2019 UConn Huskies Team Preview

The Randy Edsall take two experiment at UConn is not off to a hot start. The Huskies have gone 4-20 in the first two years in Edsall’s 2nd term as head coach of the Huskies, and it hasn’t been a “4-20 with some signs of hope” either.

The defense let up 50.4 points per game last year. They let up 49 to FCS Rhode Island, the most the Rams scored all season. A new DC is coming in to try and right the ship, but with the Huskies moving to the Big East for basketball and being kicked out of the AAC in football, calls of potentially dropping to FCS or dropping football all together are getting louder.

Offense

UConn’s offense was actually pretty decent in 2018. 5.3 yards per play was one of their better marks in the past decade, but a lot of the key pieces are gone, including QB David Pindell, the top passer and rusher on the team.

2018 backup Marvin Washington looks to take over the starting job, although he’ll be challenged by redshirt freshman Steven Krajewski and 2nd Team DII All-American transfer Mike Beaudry.

The new OC is Frank Giufre (previously OL coach here), UConn’s seventh different coordinator in seven years. He does inherit junior RB Kevin Mensah who has been solid the past two years (4.5 YPA 2017, 4.6 YPA 2018). The Huskies also add a transfer at tailback from Toledo, Art Thompkins. The line returns four starters and is probably the most seasoned group on the team.

The receiving corps is shattered with just one guy with over 11 receptions returning, and it isn’t even a receiver, it’s RB Zavier Scott, who averaged just 6.9 yards per catch. Keyion Dixon will likely be one of the wideouts but the other two seem up in the air.

The offensive line should be solid and they have a pair of nice backs, but the passing game is a huge question mark. The offense will struggle.

Defense

The UConn defense was one of just two teams in the past 100 years to allow more than 50 points per game. The good news/bad news is that almost everyone is back from that defense.

The new DC is Lou Spanos, who has coordinating experience at UCLA. He inherits an entire team that was probably a couple of years too young to play last year, but at least now has some experience.

DTs Travis Jones and Caleb Thomas are two guys who stood out a little, combining for eight TFL. LBs Eddie Hahn and Kevon Jones return as well after combining for 8.5, and CB Tahg Herring-Wilson had five PBUs. Those are the bright spots. It isn’t much, but it’s something.

Notre Dame transfer LB DJ Morgan joins the team to hopefully provide a difference-maker, and while this defense will not be good, they will certainly improve as compared to last year.

2019 Outlook

It’s hard to put a positive spin on this team, as the Huskies will be underdogs in every game vs an FCS opponent this year, eight of 11 by double digits. This is a program in disarray that for all we know may not exist a few years from now. All they have to do is show some signs of life. The defense was so young last year that everyone will be back for 2020 too, so pick up a couple wins and show the administration you’re on the right track because a drop to FCS (or something much worse) doesn’t feel like it’s off the table. Surviving as an FBS independent is tough, but it’s better than the alternatives.

DateOpponentopp. rankProj. Margin
29-AugWagnerNRn/a
7-SepIllinois81-13.0
21-Sepat Indiana61-21.8
28-Sepat UCF22-27.7
5-OctUSF75-13.8
12-Octat Tulane84-18.2
19-OctHouston65-15.1
26-Octat Massachusetts124-5.9
1-NovNavy110-4.9
9-Novat Cincinnati44-24.1
23-NovEast Carolina107-7.4
30-Novat Temple70-20.3

Average Projected Record: 2.9 wins, 9.1 losses (1.3 wins, 6.7 losses)