Teddy Bridgewater and Louisville invade The Rent on Friday.
STORRS: They’ve been off the back pages of the sports sections for nearly two weeks, which may have been a good thing.
With basketball getting underway this week for real, the UConn football team has not been under the glare they had been the previous weeks as they struggle to get their first win of the 2013 season.
That all changes on Friday when the Huskies go right back under the heat lamps when they take on Teddy Bridgewater and the highly ranked Louisville Cardinals at 8:30 at Rentschler Field.
It’s a nationally televised game that will be seen on ESPN 2, the second time the Huskies have been on the big stage this year.
Their last encounter under these circumstances almost resulted in a shocking upset against then 15th ranked Michigan in a game they led 21-7 at one point but eventually fell by a 24-21 score.
Will head coach T.J. Weist try and use that game as a motivator?
“Absolutely. We need to take advantage of that hype, that energy that was in the building that night.” Weist said.
It’s who will be in the building that will be a cause for major concern to Weist and company.
Bridgewater comes in with some astounding stats that include a 73.7 completion percentage, 23 touchdowns with just two interceptions.
The Cardinals are first in the American Athletic Conference on third down conversions, second in the country in passing efficiency.
Bridgewater has thrown a touchdown pass in 20 consecutive games and needs just eight more to break the school record of 30.
More stat shock, the national rankings for both teams on offense and defense.
Louisville comes in ranked 11th in the country in passing offense, 71st in the run game while in comparison, the Huskies are ranked near the bottom at 117 in rushing and 74th in passing.
True freshman Tim Boyle has three games under his belt and played the best in his first, a 13-10 loss to USF at The Rent back on October 12.
Since that game, the Huskies have been blown out by a combined 103-33 margin and Boyle has struggled, completing just 42.7 percent of his passes without a touchdown but with five interceptions.
“We said we were going to be patient with a true freshman quarterback,” Weist said Monday. “But Tim is accountable for his actions and results on the field and we feel he is improving.”
Geremy Davis continues to have a solid junior year with 35 catches good for 544 yards but no scores.
Shakim Phillips, who is back in the lineup in a larger capacity, is still not 100 percent with a bum hamstring but gives the Huskies quality threats on the outside.
Running back Lyle McCombs is near the 500 yard mark in seven games, a 66-yards per game average, the team is averaging just over 76-yards per game on the ground.
The road beckons for UConn after this week with contests against SMU (3-4) and Temple (1-8) on deck.
They finish the season out with home games against Rutgers (5-3) and Memphis (1-6).