The Connecticut Huskies And The Joy Of Effectively Identical Teams

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In many respects, most of the ones that matter anyways, UC and Connecticut are mirror images of each other as Football teams. Defensively both place a premium on stopping the run, arguably to the detriment of stopping the pass. Both rank in the top 10 nationally in rushing yards allowed, and yards per carry allowed. Both defenses struggle mightily agaisnt the pass, both rank in the bottom 30 nationally in yards allowed.

Offensively the similarities continue as both teams are going to feature heavily ground orientated offensive attacks leaning on, basically, one player. For UConn that player is Lyle McCombs who accounts for 78 per cent of the Huskies rushing yards in 2011. For comparisons sake Isaiah Pead accounts for just 52 per cent of the Bearcats rushing total. The other thing that both teams will have in common is an inability to pass the football for yardage, or even for big plays.

The Huskies have been using two QB's for the majority of the season. Johnny McEntee of trick shot QB fame is ostensibly the "passing" QB, though his actual effectiveness as a QB is limited, and that's putting it nicely. He is completing a hair over 51 per cent of his passes with 10 TDs and 7 INTs. McEntee has started every game for the Huskies but Freshman Scott McCummings mans their wildcat package and has played well enough to make the locals restless for the start of the McCummings era. The Huskies passing game goes through Kasiehf Moorem Isiah Moore and Ryan Griffin. Those are the top three targets. The only other Huskie with double digit receptions to his name is McCombs.

Defensively UConn plays it relatively straight forward in terms of scheme, they will play base coverages the majority of the time. They aren't a team that is heavy on pressure looks, though they will obviously send pressure when they deem it necessary. The strength of the huskies is the same as the Bearcats upfront. The rushing numbers speak for themselves, but this is a front that makes plays 7.7 TFL per game, and 2.91 sacks per game. They have two players up front that command attention in Trevardo Williams and Kendal Reyes who are among the best in the conference, if the not the country, at their respective positions. The other play maker in the front seven is Sio Moore who is a lock for first team All Big East at linebacker with J.K. Schaffer and Kahseem Greene. The secondary is a horror show for reasons I can't begin to fathom how a secondary that returned every starter from an OK but not terrible secondary could suddenly, in the course of a season, become one of the worst in the country. I don't really care like figuring it out either, because the bottom line is that the UConn secondary is not very good.

The similarities between the Bearcats and the Huskies are apparent and I can't quite figure out how UC is sitting at 8-3 while UConn is sitting at 5-6. And I am not going to ponder why anymore, it just makes my head hurt.

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