Lots of room for improvement for Huskies after 35-10 loss to BYU.
Taysom Hill and the BYU Cougars beat the UConn Huskies by a 35-10 score on Friday night in East Hartford. Hill had 418 total yards on the night.
EAST HARTFORD: UConn head coach Bob Diaco had been telling us all summer that the first three games of the regular season would be pre-season games, to some extent.
After all, the Huskies had not played anyone else but each other so it would have to be hard to measure where they stood.
That's what Friday night was going to show us.
"We will know where we stand after the BYU game," Diaco told us this week.
After a 35-10 beating at the hands of Taysom Hill and the BYU Cougars, the New Era at UConn has a world of work to do but the head coach was optimistic to say the least.
"We got better as a team tonight," Diaco said. "Yes we wanted to win the game but we are better now than we were four hours ago."
One could not have imagined a worse start than the Huskies got out to, going down two scores within the first five minutes of the first quarter after Taysom Hill (28-36-308, 97 yards rushing) led the Cougars on a 75-yard scoring drive.
On the Huskies first play from scrimmage, Max DeLorenzo coughed the ball up and the visitors converted on the very next play on a 26-yard touchdown pass from Hill.
Their first mistake of the night came on the kickoff when a penalty negated a great runback by Deshon Foxx that would have put them in business in BYU territory.
Hill is a monster, plain and simple. He ran for a pair of scores and threw for three more, accounting for 416 of his team’s 514 total yards.
Before the half was even 21 minutes old, the home team was down the same amount.
The Huskies, as their head coach had predicted, used a bundle of players on both sides of the ball, 50 in total.
25 on offense and 25 on defense.
All four running backs saw action tonight, as Diaco had predicted and each showed something positive.
"I though each of them had their moments," Diaco said. "It's hard when you get down like we did early, you have to go away from some of the things we may have wanted to do."
The Huskies went with the two quarterback system almost all game and while Casey Cochran (17-31-1-171) got the start and looked good at times, it was not enough to keep him in the game at all times, something the team had decided on Thursday, according to Diaco.
"We had determined who was going to play when on Thursday so each quarterback knew what they were going to do." Diaco said, "I though both of them played well at times."
The Huskies are simply not equipped at this point to play from behind, not yet, not at this level.
Chandler Whitmer drove UConn to their only score of the night, six play, 52-yard drive that came off a turnover by the Cougars.
Freshman Josh Marriner scored from one yard out on a drive that he spearheaded with quality runs and a catch before punching it in from a yard out.
At times on Friday night, the penalty flags were flying like an early season NFL game.
In total, there were 23 penalties called, 15 on BYU, eight on the Huskies.
Over 35,000 attended the season opener and while the outcome was not what they would have hoped for, the head coach appreciated what he saw from his fan base.
"I want to thank all the fans who came to the game, stayed till the end and showed us so much support," Diaco said. "We need everybody to come back again next week and us the same support. The players feel it."
NOTES: Arkeel Newsome, from Ansonia, had a nice 18-yard screen pass in the first half and had a nice kick return late in the game.
UConn hosts Stony Brook next Saturday at noon at The Rent.