Friday, October 31, 2014

UConn looks for better showing against UCF

J.J. Worton and Central Florida rolled to 62-17 win over UConn last year
Picking the low point during the first nine games of the 2013 is sort of like trying to figure out if you'd rather be bitten by a cobra, rattlesnake or water moccasin but you would be hard pressed to sink any lower than the Huskies did in the trip down to Orlando on Oct. 26 of last year.

Central Florida scored on nine of its first 10 possessions and six of the Knights' 10 scoring drives in the game went less than 50 yards. UCF started eight, yes you read that right, drives in UConn territory. Looking back it almost seems fortunate that the final score was only 62-17. On the other side of things, UConn had 16 offensive possessions and 15 of them started between UConn's 10-25 yard lines. It is no coincidence that one of the two touchdowns came in the lone drive starting in UCF territory.

The new regime with the Huskies have made a big deal of leaving the past in the rear-view mirror and focusing on the present and future. However, I'm not sure a player could ever completely erase that kind of butt whipping from the memory banks. Certainly UConn junior safety Andrew Adams, who had four solo tackles and UConn's only pass breakup in the game, hasn't forgotten about the last game against UCF.

"I try not to remember that game because it wasn't too delightful for us," Adams said. "I used it as a memory to never let that happen again. I am really excited for the challenge this week and I hope we pay them back."

So many players have departed from both teams that using the 2013 results is probably not the best way to try to gauge what Saturday's game between the teams will look like.

Fortunately, UCF and UConn have three common opponents (Brigham Young, Tulane and Temple) so I went back and compared some numbers. It should be noted that Taysom Hill, who accounted for five touchdowns and more than 400 yards of total offense in BYU's season-opening win over UConn, was injured and did not play against UCF. There's no way of telling what the numbers would have looked like if Hill didn't suit up against the Huskies but I will proceed anyways.

The rushing numbers as well as the tackles for loss are so close it is eerie.

UCF's defense allowed 352 rushing yards in the three games, UConn's 353. On offense the Knights have 287 rushing yards, UConn 274. The teams had as many tackles for loss as they gave up (21 for UCF and 19 for UConn) although Central Florida had two more sacks and UConn allowed three more sacks in the three games.

Both teams also completed more than 66 percent of their passes in the games and 10.4 yards per completion. The biggest difference is that UCF attempted nearly 10 more passes a game than the Huskies. The pass defense numbers are night and day as UCF how allowed the quarterbacks to complete just 51 percent of the passes, 7.4 yards per completion and had six interceptions. UConn's defense allowed 61 percent of the passes to be completed for an average of 10.3 yards and one interception.

Not sure how any of this is going to translate to tomorrow's game but just some numbers to chew on, I guess.


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