With these five points the Bearcats will lock up the world, or at the very least a share of the Big East crown. Much of the fanfair and expected hype for this matchup took a major hit when South Florida lost to West Virginia last night. The Orange Bowl which seemed all but a given a month ago is officially out the window. While that sucks in and of itself, the notion which has been espoused everywhere in the last 24 hours that UC has nothing to play for is patent bullshit. The ultimate goal may be gone, but there is plenty left to play for tomorrow. Not least of all being sending the winningest senior class in program history out in proper fashion.
For the offense to be successful again on Saturday afternoon Isaiah Pead needs to get the ball early and often in space. Munchie Legaux did a great job with that against the Cuse and it is going to be imperative to get Pead involved in the passing game against UConn. The Huskies will stack the box and over commit to stop Pead in the running game so he needs to see the ball in different looks.
Two QB Systems
Both teams use two QB's regularly in their offenses, and to often times devastating effect. Both defenses know that going into the game. For UC the Jordan Luallen package is something of a luxury good. It's a way of stressing defenses in unexpected ways. But for UConn is part of their bread and butter package. The offense seems to run better with Scott McCommings, but Paul Pasqualoni is firmly committed, for whatever reason, to the pro style offensive paradigm with Johnny McEntee. I have a feeling that both backups with play big roles in the outcome of the game.
Bearcat Wide Receivers
Part of this will obviously depend on the play of Munchie Legaux and to a certain extent Luallen as well, but there will be opportunities for the Bearcats to make plays in the passing game. UConn is fairly dreadful against the pass, even worse than UC believe it or not. The UC receivers will have plenty of chances to make plays in the intermediate passing game. Munchie is not a exceptionally accurate passer true, but by my count he has thrown 10 catchable passes in the last two games that were dropped by the receivers. That is not cutting it, the receivers have got to do a better job helping out their young receivers.
Derek Wolfe and John Hughes
The big men are going to be playing their last game in Nippert Stadium paired together. Wolfe and Hughes are the best DT pairing in school history and have the table set to go out in style. The UConn offensive line is a shambles at this point. They are allowing over 3 sacks a game and have been generally terrible all season. This has the feeling of a potential double digit sack day, the first since the Miami game in 2009.
Protect The Football
In and of themselves UConn isn't a capable offensive team. They have some nice pieces, like Lyle McCombs who has been an absolute revelation, but the offense of the Huskies can be aptly described as grinding. UConn has topped 40 points once all season and that was last week against Rutgers in a game in which the Huskies offense was aided and abetted by Rutgers turnovers, 6 of them in fact, one of which was returned for a TD by Kendal Reyes.
The UConn offense produced four TD's on the game, and every last one of them started in Rutgers territory as a result of either a turnover from the Scarlet Knights or the Special Teams magic of Nick Williams. The longest "drive" for a TD for the Huskies last week was 41 yards. The average starting field position of those drives was the Rutgers 35 yard line. UConn isn't a good offensive team, but they will ruthlessly capitalize on any advantages they are given. UC can't give them the opportunities and expect to win that share of the Big East crown.