Posted on: September 4, 2011 2:57 am
Edited on: September 4, 2011 3:07 am
Posted by Chip Patterson
1) Connecticut finally has an answer at running back. Connecticut does not have a clear-cut answer for quarterback. That was obvious with head coach Paul Pasqualoni's use of Johnny McEntee, Michael Nebrich, and Scott McCummings during the Huskies opener against Fordham. However, the game might have answered the team's concerns about replacing 2010 Big East Player of the Year Jordan Todman. Senior transfer D.J. Shoemate was replaced last minute by redshirt freshman Lyle McCombs because Shoemate got "banged up" in practice late in the week.
The switch could end up having an effect on the Huskies season, because McCombs certainly looked like the best choice possible for starting tailback on Saturday. It was the first collegiate appearance for the Staten Island native, and he made the most of every opportunity. By the time all the damage was done McCombs racked up 141 yards on 24 carries with four touchdowns. Regardless of opponent, those are impressive numbers for anyone's NCAA debut. If McCombs can keep it up, Pasqualoni may have found a great building block for this new chapter of his seasoned career.
2) It's not always pretty, but the Orange get it done. Doug Marrone was celebrated by the Syracuse football community for returning to his alma mater and bringing them back to the postseason. The Orange's 8-win season was considered by many to be a sign of things to come for a once-storied program. However peeling back the shiny reviews of last season reveal a grimy, hard-nosed battle through the regular season. Syracuse simply found ways to win, and most of the time it was not pretty.
With only 20 letterman and over half of his defensive starters gone from that team, the gritty "find a way to win" style appears very much a part of Syracuse football. Wake Forest appeared to have Thursday's game won, and even fans in the Carrier Dome agreed and were heading for the exits as the Orange trailed by 15 points in the 4th quarter. But the fans that stayed got see Ryan Nassib and Antwon Bailey lead the Syracuse offense to 22 straight points in the final quarter + overtime to pull off the win over the visiting Demon Deacons. The Orange may have been slowly reversing the trend of their home struggles, but certainly not the one of winning ugly.
3) USF made a statement to the conference with upset of Notre Dame. Skip Holtz was forced to spend most of his time with the media this past week answering questions about playing at his alma mater and the school where his father spent 11 years as the head coach. But the story of the game ended up being mother nature, with two different delays due to storms in the area. But more than six hours after kickoff, a statement was made with South Florida's 23-20 victory over No. 16 Notre Dame. The Bulls, who have pulled off five straight 8+ win seasons, are ready to compete for a Bit East title.
The Fighting Irish had plenty of internal issues, including a mid-game quarterback switch during one of the delays, but USF showed up unintimidated and prepared. Holtz seemed excited about his defense heading into the season, and Saturday's performance legitimized his sentiments. The Bulls defense forced five Irish turnovers, and found a way to turn them into enough of a lead to secure a huge confidence-booster for a program looking to break through to the elite. Next for the Bulls will be three more non-conference games before kicking off the conference schedule with one of the most difficult challenges on the slate: a road test against Pittsburgh
4.) What the Dana Holgorsen era looks like at West Virginia. We will find this one out Sunday afternoon when the Mountaineers face in-state rival Marshall. Kickoff at 3:30 p.m., check back after the game because this is something we definitely want to learn.
Tags: Antwon Bailey, Big East, Chip Patterson, Cincinnati, Connecticut, D.J. Shoemate, Dana Holgorsen, Johnny McEntee, Jordan Todman, Louisville, Lyle McCombs, Marshall, Michael Nebrich, Notre Dame, Paul Pasqualoni, Pittsburgh, Ryan Nassib, Scott McCummings, Skip Holtz, South Florida, Syracuse, Tino Sunseri, USF, Wake Forest, West Virginia, What I Learned
Posted on: March 14, 2011 11:34 pm
Edited on: March 15, 2011 3:51 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
College Football has no offseason. Every coach knows that the preparation for September begins now, in Spring Practice . So we here at the Eye on College Football will get you ready as teams open spring ball with our Spring Practice Primers . Today, we look at Connecticut , who starts spring practice Tuesday.
Connecticut had their best season in program history in 2010. Can they continue that success with a brand new look in 2011?
