JOE D’S NOTEBOOK
FRIDAY- A week from today the UConn football team will have opened its 2013 season against old friend Rob Ambrose and Towson University. Starting today, I’ll begin my preview.
Today, it’s the offensive line, easily the most maligned part of the 2012 Huskies. UConn struggled to run and throw the football and most of the blame was placed on the big five upfront. And while the O-line struggled, it’s not fair to blame them for the 5-7 record.
But they know they have to play better this season. They have to open better holes for the running game and it is imperative they do a better job protecting the quarterback. Chandler Whiter was beaten up so badly by the end of the season he was forced from both the Louisville and Cincinnati games. That can’t happen again this year, even though the depth is better.
The good news is for of the five starters return,Jimmy Bennett and Kevin Friend at the tackles, Steve Greene at left guard and Alex Mateas at center,where he split time with Tyler Bullock. Gus Cruz, who took over as the starter at right guard after Alex Masters was hurt, is now the full time starter. True freshman Kyle Shafenacker backss up Cruz at right guard while Dalton Gifford is again the backup for Bennett.
Offensive line coach George DeLeone has thrown down to the gauntlet to his unit to perform better. If they do, then the UConn offense may be able to be much more efficient than last season. If they don’t …..