Monday, November 10, 2014

UConn played right into Army's hands

Bob Diaco made it clear what was at the priority list a few days before heading down to Yankee Stadium to play Army.

"When they are operating out in front of the chains, you have a hard time," Diaco said last week. "If you get it frustrated it makes it 10 times worse. You need to already prepare for that to happen."

In each of the games against East Carolina and Central Florida, the Huskies' two best efforts of the season, UConn's opponents ran six plays on either 3rd and 4 or shorter and seven of at least 10 yards to go on third down. However, against Army the Black Knights ran 10 plays between 3rd and 1 and 3rd and 4 (converting 10 times) and just one time did Army have to run a play on 3rd or 10 or longer.

Taking it a step further, UConn's performance versus the Black Knights on first down wasn't terrible with 115 yards on 24 plays (4.8 yards per play). However, Army ran 29 first-down plays for 211 yards including both of its completed passes. Army had seven double-digit yardage plays on first down.

The first down defensive woes are not a one-time issue. In the seven losses UConn had given by 775 yards on 69 first-down plays on 24 drives with seven of the 19 offensive touchdowns being scored on first down. In the two wins UConn has allowed 65 yards on 17 first-down plays with one TD on first down in six scoring drives.

The bye week could come at a perfect time as UConn has an extra week to recover from the poor performance and will get back to playing a more traditional offense when Cincinnati comes to town on Nov. 22. The kickoff time will be announced on Saturday.


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