After a bumpy start that included losses to Michigan, Temple, Rutgers, and Louisville, it looked like it might be another frustrating season for Randy Edsall and the upstart Connecticut Huskies. Sure, Connecticut had made plenty of rapid upgrades to the program since joining the FBS in 2002 and the Big East in 2004. But as October 2010 was drawing to a close, no one had Connecticut penciled in as their Fiesta Bowl pick.
Then something happened on a Friday night against West Virginia. Running back Jordan Todman ran 33 times for 113 yards and a touchdown, providing just enough of an offensive spark to compliment a Huskies defense that forced seven West Virginia fumbles. Connecticut recovered four of those fumbles and won 16-13 in overtime, their first victory against the Mountaineers.
That game seemed to change the entire path of the season. With new focus and determination, Connecticut finished the season with five straight conference wins and earned a share of the Big East regular season title, as well as the conference's bid to the Bowl Championship Series. It wasn't always pretty, but running on the shoulders of Todman and a playmaking defensive unit the Huskies found ways to win late in the season. It was the perfect year to steal the conference from perennial favorites like Pittsburgh and West Virginia, and that is exactly what they did.
Then we rang in 2011, sang Auld Lang Syne, and then it all changed for Connecticut.
Connecticut looked unimpressive in their 40-28 loss to Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl on New Years Day. While their arrival onto the BCS scene should have been celebratory, instead the media focused on the Huskies inability to move their allotment of 17,500 tickets. With a final estimation that the program actually lost $1.8 million on the trip to Glendale. To make matters worse, Edsall opted not to travel home with the team. The worst suspicions were confirmed in less than a day, Edsall was leaving to become the head coach at Maryland.
So now it is time to reload and reboot.
Edsall was the only coach Connecticut hired during their journey into Division I and eventually the Big East. With such a young program, they could not afford to take chances on their next head coach - they needed a sure thing. Connecticut got that by bringing in one of the most seasoned Big East coaches on the market. Paul Pasqualoni spent 14 as the head coach of the Syracuse Orange. In that time he was 107-59-1 with a 6-3 bowl record. But there will be no confusion as far as allegiances go, Pasqualoni is an in-state native, and this is a job he is taking personally.
Pasqualoni brought in George Deleone (Miami Dolphins) to serve as the new offensive coordinator, and Don Brown (Maryland) will coach the defense. With a new coaching staff in place, one of the challenges for spring practice will be learning new schemes and getting used to a new practice routine. Spring will also be a time to identify players to fill position needs, because there are plenty. None more obvious than the running back position. Not only has Todman, the Big East rushing leader, taken his talents to the next level, but backup running back Robbie Frey decided to transfer. Those two backs combined for 2084 of the 2271 team rushing yards in 2010.
"Obviously this spring is going to be a big, big spring for a lot of areas, and one of the big concerns on offense is the tailback position," Pasqualoni told The Hartford Courant in February. "We're going to work as hard as we can work in that area, try to evaluate all the potential that we have there with the skill guys on the offensive side of the ball. We've got two guys coming in. One [Max DeLorenzo] is a downhill, can-make-yards-after-contact guy. The other guy [Deshon Foxx] is a little bit smaller, puts his foot in the ground, makes a cut, makes people miss and outruns people because he's just got flat-out excellent speed."
But tailback isn't the only big-time position with a lot of question marks. Actually, the quarterback spot on the depth chart might as well be a big question mark. Spring practice will start with a wide-open race between four quarterbacks who combine for only one collegiate start (Michael Box). Box is competing against newcomers Scott McCummings, Michael Nebrich, and Johnny McEntee, of YouTube "Trick Shot" fame. With Nebrich enrolling early, he will join the Huskies in spring practice and the quarterback battle should begin from day one. For no other reason than experience, many are giving Box a slight edge in the battle. But there are no guarantees that he will be the starter in September.
One of the ways to gain an edge heading into the season will be developing a connection with Connecticut's wide receivers. The Huskies return all of their starters, and while they did little to impress anyone in 2010, they might be one of the most stable units on the field right now. The group will be led by Kashif Moore. Moore anointed himself as one of the leaders of this team when Edsall bolted for College Park. It was Moore who was texting the players, telling them things were going to be OK. Desmond Conner, of The Hartford Courant, also points out that Moore has decided to wear Jasper Howard's No. 6 this season. Which as you can assume, takes on far more meaning than just the number change.
On the defensive side of the ball, new coordinator Don Brown will have to find a way to replace senior linebackers Scott Lutrus and Lawrence Wilson. They acted as the point-guard's of this playmaking defense, swarming to the ball and directing their teammates on the field. Instead of the leadership coming from the linebacking position, Huskies fans might see it come from up front.
