JOE D’S NOTEBOOK October 13th

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University of South Florida Bulls (Bob Joyce/WTIC Photo) (Bob Joyce/WTIC Photo)

University of South Florida Bulls (Bob Joyce/WTIC Photo) (Bob Joyce/WTIC Photo)

USF- THE RECAP: If someone had told me before Saturday’s game that UConn would hold South Florida to 13 points, I’d have thought the Huskies would have captured that elusive first win of the season. I would have been wrong.

UConn’s season of woe continued with a gut wrenching 13-10 loss to the Bulls on Homecoming Day. The start of a new conference, the debut of an interim head coach and the first appearance of a heralded freshman quarterback couldn’t erase the fact that when it came down to making more plays than the Bulls, Connecticut didn’t.

Tim Boyle showed a scrambling ability three times in the first half which excited the crowd in East Hartford. His passing numbers weren’t great, he missed some throws and his receivers missed some throws.I heard some speculate the receivers weren’t used to the speed with which Boyle delivers the ball. Not true, they have all caught balls from him in practice.

The running game showed signs of life for the first time this season. The offensive line opened holes and Lyle Mc Combs showed a flash and dash that we haven’t seed from him since 2011. His 52 yard td run, the Huskies only td of the day, was a thing of beauty. But, in the second half, UConn couldn’t handle the adjustments made by the South Florida defense and the running game was slowed to a crawl.

UConn’s defense played great, until South Florida’s next to last possession of the game. After holding the Bulls without a first down for the first 20 minutes of the second half, USF got 4 first downs on the drive that led to Marvin Kloss game winning field goal. But still, the defense flew to the ball in holding USF without an offensive touchdown.

Obviously,the clock management on the final drive of the game left something to be desired. The replay shows Boyle looking to the bench trying to get a timeout. To me, it doesn’t matter who made the mistake and there is no guarantee the Huskies could have gotten into position for a potential game tying field goal. But, they should have had the chance but they took it away from themselves.

The big test this week is how the players and coaches respond. All the enthusiasm of last week prior to the game can’t be washed away by Saturday’s outcome. Not if the Huskies want to salvage something from the season. They had to a place on Saturday in Cincinnati where they’ve never won. Then they go to a place the following week, Central Florida where they’ve never played. It won’t be easy, nobody said it would.

Join Coach Weist and me Monday night at 6 pm at Wood-N-Tap in Vernon for the UConn Football Coaches show. I’ll visit with former Huskie and current Atlanta Falcon Robert McClain and Cincinnati play by play man extraordinaire Dan Hoard. Join us in Vernon or on the telephone.

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