Thursday, September 18, 2014

First down woes costing UConn

It is so easy to take a look at last week's loss to Boise State and focus on the three turnovers resulting in 21 points for the Broncos or the eight sacks surrendered including four coming on third down.

However, many of the Huskies' offensive woes can be traced to horrendous execution on first downs.

In the last 10 quarters of football UConn has run 64 first-down plays and 36 of them have gone for no gain, resulted in negative yardage or ended with a costly turnovers. That's 58 percent for those scoring at home. Taking things one step further, during UConn's scoring drives in the first three games the Huskies have averaged 8.1 yards on first down and 2.9 on non-scoring drives. No offense can thrive while putting up those kinds of numbers and if it doesn't get rectified, the sack numbers (no FBS team has given up more than UConn's 15)  will continue to pile up.

"There are only a couple of guys who played some, guys that we are really counting on like a Richard Levy, Andreas (Knappe), Dalton (Gifford), they never really played let alone (Tyler) Samra, (Trey) Rutherford, (Ryan) Crozier," UConn coach Bob Diaco said. "They need a lot of work. They are working, they are trying. We need to be more sensitive as a whole team to their needs than we have been. We have been working hard but I think it even needs another layer of care. That might be with the daily structure, that might be daily assistance. Maybe we really inspect the installation so we aren't a jack of all trades and master of none. We ave a chance to maybe master a few jobs, maybe we decrease some of the run menu and give them a few things that they can really sink their teeth into. It is not a play selection issue, it is play execution issue. Every play looks bad when every play looks like they are storming the castle."


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