JOE D’S NOTEBOOK 9/13/2013
MARYLAND WEEK- Friday. Sometime around 7:30 on Saturday night, Randy Edsall will make his official return to Rentschler Field since leaving UConn after the 2010 Fiesta Bowl. He will be there Friday afternoon when he brings his Maryland team in for a quick look at the building but Saturday night will be the real return.
Normally, UConn fans don’t get into the Rent any earlier than they have to. I think this week will be different. There has been so much discussion of Edsall’s return that I would be stunned if most of the patrons are in their seats prior to kickoff.
How will Randy be received? Ah, there is the 64 thousand dollar question. There has been so much talk about the way he left, not holding a team meeting after the loss to Oklahoma, flying out to College Park early the next morning.Everyone is allowed their own opinion and can boo or cheer. But I think it should be noted, unlike many other coaches, Edsall stayed thru the Fiesta Bowl. He didn’t bolt like so many others did before their teams bowl game. And he did build a program into the BCS participant in a lot shorter period of time than anyone should have expected.And the fact that many fans aren’t happy with the result against Towson could impact how they greet the former Huskies head coach.
But that brief moment is only a sideshow to the main event. How does UConn respond after their loss to Towson. I think the schedule works against them. I think 16 days is far too long a wait after the opening game.At some point, you grow weary of practice. And the Huskies need to be sharp against a Maryland team that has picked up over 11 hundred yards in total offense in blowout wins over Florida International and Old Dominion. The return of CJ Brown at quarterback has been the key to the offensive upswing. He is running the read option offense to near perfection. He has a corps of talented receivers,led by Stefon Diggs, who will be a handful. Defensively, the Terps key is their linebackers. Led by converted safety Matt Robinson, they can stop the run and rush the passer.
But, let’s remember this is Maryland’s first road game and that is a completely different environment than what they had in College Park. And while the Terps have been impressive in the first two games, UConn is a far better quality of opponent than Games One or Two. But, UConn needs something good to happen for them early in the game to re-instill confidence that appears to be missing.
Our broadcast day starts with The Tailgate Show immediately following the Yankees and Red Sox. Then, Bob has the pregame show and then Wayne, Kevin and I have the game broadcast.I hope you join us either in East Hartford or on the radio.