Week Two UConn football marks.
EAST HARTFORD: Week Two Marks
OFFENSE: While Chandler Whitmer threw for 349 yards and a touchdown, the non-existent running game is simply not going to get it done. 33 rushes for 34 yards. Lyle McCombs ran hard as he always does but the Huskies need to open holes so he can make things happen in the open field. Shakim Phillips had another good night with 10 catches good for 178 yards (career best). The ‘O’ needed to make more of the two fourth down stops by the ‘D’ and the two first half turnovers. Whitmer pick that was returned for a touchdown a product of no running game.
DEFENSE: Strong first half until the C.J. Brown 41-yard run off a missed tackle woke up the Maryland offense. Yawin Smallwood (7 unassisted tackle, 14 overall) was the tough linebacker UConn needs him to be. Taylor Mack had an interception that stop a potential Maryland scoring drive but also returned a missed field goal from near the end line and was tackled at his own 10-yard line as opposed to the 33-yard line where the attempt originated. Jeff Ashiru recovered a fumble.
Special Teams: Two punts by Cole Wagner should have been downed inside the Maryland five yard line instead both drives started at the 20-yard line. Terps turned them both into points with TD and FG. Wagner averaged 36.2 and should have nailed four of his punts inside the twenty with better coverage. Phillips had a 39-yard kickoff return.
Overall: This was both a game the Huskies should have and could have had. The early strong offensive effort went by the wayside when given the opportunities by the defense. Against a strong offense like the one Maryland brings, a team has to take advantage of mistakes by turning them into points. All the ingredients were in place to make the homecoming of former head coach Randy Edsall one he might want to forget but was turned into one he may savor more than he let on afterwards. The Huskie faithful turned out and was into the game for the get-go. The team needs to give them a reason to hang around longer then the third quarter.