JOE D’S NOTEBOOK 9/30/2013
BUFFALO- THE RECAP. There is no way to sugarcoat what happened to the UConn football team Saturday afternoon at UB Stadium in suburban Buffalo. The 41-12 loss represents the worst loss for the Huskies in the FBS era.
Sure, there have been more lopsided losses.There have been other games where the statistics were more one sided. Games that may have been over at halftime. But this was against Buffalo, and not to demean the Bulls, they aren’t Miami,or Virginia Tech, or West Virginia, or Oklahoma. They are a program that has struggled with one winning season in the last 16 years. But Saturday,against UConn, Buffalo was dominant.
It’s not often that you can look at a game not find one bright spot. But this was that game for UConn. The Huskies put an emphasis on trying to run the football. They couldn’t…again…34 running plays picked up a total of 84 yards. Unacceptable. The passing game accounted for 193 yards but subtract the 57 yards lost on five more quarterback sacks, and it meant the Huskies got FOUR yards per attempted pass. There is NO way you are going to win a football game that way. Defensively,for the third time in four games, UConn couldn’t sack the opposing quarterback and even though Joe Licata didn’t put up Peyton Manning-esque numbers, he was never made to feel uncomfortable in the pocket. And once the defense wore down, Bo Oliver was able to make positive yardage in the running game.
The common reaction among the players afterwards was “we “stunk”” .Losing to Buffalo was undoubtedly the low point in the upperclassman’s career.It capped a non conference schedule where almost everyone figured UConn would win two games. But they didn’t. And while you can’t blame everyone from being optimistic that the start of conference play will bring a different level of play,the eye test would make one wonder about that.
Yes, there are still eight games to be played. And make no mistake, the football by the American Athletic Conference teams hasn’t been very good, except for Lousiville, Rutgers and Central Florida.But after Saturday’s outing in Western New York, UConn fans are left to wonder what’s next and how this team can turn things around.