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A disappointing night at `The Rent'

POSTED September 15, 2013
BY Rick Wilson
Twitter: @scribewilson


                                          A disappointing night at `The Rent'


            So where are we? If you are the UConn football team not in a very good place. A few pigskin points to be made after another disappointing if not beautiful night at Rentschler Field.

            *Let’s start on the football end of it. Two games into the season, the Huskies aren’t very good. Okay, I know, not an earth-shattering revelation after two straight losses to open the season, but let’s look at a few disturbing aspects of the Huskies’ game that kind of reach out and grab you be the throat and squeeze.

            The offense is offensive. It was supposed to be better this year. It isn’t. At least not at this point. There is no running game. The Huskies ran for a net of 34 yards on 33 carries. Quarterback Chandler Whitmer threw for a career high 349 yards but without a running game, the effect was negligible.

            Whitmer threw a 75-yard TD pass to Shakim Phillips (10-178) but it was after the fact.

            “We came in to stop the run and I think we did that,” said Maryland coach Randy Edsell.

            Until the Huskies can get something going on the ground, the end zone is going to be unfamiliar territory.

            On the defensive side, the Huskies are a wildly erratic entity. There were moments of outstanding that resulted in stopping Maryland on two fourth down attempts and creating two turnovers. And then there were moments where it looked like there were only nine men on the field.

            Maryland rolled up 501 yards of offense and ripped off long-gainer after long-gainer.  The grade here was higher than on the offensive side, but put it all together and unless something changes, the season is going to be a long one.

            *Edsall couldn’t escape his UConn roots where coached from 1999-2010 nor did he want to.

            “This is a very special place for me and I fully appreciate what everybody did for me and my family,” said Edsall. “What we were able to accomplish here is something special and I’ll always be grateful. I’m glad to come back and make another great memory. I’ll never lose the memories I have here at UConn.”

            Before you start getting all teary-eyed, Edsall also noted that he was the first person to win a game at The Rent as a home and visiting coach and he quickly reminded some of his old UConn beat reporters that he was Maryland now and pretty darn happy to come back here and post a victory.

            *The fair-weather UConn faithful were in top form. The student section started leaving midway through the third quarter with Maryland ahead, 27-13, and in the final five minutes the scene was almost comical. A bevy of lime-shirted security guards stood in front of the student section and seemed to outnumber those remaining by about two to one.

            The game was not a sellout with the corners showing plenty of lonely seats.

            *After playing just one quarter in a 52-7 victory over Torrington Friday night, enough to rush for 183 yards and three touchdowns, Ansonia super-back Arkeel Newsome was rested and in the crowd and you wonder if he was thinking about how much he can help the Huskies next year.

            *Former Register Citizen Sports Editor (and my boss) Gerry deSimas was in the house and shooting photos for his Collinsville Press. For those who haven’t kept up with Gerry, he is still in the sports business although not full-time after a long stint as editor of the New Britain Herald. Gerry, an outstanding newspaper man, is the state’s high school wrestling guru. 

            Also good to catch up with one of the state’s top sportswriters, Mike DiMauro, of the New London Day. Mike is married to Karin Crompton, former star athlete at Lewis Mills, and former Waterbury Republican sportswriter.

            *Just fessin’ up here, not that anybody cares. The foot spread did nothing for my diet. Sausages and cookies are not on the Weight Watcher’s plan. I think that’s wrong, but it is what it is.

            *Michigan barely survived its battle with Akron Saturday, holding on a final play touchdown bid to post a 28-24 win. You wonder what that means for the Huskies Saturday (game time TBA). Will the Wolverines come ready to rebound or does coach Brady Hoke have a problem?  

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