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College Football: Breaking Down the 2019 Connecticut Huskies

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College Football: Breaking Down the 2019 Connecticut Huskies

2019-09-21 09:11:04

-by Nathan Comp, Contributing Writer; Image: Connecticut Huskies quarterback Jack Zergiotis. (Image Source: UConn Athletics)

Bloomington, IN—Here’s a look at the UConn Huskies going into Week 4:

Head Coach: Randy Edsall

Overall: 15th Season, 79-91 (.464) (Second stint as Head Coach of UConn)

Bowl Appearances at UConn: 5, all in previous stint

2018 Record: 1-11 (0-8, AAC)

Bowl Appearances Since 2000: 6 (3-3)

Mascot: Jonathan the Husky

Colors: Blue and White

Outfitter: Nike

National Titles: 0

Conference Titles: 25, 15 shared and 10 outright

Heisman Winners: 0

2019 Record: 1-1

Last Week: BYE (Week Two L 23-31 vs Illinois)

STATISTICAL LEADERS

Passing Jack Zergiotis (21-31, 67.7 Comp %, 275 Passing Yards, 0 TDs, 2 INTs)

Rushing Kevin Mensah (50 attempts, 171 yards, 3.4 avg, 2 TDs)

Receiving Cameron Ross (4 receptions, 85 yards, 0 TDs)

Tackles DJ Morgan (19 TKLs, 1.5 Sacks, 1 Forced Fumble)

UConn’s Talking Points

1. How will Zergiotis perform in his second career start?

After NC State transfer quarterback Micah Leon had season-ending shoulder surgery and graduate student Mike Beaudry was less than impressive in his season opening start against Wagner, Jack Zergiotis has assumed the starting role for the Huskies. The true freshman made his first start two weekends ago against Illinois and showed promise, tallying 275 yards and completing 67% of his passes. Zergiotis has shown to have a stronger arm than Beaudry, allowing him to get the ball down field relatively effortlessly to his big receivers Ardell Brown, Cameron Ross, and Jay Rose. However, he also displayed many true freshman mistakes: three sacks in the first half and two interceptions. He doesn’t lack any confidence, however, saying “I’m the best. I’m the best. That’s the mindset you have to have. Nobody is better than you. Nobody is better than me, you know?”

2. The defense is improved, led by DJ Morgan.

The most dedicated fans of college football in the state of Indiana may recognize the name: DJ Morgan, graduate transfer from Notre Dame. Though Morgan saw just two games of action during his time at Notre Dame, the graduate transfer was happily welcomed to the UConn defense and has quickly helped turn a defense with absolutely no identity in 2018 to an improved defense in 2019. Morgan tallied 11 tackles, two for a loss, against Illinois, and also forced a fumble. Couple his performance with linebacker Kevon Jones and defensive lineman Travis Jones, and it was a defense capable of putting some pressure on a Big Ten opponent. Would I go as far as calling the UConn defense good? Certainly not. But, it’s improved.

3. How will the offensive play calling look?

The offseason was less than ideal for the Huskies. After a historically awful 2018 season, UConn fired their defensive coordinator, defensive backs coach, strength and conditioning coach and assistant coach. Then, their running back coach left for Mississippi State. One of the few remaining coaches, offensive coordinator John Dunn, was supposed to be one of the positives to return. However, Dunn announced in February that he had accepted a job as the tight end coach of the New York Jets, leaving head coach Randy Edsall to replace both coordinators from an already struggling 1-11 team in 2018. Edsall looked internally to offensive line coach Frank Giufre for the job, but has not fully relinquished offensive responsibility. “It’s our offense,” said Giufre. “It’s the University of Connecticut’s offense. It’s what coach [Randy Edsall] wants to do.” Clearly, the offense is still being figured out as Giufre learns on the job, and Edsall balances head coaching and coordinator duties.

To read more from Sammy Jacobs and his staff at HoosierHuddle.com, click here.

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