Seniors Kendall Reyes (a captain in 2010) and Twyon Martin will anchor a defensive line that might be the most promising aspect of the defense. Rising juniors Jesse Joseph and Trevardo Williams are both returning from productive sophomore campaigns, and will be counted on for quality minutes as well.
While the end of spring practice may not give us all of the answers to the many questions for Connecticut, it is still arguably one of the most important springs for the program. Connecticut has a lot of holes to fill, and a lot of questions to answer in order to defend their Big East crown in 2011. It will come down to how quickly and effectively the team can buy into the new coach, and new systems in Storrs. One thing that the Huskies do have going for them in 2011? One of the easiest non-conference schedules in the league. Connecticut's only BCS opponents are Vanderbilt and Iowa State, so there should be plenty of opportunities to pick up the extra wins necessary to return to the postseason.
Paul Pasqualoni started his Syracuse career with a bang, going 20-4 in his first two seasons. Now we see if he can do it again, a decade later, with the flagship university of his home state.
Connecticut begins spring practice Tuesday March 15
Click here for more Spring Practice Primers
Posted on: January 3, 2011 11:55 am
Edited on: January 3, 2011 12:09 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
One of the things you can never be sure about when you commit to a school for four years is whether or not the coach that spent all those hours in your living room recruiting you will be there the entire time you attend the school. The way that college football coaching works in this day and age, it's just a risk you have to take, and you have to remember you're committing to a school, not a coach.
Still, when that coach leaves, it could sting a bit. Especially if that coach handles it the way that Randy Edsall apparently did when he told his UConn team he had taken the job at Maryland. One anonymous player told the Hartford Courant how the team found out, and he doesn't sound very happy about it .
"We were on hold for a half-hour, with the operations manager telling us Edsall would be coming on in a few minutes. When Edsall came on he was like, 'I just wanted to tell you that I'm sorry I can't do this in person, but due to circumstances ... I just want to let you know that it's not because of you guys. But it's an opportunity for my family. ... I can move on feeling like I've accomplished things here and I'm leaving the program in a good way.'
"A couple of coaches said that was BS. ... They didn't know about it. He hadn't told any of us.
"It really pisses me off because he made Jordan (Todman) address the team (Sunday) night to say he was leaving. And he isn't man enough to do it face to face to us?
"A lot of people were just really upset by the call. He made Todman get up and tell the whole team: 'Jordan, I think you have something to say to these guys.' He made him do it face-to-face. But he didn't do it face-to-face.
"I'm going to look [at other schools], not Big East or anything. ... When you bring in a new coach, the first three or four years [it's all developing the program)]. But these are Edsall's players, not the new guy's. ... Well, I'm going to get the (naughty word) out of here. But what happens with the incoming recruiting class? Are those guys still coming?
"The thing I'm concerned with is, am I going to get my release."
I understand that with all of the football players on break, it's hard to get the entire team together, and that Edsall is somewhat busy at the moment, but to do to it over the phone, after you made Jordan Todman do it in person seems pretty weak. According to the player, Edsall told the team that he just found about about the Maryland job and it was something that just suddenly happened.
According to reports, Edsall had been in negotiations with Maryland last week.
So if you're going to make Todman man up and tell the team he was leaving, why couldn't he have done so himself either before or after the Fiesta Bowl?
Posted on: January 2, 2011 4:22 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
You have to wonder if UConn may be regretting the fact that it was chosen to play in the Fiesta Bowl a bit right now. Forget about the fact that Oklahoma did what everybody expected Oklahoma to do to the Huskies on Saturday night, it's what's happened in the hours since then that have damaged UConn the most.
Now, even with the loss, getting the kind of exposure for the football program that being in the Fiesta Bowl brings is a good thing. Of course, national exposure for a program is a two-way street. Yes, people know who you are now, even if all they know about you is that you aren't as good as Oklahoma. The problem is that exposure not only works for the program, but the people in it.
Jordan Todman has been one of the best running backs in college football all season, but because of where he rushed for all those yards and touchdowns, not everybody knew about it. Now Todman had a chance to perform in the national spotlight, with the eyes of NFL scouts upon him. He didn't have the greatest game, but it's no coincidence that he's now going to skip his senior season and enter the NFL draft.
