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Know the Foe: Connecticut

The Huskies rank last in a handful of prominent defensive categories
Memphis defender Austin Hall, right, hits Connecticut quarterback David Pindell during an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018, in Memphis, Tenn. (Mark Weber/The Commercial Appeal via AP) TNMEM321
Memphis defender Austin Hall, right, hits Connecticut quarterback David Pindell during an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018, in Memphis, Tenn. (Mark Weber/The Commercial Appeal via AP) TNMEM321
Published Oct. 16, 2018

A look at Connecticut, which plays No. 21 USF on Saturday at Raymond James Stadium

Nickame: Huskies
Record: 1-5 (0-3 AAC)
Win: Rhode Island, 56-49
Losses: UCF, 56-17; at Boise State, 62-7; at Syracuse, 51-21; Cincinnati, 49-7; at Memphis, 55-14
Coach: Randy Edsall (second season, 4-14*; 19th season overall, 100-118)
S&P+ ranking: 130

The breakdown: The Bulls probably couldn't have custom-designed a more ideal homecoming foe. The Huskies, who started seven freshmen (including five true freshmen) on defense in their last game, are historically bad on that side. They'll enter RayJay ranked last nationally in total defense (658.2 ypg), scoring defense (53.7 ypg) and pass-efficiency defense (202.19), and 129th (ahead of only Bowling Green) against the run (322.3 ypg). Even worse, the program's still coping with the recent stroke suffered by LB Eli Thomas (reportedly prior to a weightlifting session). How the Huskies will respond emotionally is anyone's guess. The only potential redeeming qualities they seem to possess entering this game: (A) they're coming off a bye week, and (B) senior QB David Pindell (187 passing, 76.5 rushing yards per game) has some talent.

Odds & ends: UConn's strength-of-schedule ranking currently is 17th; the Huskies' first five opponents all were undefeated when UConn played them. … Edsall's roster features eight Floridians including freshman DB Messiah Turner (Tampa Catholic).

Audible: "You can't worry about their record. This is a conference game, and you're always gonna get your opponent's best. So the thing we've got to do is put together our best. We need to get out, we need to start fast, we need to play well, we need to play with great fundamentals and technique. We've just got to get started and get going." — Bulls coach Charlie Strong

*-Edsall was 74-70 in his first stint at UConn, from 1999-2010

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