know and keys to the season.
UConn Huskies Preview
Head Coach: Jim Mora Jr., 1st year at UConn
7th year overall, 46-30. 2021 Preview
2021 Record: Overall: 1-11
Keys To The Season | Season Prediction, What Will Happen
UConn Top 10 Players | UConn Schedule
UConn Huskies Preview 2022
UConn wasn’t always totally miserable at college football.
Yes, kids, there really was a time when the Huskies were good enough to get into the Fiesta Bowl against Oklahoma and bowl games were a regular thing. The program is coming off of ten straight losing seasons as things have gotten worse and worse.
There’s been a little bit of talent here and there – there were more than enough vulture schools out there happy to go pick away at UConn players over the last year – but nothing has worked.
It took a huge effort to get by Yale for the only victory of last year, and a 2020 win over an equally hapless UMass was the lone win over an FBS program since taking down Tulsa in the middle of the 2017 season.
But that’s in the past.
New head coach Jim Mora Jr. is a good head coach who knows what he’s going, but it’s going to take an all-timer of an effort just to get this season off the ground much less be competitive in most of the games.
This is more than just a rebuild, teardown, reboot, or any other way you want to describe what Mora and his staff have to do.
This is starting from scratch, and only positive things can come from it.
UConn Huskies Preview 2022: Offense
UConn had the least efficient passing game in college football, it was the second-worst offense in the nation in total yards, and it was the second-worst scoring attack.
It keeps going.
It came up with the second-least amount of first downs, it was the worst team in America on third downs, it was the second-worst O in yards per pass, and …
Again, the program is starting over. It’s going to get better because 1), it can’t get any worse, 2) the former coaching staff went WAY young and threw a slew of freshmen into the mix, and 3) …
The quarterback play should be okay. Penn State transfer Ta’Quan Roberson struggled when he had his chances, but he’s got the tools, he was a good recruit, and he’ll make the job his from the start with former starter Steven Krajewski off to Georgia State and the other options transferring, too.
Leading receiver Keelan Marion is back – he only caught 28 passes but he got five of the team’s 11 touchdown grabs – and Kevens Clercius and Aaron Turner help round out what might be the team’s biggest early strength. And then there’s Cameron Ross – the 60-catch leading target from 2019 who played just two games in the last two years.
The offensive line is going to be the biggest work in progress. The transfer portal is bringing in the options around veteran guard Noel Ofori-Nyadu and the versatile Christopher Fortin who’ll work somewhere around the inside.
RB Kevin Mensah was a good back who wasn’t used enough. he’s gone, but leading rusher Nate Carter is back after running for 578 yards and two scores.
UConn Huskies Preview 2022: Defense
The offenses was worse, but the defense was plenty bad on its own. The run D has been a problem for years, the secondary got ripped up late last season, and now the team has to go on without star DT Travis Jones – he’s now a Baltimore Raven – and with Lawl Uguak off to TCU.
However, like the offensive side, last year’s coaching staff went young, and how there’s enough experience back across the board to not be starting from scratch. It begins with …
The linebacking corps might not be all that bad. At the very least, there’s experience and quickness starting with leading returning tackler Jackson Mitchell – he made 120 stops last season – helped by the return of second-leading tackler Ian Swenson as a hybrid type of defender, and with Kentucky transfer Marquez Bembry adding some size and thump on the inside.
The defensive front might take a while. There’s no replacing Jones and Uguwak was going to be a bigger factor, and now it’s a smallish, thin line that has to find more options and pass rushers.
The secondary gets all four starters back. Like other areas, this was a young group that took its lumps. Sophomore safety Durante Jones will once again be one of the team’s better tacklers, but overall this group has to come up with more big stops.