Saturday, October 13, 2012

Offense will be under glare of spotlight again

Heading into the second half of the season not much has changed for UConn as there are questioning surrounding the Huskies ability to move the ball on offense.

Things could be even more challenging today as there are reports that Berlin's Max DeLorenzo will start at tailback for UConn (becoming the first Connecticut native to earn a start at tailback for the Huskies since Matt Lawrence started the first two games of the 2004 season).

“This year it is like ‘why aren’t we having that same success?’" UConn senior offensive tackle Jimmy Bennett said. "It is not like we are not working for it. Maybe we aren’t finishing, nine or 10 guys are going in one direction and one or two aren’t Sometimes I feel like we take some things for granted, there will be a six-man box and to do special things out of a six-man box, there are the twist guys up front and maybe we aren’t expecting that.”

If there is a silver lining, it should be noted that Rutgers ranks second, Maryland is seventh and North Carolina State 24th nationally in rushing defense while Temple is tied for 74th in rushing yards allowed with fellow Big East foe South Florida.

The struggles aren’t limited to the running game. First-year starting quarterback Chandler Whitmer had 10 interceptions this season including four coming last week. For all the clamoring for UConn head coach Paul Pasqualoni and offensive coordinator George DeLeone to open up the playbook, it’s a risky proposition considering that the Huskies also rank near the bottom of the national rankings in turnovers committed.
The veteran members of the offense have become increasingly frustrated with their lack of continuity and success and believe that UConn’s stifling defensive unit deserves better than to constantly be asked to clean up their messes.

“I feel like our offense is not holding up our end of the deal,” said UConn senior tight end Ryan Griffin. “Our defense played outstanding again, since the season started they have been playing unbelievable. We have to do a better job as an offense holding up our end of the deal.”

It's an interesting dilemma. If the Huskies continue to pound the ball up the middle and don't open things up in the passing game teams will continue to put eight or nine people within a yard of the line of scrimmage and dare UConn to beat them by throwing the ball. However, to take the pressure off Whitmer the Huskies do need to establish the run.


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