College Football Preview: The 2014 Connecticut Huskies
Connecticut has enough pieces to see improvement in 2014.
2014 College Football Preview
The Connecticut Huskies look for respectability under first year head coach Bob Diaco in 2014.
Overview: After an 0-4 start to 2013 Paul Pasqualoni was fired with the Huskies winning three straight to end the year. Bob Diaco enters his first season on the sideline with some pieces in place while others are missing so can he find the missing pieces sooner then later?
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Offense: UConn put the ball in the air quite often in 2013 and of the three quarterbacks used, Casey Cochran was easily the best with nearly 1,300 yards on 63% with eleven TD's and four picks and seems like the hands down starter on opening day. He'll have virtually the entire receiving corps back including Geremy Davis (71-1085) who was far and away the top target. Lyle McCombs (159-670) led the backfield on the ground but barely averaged over four yards per pop. The offense seems to be in good shape except for the line which loses four starters but have three with starting experience which presents a huge concern for the offense.
Defense: The defensive line that was solid against the run loses their top three including Shamar Stephen and Tim Willman that combined for 18 TFL with three sacks each. The linebacking unit sees two of the top three depart leaving Jefferson Ashiru as the top gun while there are several high rated players that will get a chance to prove themselves. The strength of the front seven was stopping the run and the weakness was pressuring the QB in passing situations but both cold be problems now. The secondary returns nine of eleven but injuries wreaked havoc on this group in 2013. S Obi Melifonwu and corner Byron Jones led with a combined five TFL and five picks.
Special Teams: UConn needs a punter and a placekicker. McCombs will handle the majority of all return duties but the coverage and return teams need better numbers.
Outlook: The defense is in need of some retooling and the O-Line needs help so I don't think the Huskies will be a factor in 2024 although a slight improvement in the win column seems reasonable.