He knew that the spotlight on him probably won't get any brighter in 2011.
Then there's Randy Edsall. The job Edsall has done at UConn can't be over looked. He took a program from the FCS and helped make it a contender in a BCS conference, and only needed seven years to win the Big East and get to a BCS bowl. It's because of this that Edsall's name has seemed to pop up in every coaching vacancy around the country the last few years, but it seems that one school finally couldn't resist passing up the opportunity to actually hire him.
Sunday brought the news that Edsall was going to be named the new head coach at Maryland. Now, less than 24 hours after the culmination of all the work Edsall put in at UConn, after the team finally reached a BCS bowl game, it's right back to where it started seven years ago.
Happy new year, UConn.
Posted on: January 2, 2011 2:38 am
Posted by Adam Jacobi
Oklahoma outpaced Connecticut en route to a 48-20 Fiesta Bowl victory.
Offense: Landry Jones set an Oklahoma bowl passing record with 433 yards through the air, and he was able to find wideouts Ryan Broyles and Cameron Kenney (both of whom had over 150 receiving yards) without much trouble. Broyles' touchdown catch was the type of play that exemplified his All-American season: an absolutely brilliant display of athleticism. DeMarco Murray wasn't a gamebreaker, but his 25 carries for 93 yards kept the chains moving -- he accounted for eight of Oklahoma's 27 first downs. Jones did throw a pick-six and Broyles coughed up a fumble at the end of an otherwise brilliant punt return, but those were relatively minor concerns. Grade: B+
Defense: Giving up 20 points is sort of a bummer, right? Thing of it is, though, UConn scored one touchdown on the aforementioned pick-six, and the other came on a kickoff return. Also, Jamell Fleming and Tony Jefferson each took an interception to the house in the second half, pushing the game out of reach for UConn. So essentially, the Oklahoma defense outscored the Huskies' offense 14-6. That's a win. Grade: A
Coaching: Well, Bob Stoops finally got that BCS bowl losing streak off his back. Shame that it had to come against such a comically overmatched opponent, but that's probably of limited concern to Stoops and the Sooners. It's hard to fault Stoops for any play calls or in-game decisions, except for that fake field goal early in the fourth quarter. Everyone in the world knows Stoops doesn't have a great deal of confidence in kicker Jimmy Stevens, who doesn't have a field goal of longer than 41 yards this year, so when OU lined up for a field goal on 4th and 7 at the UConn 30, nobody really expected a kick to go up. Further, Jones passed for 8.8 yards per attempt on the day; let the kid make another play! Grade: B-
Offense: It's painfully obvious that UConn quarterback Zach Frazer doesn't have much in the way of help at receiver. The senior QB had rather pedestrian numbers again tonight (19-39, 223 yards, 0 TDs, 2 INTs), but several of Frazer's throws were dropped, tipped, or aimed somewhere other than where the receivers ended up going. Even on Frazer's two pick-sixes, both passes hit his receivers in the hands before being deflected up and into a Sooner's hands. It was sort of painful to watch. Jordan Todman did rush for 121 yards after a slow start, however, and Anthony Sherman and Ryan Griffin were decent targets between the 20s. Grade: D+
Defense: The Huskies' main highlight on defense was the "look what I found" interception score by Dwayne Gratz in the second quarter that first got UConn on the board, but that was pretty much it. Landry Jones found open receivers nearly every time he dropped back to pass, and Oklahoma was only forced into four punts in 14 possessions on the day. Grade: D
Coaching: Randy Edsall 's first foray into the BCS bowl world didn't go well, but that was pretty much a given considering the matchup. Connecticut's execution was sufficiently bad that it's hard to pin much on Edsall's playcalling, and the Huskies at least made Oklahoma work for its victory; this was still a 14-point game with eight minutes left in the fourth quarter. It's hard to say whether Edsall will ever make it back to a BCS game -- his odds are probably better at a stronger school than UConn -- but he didn't look bad today. Grade: B
Look, nobody outside of Storrs, CT and whatever lair BCS president Bill Hancock resides in wanted this game to happen. The final score was pretty predictable, even though UConn stuck around for a little longer than most people would have expected. It would have been great to see this high-powered Oklahoma offense face a real defense, like that of Stanford or TCU or Boise State . But the rules are what they are, and this is what we get because of them: an afterthought of a Fiesta Bowl. Connecticut didn't belong in a BCS game, everybody knew it, and they proved why today. Can we really not get an "automatic unless you're a four-loss team" clause in the BCS language? Really? This game's very existence was unacceptable. Grade: F
