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Sports Commentary 8/30/13: So Far, No Good

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(photo by Bob Stowell)

(photo by Bob Stowell)

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Just How Bad was the UConn Football Opener ???

SO FAR, NO GOOD

We were promised something different this season, a whole new look, some sizzle on offense that would light up the scoreboard and bring the fans out of their seats at Rentschler Field.  I’ve seen McCombs right, McCombs left, McCombs up the middle.  I’ve seen Chandler Whitmer flat on his back in the offensive backfield.  What I saw last night at Rentschler was more of the same.  I want something else.  UCONN football fans want something else, at least the ones who show up do.  Last night that numbered only about twenty five thousand.  It was not a good background for national television.  It was not a good officiating debut for the American Athletic Conference.  It may have been the first time in history a potential scoring play was reviewed after the next play, before a penalty on that next play was assessed.  I can understand UCONN coach Paul Pasqualoni not wanting to show too much to upcoming opponents Maryland, Michigan and Louisville, but apparently he didn’t get the memo from Warde Manual’s office.  When your athletic director schedules a win you have to show at least enough to win.  Last night the Huskies showed nothing, on either side of the ball, and, for the first time since 2001, when they themselves were a 1-AA team transitioning to 1-A, UCONN lost to an FCS level team.  While they may not have given away anything to Maryland, Michigan and Louisville they have to be aware of the fact Maryland, Michigan and Louisville weren’t the only places where interested parties were taking notes on what happened last night in East Hartford.  They were also paying close attention in Greensboro, North Carolina and Columbus, Ohio, and they can’t be blamed if they’re asking this morning, “Why would we want those guys in our league?”  If Pasqualoni doesn’t provide Manual with an answer soon he may not see the end of this season at the helm of the Huskies, let alone the end of his contract.  Last night during the game he had no answers for Towson.  The Tigers didn’t just win by a 33-18 score, after falling behind on a 31 yard Whitmer to Shak Phillips pass five minutes into the game, they pushed the Huskies around.  By the end of the third quarter UCONN never got closer than a prayer to catching up as Whitmer spent most of the fourth quarter running for his life while offensive lineman pointed fingers at each other, not a pretty sight for a desparate team carrying the future of a university’s athletic franchise on it’s shoulders.  After the game Pasqualoni had no answers for the media, continuously saying he’d have to look at the film before he could figure things out.  Even the new Husky logo helmets failed to draw rave reviews.  It will be a balmy day at the Pinstripe Bowl before they earn a position alongside the legendary Michigan Wolverines yellow striping.  Finding something good to say about game one of the most critical season in UCONN athletics history took some long, hard evaluation, but, my, that new scoreboard was nice.  And it was nice not having to deal with traffic going home at the end of a long day.  With a comment from the sports world, I’m Scott Gray.

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