Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Boehm/Campenni showdown worth price of admission in UConn/Missouri game

Nearly every contest features some intriguing game within a game matchups but it would be hard the top of potential showdown between Missouri center Evan Boehm and UConn nose guard Julian Campenni.

Boehm is being projected as the next Missouri lineman to be taken in the NFL draft. Heading into his third season as the starting center and fourth year as a starter, Boehm has started a team-high 42 games.

Campenni, who has been making an impact with the Huskies since his freshman season, has started 27 games which is the most of any current UConn player. Campenni and Boehm figure to line up directly across from each other making for an intriguing matchup.

"I think it would be exciting for both participants," UConn coach Bob Diaco said. "I don't think it is related to the UConn nose guard, it is also the Missouri center. I am sure he sees himself as the best, as one of the best centers in America so to match up against a formidable player I think would be exciting too in the event that he does well and produces, then he can really feel good about his performance and be heralded appropriately. In the event that the UConn nose guard has production and performance against one of the best or the best center then the reverse is true."

Campenni isn't drawing the same amount of hype from the pro scouts as Boehm is but he has some pretty impressive tape for scouts to devour during his time at UConn. A strong showing on Saturday against a pro prospect like Boehm could certainly help his stock.

"It is going to be great competition, he is a great player so I am just excited to go out there and play on Saturday, go out with my teammates and play,' Campenni said.

Campenni is no stranger to playing in big games, especially on the road. In UConn's history, the Huskies have won one road game against a ranked opponent. Campenni is one of six current Huskies to play in UConn's 23-20 triple overtime win at Louisville in 2012. Campenni didn't just play in the game, he had one of UConn's five sacks. For those trivia buffs out there, the other players to appear in that Louisville game are Andrew Adams, Junior Lee (who had two tackles), Max DeLorenzo (who ran twice for four yards), Kenton Adeyemi and Marquise Vann.

"Having the opportunity to win on the road is huge, it sets the tone," Campenni said. "Going into hostile environments and being able to play well is a huge factor. It is going to be a great crowd, 11 o'clock (local time) on ESPN so it is going to be a great test for us, we are excited about it."
While Campenni's Huskies have played in a select number of games against ranked teams, Boehm and the Tigers see ranked opponents on a regular basis. He's also squared off against pro prospects in practice as five defensive linemen from Missouri have been taken in the last three drafts including first rounders Sheldon Richardson and Shane Ray.

"That is a pretty cool deal," Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said. "He has been playing a lot. He played guard his first year as a true freshman, he was a national recruit and a kid out of Kansas City. Evan has started every game that year and certainly since. He didn't play as well last week because he tweaked his ankle but he is 100 percent but it is obviously nice to have a guy who is 100 percent this
week, having a guy in there who can really keep that whole group together, communicate and all the things that happen with centers now."



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