John F. Silver
When the Huskies can’t get more than 53 yards rushing, it’s more than play-calling, it’s out-right getting beat by a superior opponent. That happened today.
Still, there is that sinking feeling that the Huskies are leaving things on the field. On Saturday against Rutgers in a 19-3 loss, it did that too many times.
There was a wide open Ryan Griffin in the first quarter down the seam that Chandler Whitmer over threw. I will take a pass on Whitmer’s three interceptions late — he was looking for a miracle — but that’s a play UConn has to complete. Whitmer missed plays early that could have changed the game.
“There were some opportunities,” head coach Paul Pasqualoni said. “There was one play to Griff (Griffin), going towards the scoreboard, you see that one? Got to hit it, yup, got to hit it.”
That about sums up UConn’s effort today. The Huskies had that play and others. UConn had the ball at the two-yard trailing 6-0 in the second quarter, but, they had to settle for a punt after a third and 2 was incomplete. The play was open, but it didn’t develop quickly enough and Scott McCummings’ throw to Martin Hyppolite was late and out of bounds. The wisdom of McCummings down there? I don’t like it, but, it wasn’t an incredibly difficult play and the Wildcat worked that drive.
More missed opportunities?
UConn gets the second half kickoff off a major fumble by Rutgers’ Jeremy Deerling. The result? a three and out.
Rutgers was energized by the play and in the only sustained drive of the game went 84 yards for a touchdown. On that drive the Huskies allowed two third down conversions, Jawan Jamison to break off a 28-yard run and then a missed tackle in the open field by Blidi Wreh-Wilson that allowed Mark Harrison to score a 14-yard touchdown for a 13-3 lead.
UConn’s defense gave up 13 points, and only seven off a full drive, but wasn’t perfect today despite giving up only 284 yards. The defense allowed Rutgers, pinned down at its own 1-yard line, to come out and chew up the clock and change field position.
Then there was UConn with a drive at the end of the third quarter and was threatening field position after a 16 yard McCummings’ run to the Rutgers 47. The next sequence summed up the day for the Huskies. McCummings went for a -1 yard loss, then a false start knocked back the Huskies 5 yards. ON second and 16, there was a fumbled snap and just like that it was third and long and the drive over.
“One of those opportunities that we had a chance to come out with 7, we came out with three; we had a chance for 3 and we come out with zero,” Pasqualoni said. “In a game like this those are plays you want to make and we didn’t make them today.”
Whitmer, who had a tough day 14 of 32 for 191 yards and four interceptions (two meaningless late), can only go back to execution.
“Loss of concentration. Keep your composure and you have to finish in the critical zone,” Whitmer said of the fate late third quarter drive down 13-3. ” We didn’t and didn’t come away with what we wanted there.”
How about UConn’s offense, which managed only 244 yards and struggled in the run game?
“It’s everybody not clicking with us,” Whitmer said. “We just didn’t get it done today.”
*Lyle McCombs didn’t give any detail to questions about his alleged arrest and missing the first quarter — “Coach’s decision” is what he said. As far as Pasqualoni, he said that McCombs’ discipline is over.“I got the whole story from very reliable sources, so, I am not going to make any other comment than that,” Pasqualoni said.As far as the incident, McCombs and is girlfriend were both arrested y UConn police and charged with second degree breach of peace. The is alleged yelling, spitting, scratching and a pushing. It was not battery or assault, it was breach of peace, which is a misdemeanor and is a slap on the wrist offense.* The UConn defense only gave up one full drive on the day and held Rutgers to 280 yards of offense. Still, they allowed Jamison, a terrific running back, to get 123 yards rushing and had chances to get off the field and didn’t.“Played well? We didn’t win the game. As simple as that,” Sio Moore said.