Sorry it’s taken so long to come up with this but it’s been a busy few days. But now is a good time to bring down the curtain on the 2017 UConn Football Season which ended with as disappointing loss as you could imagine.
The Huskies 21-20 loss in Cincinnati ended in the most incredible, exasperating fashion. UConn marched from its own 7 to the Bearcats 15 in just two minutes. A David Pindell past into the end zone fell incomplete but pass interference was called, giving the Huskies an untimed down from the two. Pindell, who easily played his best game, rolled right and bought time until Hergy Mayala got open. Pindell found him for the touchdown and Randy Edsall was out on the field, holding up two
fingers, signaling his intent to go for the win. There was one problem…There was a flag in the end zone and Mayala was called for taunting, moving the extra point back to the 17 yard line. Michael Tarbutt then missed the potential game tying extra point and the season ended in gut wrenching fashion.
There is no excuse for Mayala’s action. It was thoughtless and came from a kid I would never have expected that from. Hopefully, he learns from the error of his ways. But that doesn’t take away from the fact he cost his team the game.
As I said, Pindell played his best game, save an interception late in the first half that led to Cincinnati’s first touchdown. He led UConn on an amazing 19 play scoring drive and while his deep throws still leave a little to be desired, Pindell has thrown his hat into the ring to be a starter next season. Keyion Dixon had his best game as a receiver, catching 8 balls for 67 yards. All the wide outs return and along with tight end Tyler Davis and 3/5 of the offensive line, there is optimism on offense.
Defensively, Omar Fortt had a career day with 12 tackles, playing the Husky position in the 3-3-5 defense. Fortt, Tyler Coyle ,and Marshe Terry give the secondary a chance to be better next year.
UConn will miss linebackers Junior Joseph and Vontae Diggs but Chris Britton Jr had a steady season and Ryan Gilmartin played well in relief of Joseph in the final two games. I think Darrian Beavers has a chance to be the next big star at linebacker. The defensive line will undergo a total rebuild, losing all three starters and backup Cam Stapleton. The coaches will look for d-linesman who best fit the technique needed to play in the new scheme.
Was the year disappointing? Of course it was. No one was expecting, or happy with 3-9. But, the program is in much better hands than it was a year ago at this time. Trust me on that one. Expect some players to leave, there is always some turnover in the first full off season after a coaching change. A football rebuild doesn’t happen overnight and Huskies fans have to realize that. Hopefully, they will.