In the words of that iconic sports wordsmith, Mr Lawrence Peter Berra, aka Yogi, it was “déjà vu all over again” for the UConn football team on Saturday. For the second straight Saturday, the Huskies had their moments against a superior opponent but didn’t make enough plays and lost. Last week it was at Missouri, and this week is was at home against Navy.
There is no question that Navy Quarterback Keenan Reynolds is the best in the country and running the triple option offense. He ran for three scores, and let all ground gainers with 142 yards. Reynolds made it look too easy and times and there were times it did look too easy. Even though the UConn defense stiffened up after intermission, Navy ran wild in the first half. And not with “big” plays, they didn’t have a run over 20 yards. But they constantly put themselves in manageable second and third down situations.
The UConn offense had its moments, just not enough of them. It was the most extensive use of Arkeel Newsome in his 16 game career and the sophomore from Ansonia made the most of his extended playing time. But he was the only tailback who carried the ball on the day. Bryant Shirrefs threw for two scores and 219 yards but it seemed like there were some balls that never got near the intended receivers. And the offensive line was average at best for most of the day.
UConn is better than a year ago, make no mistake about that. And the Huskies play hard, don’t ever doubt that. But they aren’t at the point yet where they can afford to play less than an outstanding game and expect to beat a more talented opponent.
Next up, late night Friday in Provo against Brigham Young. More on that game later in the week.