2012 Connecticut Huskies Football Preview
2011 Record: 5-7 (3-4 Big East)
Head Coach: Paul Pasqualoni, second season (5-7 at Connecticut) (146-83-1 overall)
Projected Returning Starters: 17
Spring Game: April 21st (White 14 Blue 5)
Notes: Randy Edsall built the Huskies program, taking from the FCS level to the FBS level. Its just a few years ago Connecticut won the Big East, earning a spot in a BCS bowl game. Connecticut is one of a few northeast schools that play football – there are other sports that are simply more popular than football in that part of the country. Now, Connecticut enters their second season under Coach Pasqualoni, who previously coached Syracuse. Pasqualoni is familiar with the Big East, as he coached the Orange from 1991 through 2004, including coaching Donovan McNabb.
BVTSB Take: In the first half of last season, the Huskies outscored opponents by an average of 23.3-22.5; in the second half, they were outscored by an average of 26.2-25.2. The defense needs to improve in 2012, as the Huskies had five games where they gave up 30 points or more – they were 0-5 in those games. Quarterback Johnny McEntee returns for Connecticut, but he may not be the starter again in 2012. Chandler Whitmer, a junior college transfer who originally committed to Illinois, was impressive in Connecticut’s spring game and may have a good shot at earning the starting job. Running back Lyle McCombs, who accounted for over 80% of Connecticut’s rushing yards, and a majority of their rushing touchdowns, is the presumed starter in 2012. Connecticut loses their top two wide receivers, but tight end Ryan Griffin returns – Griffin accounted for nearly 500 yards receiving, averaging 15.1 yards per catch with three touchdown grabs. Connecticut was 2-3 in non-conference games last year, beating Fordham and Buffalo, but losing to Vanderbilt, Iowa State, and Western Michigan – the latter three were bowl teams. In 2012, Connecticut again faces Western Michigan, this time on the road, and Buffalo, this time at home. They also will play Massachusetts, for the Minutemen’s first game as an FBS team, as well as North Carolina State and Maryland. The non-conference schedule is a bit tougher. The Huskies will need to sort out their quarterback position before August – failure to nail down that position could mean a last place finish for Connecticut.
2012 Early Projection: 3-9
To see the 2012 Big East composite schedule, click here.
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