There really isn’t much to say about what happened at Pratt and Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field on Saturday Night. Missouri came in and blasted UConn 52-12 in a game that didn’t feel that close.
There are no positive spins, no talking about strain and pulling the rope, just the cold hard honesty coming from Coach Randy Edsall and the players afterward. The execution on both sides of the ball was inferior and Missouri took full advantage.
We knew the Tigers passing offense would present problems for the young UConn defense and they did. Quarterback Drew Lock completed 14 straight passes at one point in the first half, to wide open receivers, and then the Huskies compounded the problem by missing more tackles in one game than it seemed they missed all season. Missouri didn’t get a lot of long pass plays, only five of 20 yards or more, but the intermediate completions did their damage. And the Tigers ran the ball better than expected. Take away the 27 yard loss on the botched punt that gave UConn a safety and the two sacks for 23 yards and Missouri had 5.7 yards per carry.
It was on offense that UConn had its worst game of the season. There were dropped passes and bad execution on others. It was easily the worst game of the season for Bryant Shirreffs, who was off on several throws and missed a couple of wide open receivers. There were five more sacks and a total of nine tackles for loss by Missouri. The offense has shown signs of sputtering in recent weeks, despite the wins over Temple and Tulsa. It hit the skids on Saturday night.
And I applaud the decision to send Jamar Summers off the field after his unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in the third quarter. Edsall is trying to build the culture of the football team and you can’t have one of your senior leaders acting that way during the game.
So now, it’s two extremely tough games starting Saturday afternoon against a USF team that will come in angry after it’s first loss of the season to Houston. More on that game later in the week.