Sunday, December 31, 2006

Remembering 2006

I used to love New Year's Eve. It was always the greatest night of the year. Now, every Dec. 31, I wonder in amazement how the last 12 months went by so quickly. At any rate, here's a quick look back at the year that has passed.

The top 10 UConn football stories of 2006.

1. Burton Complex and Shenkman Center open for business: The final piece of the puzzle? Yes, from a facilities standpoint. The opening of the multi-million dollar campus training facility completes UConn's transition to Division I-A status. The building was fully operational in September.

2. The emergence of Donald Brown. UConn found a star in Brown, a redshirt freshman tailback who got his first start at Rutgers on Oct. 29 due to an injury to Terry Caulley. Brown made the most of the opportunity, running for 199 yards and two TDs. The starting job was his the rest of the way, and Brown, who finished with 896 yards, was one of the top freshmen in the Big East.

3. Beergate. It was the beer run heard 'round the country. Five UConn players, all backups, were dismissed by Randy Edsall for a violation of team rules: purchasing beer at a gas station and smuggling it back to the hotel room the night before a game at South Florida. Ricky McCollum, Harold Stanback, Nollis Dewar, Todd Dorcellus and Carl Teague are booted. The story generated national attention.

4. UConn 46, Pitt 45 (2 OT). Just watch this highlight clip.

5. Terry Caulley goes out in style. A true UConn pioneer - his success as a freshman and sophomore helped legitimize the Huskies transition to Division I-A. Injuries slowed Caulley over his final two seasons, and he lost his job to Donald Brown at midseason. But Caulley still passed Wilbur Gilliard as the program's career rushing leader, became the first member of the 3,000-yard rusher's club, and, fittingly, scored a touchdown against Louisville on the final carry of his career.

6. The Marvin Taylor saga. Taylor, part of the pellet-gun posse in 2005, was arrested and charged with illegal use of a credit card. He was subsequently dismissed from the team. But it was Edsall's handling of the situation that made this story bigger than it should have been.

7. More merry-go-QB. Let's see. It was D.J. Then Bones. Then D.J., then Bones again. Inconsistency (and injury) was a major problem at the most important position. And while we're on the subject......

8. Tyler Lorenzen commits. The Junior College All-American quarterback from Iowa arrives at Storrs in January from Palomar College in California. Originally an Iowa State recruit, he threw for nearly 3,000 yards, 26 touchdowns and a mere three interceptions this season. Signed his national letter of intent earlier this month.

9. Not-so special teams. Place kicking and protection were enormous problems for the Huskies. Missed chip shots may have cost a victory against Wake Forest in September. A blocked punt returned for a touchdown may have done the same at Rutgers in October.

10. Injuries, injuries, injuries. The injury list was 30 players long at one point late in the season. Among the starters who went down with season-ending maladies were Cody Brown, Keith Gray, William Beatty, Larry Taylor, D.J. Hernandez, Mike Hicks, Jason Ward, Brandon McLean and Martin Bedard. Others, like Dan Murray, Darius Butler and Terry Caulley, missed significant time or were limited by their injuries.

Have a safe night and Happy New Year to you all.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Chip, any word on Jarrell Miller? If he does indeed commit, that would rank as a top-ten story in '06, no? Happy New Year.

December 31, 2006 3:09 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Talk about a tale of two cities. Wish we had Schiano instead of Mr. Ed. Instead of capitalizing on success and building, we choked the golden goose while Schiano slipped away with the prize. Inept recruiting, poor offensive game management and poor in game adjustment capability pushed us down the road of program decline.

Funny thing is Rutgers did it without fancy new facilities and the stuff that Edsall claims is holding him back. I say B.S. - Randy has been out coached, out recruited, and out classed. Lets hope things turn soon.

December 31, 2006 10:40 PM 
Blogger Chip Malafronte said...

anonymous said "Hey, Chip, any word on Jarrell Miller? If he does indeed commit, that would rank as a top-ten story in '06, no? Happy New Year. "

Nothing to update on Miller. Maybe something this week. I considered squeezing his reported verbal in at No. 10, but realized a verbal commitment isn't really anything until a letter of intent is signed. Lorenzen is signed, so he made it into the top 10.

January 01, 2007 2:29 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jarell Miller is on UConn's campus-offers from Alabama, Tenn, UVA, South Carolina, Florida, UNC, blahblah blah.

Tywon Martin-Offered by South Carolina and Duke

Danny Russell-offers from Louisville, Hawaii, cMU, WMU, Syracuse, Mizz, IU, Kensucky, etc

YA-Offered by Syracuse

Anthony Sherman-Offered and pursued HARD by BCU

Jamie Nixon-Offered by Neb, UVA, Tenn, Rootgers, Maryland, UNC,blahblahblah

AJ Johnson-Offered by USF, UCF, Illinois, Rootgers, others

Frey-Offered by Akron

Endres-Offered by Cincinnati, Ohio, Akron


Bardzak, Marck, and Ryan are 3 stars.

Kasiff Moore was offered by Temple

Teggart is ranked the 12th best kicker in the country.

Any other morons want to challenge our recruiting class?

January 13, 2007 11:59 AM 

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