Tags: Anthony Sherman, Big 12, Big East, Bob Stoops, Bowl Grades, Bowl Recaps, Cameron Kenney, Connecticut, DeMarco Murray, Dwayne Gratz, Fiesta Bowl Grades, Fiesta Bowl Recap, Jamell Fleming, Jordan Todman, Landry Jones, Oklahoma, Randy Edsall, Ryan Broyles, Ryan Griffin, Tony Jefferson, Zach Frazer
Posted on: December 31, 2010 8:17 pm
Edited on: December 31, 2010 8:18 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
The Basics: Oklahoma (11-2) vs. UConn (8-4), Jan. 1, 8:30pm ET
Why You Should Watch: If you like those nature programs where a pack of lionesses hunt down and ruthlessly slaughter a gazelle, this is totally the bowl game for you. Probably. Possibly. Not if you go by Bob Stoops' prior track record in BCS games, admittedly; he and his Sooners have lost their last five. And that's the real reason you have to tune in, no matter how lopsided a matchup this might appear to be. If a UConn team that is totally overmatched on paper -- remember that the Huskies lost to Temple, were shut out by Louisville, and won the Big East despite being outgained by some 600 total yards in league play -- can pull off what might be the upset of the season, or even come close, Stoops might hitch the first plane to Gainesville just to avoid the tomato storm that would await him on his return to Norman. It's not likely, but like the first round of the NCAA Tournament in hoops, the potential is tantalizing enough that it's still a game you have to watch. Just know that no one will blame you for making other plans for the third and fourth quarters.
Keys to Victory for Oklahoma: The biggest one for the Sooners is pretty simple: just don't screw it up. Stoops' team has overwhelming matchup advantages all over the field, and if they can merely avoid making the handful of catastrophic mistakes that would keep the Huskies in the game, they should cruise. Start with the passing game, where Oklahoma will feature the nation's No. 4 air attack at 337 yards-per-game, one headed by quarterback Landry Jones and featuring one of the FBS's most dangerous receivers in overlooked All-American (if there can be such a thing) Ryan Broyles. They'll be facing a low-wattage UConn secondary that was shredded by the likes of Michigan (8.5 yards an attempt), Rutgers (11.4), and Pitt (7.9). If the Panthers' Tino Sunseri can do that kind of damage (he finished 20-of-28 for more than 220 yards) against the Huskies, there's no telling what Jones and Broyles might do. It doesn't get much better in the run game, where 1,100-yard All-Big 12 rusher DeMarco Murray will face a young front seven ranked 56th in the country in rush defense -- lower even than the Huskies' pass defense. If the Sooners don't turn the ball over (and their 16 total giveaways were the fewest in the Big 12), they should put up major yards and points without too much effort.
Defensively, though, the Sooners aren't quite as overpowering; they rank outside the top 50 in total, passing, and rushing defense. But they do have a penchant for big plays, having forced 30 opponent turnovers this year, good for the fourth-highest total in the country. The ball-hawking secondary tag-team of senior safety Quinton Carter and junior corner Jamell Fleming each picked off four passes, with a big assist to Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year Jeremy Beal. The senior defensive end wreaked havoc on opposing lines all season, recording 8.5 sacks and 18 tackles-for-loss. If Beal can force the Huskies into repeated third-and-longs or the Sooners' sticky fingers can negate a UConn drive or two with turnovers, the underdog won't stand a chance.
Keys to Victory for UConn: To actually win this game, UConn's going to have to catch a ton of breaks, and the bigger impact those breaks have, the better. Which is why they're going to need to make the game as low-possession, as short, and as break-dependent as possible, and that means a heavy dose of Jordan Todman. The nation's second-leading rusher, Todman gained 1,574 yards this season on an impressive 5.2 yards per-carry. Combine his toughness with a veteran line featuring a pair of first-team All-Big East performers in jumbo junior tackle Mike Ryan (333 pounds) and equally jumbo senior guard Zach Hurd (325 pounds), and you get what might be the Huskies' only real matchup advantage as they go up against a Sooner front that's allowed seven different teams to average 4.5 yards a carry or better. If Todman and the big Huskie front can grind out some big first downs, they'll take loads of pressure off the entire rest of the team: wobbly quarterback Zach Fraser (5.4 yards per-attempt for the season, 5-to-4 touchdown-to-interception ratio), a front seven that could be ground down by the Sooners' up-tempo attack if left on the field very long, a secondary that simply can't be allowed to face Jones, Broyles, and Co. with the burden of trying to salvage the game on their shoulders. For Uconn, it all starts with Todman and the line.
