Huskies have alot on the line as the take on Houston on Saturday in East Hartford.
TORRINGTON: It’s been a long road back to a point where the last regular season home game the UConn Huskies football team played mattered to anyone but family, friends and true die-hards.
That’s all changed this year. A year after ending their campaign with a 2-10 mark, losing the last game to a team that came into East Hartford without a digit in the left hand column.
Southern Methodist University got that win at the expense of UConn and in front of a very, very small crowd.
Flash forward to 2015 and on Saturday, you could say what a difference a year makes.
Granted, it’s not the last game of the season for the Huskies, that comes next week at Temple but, after what has seemed like an eternity, UConn finds themselves in a much different situation Saturday at 3:30 when they take on nationally ranked Houston.
A win and they will become Bowl eligible. At 5-5, the Huskies have two shots to get one win.
Getting that win against two of the top ranked teams in the not only the American Athletic Conference but in the Cougars case, the nation, will not be an easy task but a year removed from a lost season, at least they are back in the conversation.
The Cougars have been an offensive machine this year, averaging 43.5 points per game on their way to a spotless 10-0 record although they have been pushed the last two weeks, getting by Memphis (35-34) in their last game and Cincinnati (33-30) the game previous.
A week from tomorrow, the Huskies will take the ride to the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia for a match up against Temple, a team that has lost two of their last three games including a 44-23 loss to the University of South Florida, a team that became bowl eligible with that victory.
If you recall back to October 17, the Bulls got by the Huskies by a 28-20 final at home in a game that the home team piled up over 500 yards of offense in a loss.
For 13 seniors, it will be their last home appearance and going out with a win would chase away many a ghost of seasons past by attaining that elusive sixth win with a shot at a seventh a week later.
Several key players on defense, including safeties Andrew Adams and Junior Lee, defensive linemen Kenton Adeyemi and Julian Campenni will play their last game in front of the faithful.
Running back and Berlin native, Max DeLorenzo will be joined by fellow upperclassmen Dalton Gifford and Tyler Samra from the offensive line.
Two key linebackers, Marquise Vann and Graham Stewart will look to go out on a high note with a win in front of a fan base that is just begging for something to roar about.
The Huskies offense, which was shut out two weeks ago in a 7-3 win over Tulane, needs a breakout game in the absolute worst way and with the Cougars defense reeling over the past two weeks, the opportunity may just present itself.
A lot rides on the Huskies performance on Saturday. The obvious bowl implications are on the line, as is rewarding a fan base that has a reason to hope in late November, looking to play in the post season.