The good news is that if that start can keep the Huskies close going into the fourth quarter, they've shown an impressive ability to finish, winning tight games against West Virginia, Pitt, and South Florida with key late drives and clutch kicking from big-legged All-Big East kicker Dave Teggart. There's also little doubt that should the game stay competitive deep into the second half, all the pressure -- not only from this game, but from Stoops' previous BCS failures and Oklahoma's role as the overwhelming favorite -- will be on the Sooners, It won't be easy to get there, but if Todman can get rolling and the defense (notably all-league defensive end Kendall Reyes) can play far enough over its head to keep the Huskies in it, it might be the other team that makes the single game-deciding mistake.
The Fiesta Bowl is like: an inspirational underdog sports movie recast -- probably -- as a gritty indie drama. We've got a lovable, plucky underdog that's scraped and clawed to get its one shot at Goliath, a Goliath that by all rights should pound it into submission. (Big East or not, the Huskies are a far bigger underdog to Oklahoma than Boise State was four years ago in this same game.) If this was Rocky or The Mighty Ducks or something similar, the Fiesta would end with UConn executing some crazy trick play at the final whistle to pull out a shocking victory. Unfortunately for fans of those movies, it's far more likely that the Huskie heroes will be taught a cruel-but-authentic lesson about their inability to deal with powerful forces beyond their control. The critics might applaud if Oklahoma pulls away by three scores in the second quarter, but we're not expecting a crowd pleaser here.
Posted on: December 23, 2010 1:10 pm
Edited on: December 23, 2010 1:12 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Ask the Oklahoma Sooners what formations their Fiesta Bowl opponent from UConn like to use, what coverages they'll employ on third-and-long, what a specific bit of pre-snap motion from the Huskies means for the Sooners' alignment, and there's no question they'll know all of that.
But as for what they know about the actual UConn program, well, it looks like all that study of the opposing football team doesn't lead to a better understanding of the institution they represent, at least according to an impromptu quiz of Sooner players by the Oklahoman on the finer points of UConn information. For instance, when asked who the Huskies' head coach is ...
Randy Edsall needs a better publicist because nobody got this one right. Only [DeMarco] Murray ventured an actual guess with “isn't it like Al something?” which was actually not that far off. Al Golden , who last week took a job with Miami , coached Temple to victory over UConn this season. [Jonathan] Nelson declared he knew Edsall's face but couldn't place the name. [Kenny] Stills didn't know who coached UConn football, but correctly offered up the name of the women's basketball coach: “Geno Auriemma."The Sooners also struggled mightily to name where UConn is located, to name their best player (All-American running back Jordan Todman), and even UConn's nickname, with multiple players going with "Huskers."
None of which means a thing other than it being fairly amusing, of course; no doubt a similar quiz applied to similar teams preparing for similar bowls would yield very, very similar results. But it's interesting to see that once bowl practice begins, the players' focus can be laser-guided enough that even things like the opponent's head coach name aren't worth learning when compared to the X's-and-O's.
Posted on: November 27, 2010 2:24 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
When West Virginia toppled Pittsburgh in the 103rd Backyard Brawl, Connecticut suddenly had a reason to extra thankful this weekend. The Panthers loss opened up the Big East conference championship race to the Huskies and Mountaineers, with the prize of a BCS bowl berth at the finish line. Connecticut has been on a tear since starting the conference season 0-2. They have knocked off West Virginia, Pittsburgh, and Syracuse on their climb up the standings. Now with two weeks left, the Huskies own the tie breaker against the top teams in the conference and control their own destiny. Connecticut has seized the opportunity so far against Cincinnati, leading 24-10 at half.
Jordan Todman has continued his impressive performance on the ground, creeping up on the 100 yard mark in the first half. Todman has broken the 100 yard mark in every game except a 26-0 shutout loss to Louisville, and is averaging 155 yards per game in the Huskies current win streak. It is awfully impressive to think that a team that just joined Division I is on the verge of a potential BCS Bowl game, and a huge credit to head coach Randy Edsall for getting them to this point.