Carrezola made immediate impact in UConn's season opener
However, on the Huskies' second defensive possession, it was time for Carrezola to be unleashed.
With some assistance from blitzing cornerback Jamar Summers, Carrezola stuffed Villanova running back Jarrett McClenton for a four-yard loss. Six plays later he pounced on a fumble caused by Folorunso Fatukasi to bounded towards the sidelines to celebrate with his equally hyped up teammates.
After seeing a promising freshman season cut short by injury, Carrezola had been waiting for this moment. By game's end he had six tackles, two tackles for loss, a sack and two quarterback hurries including one resulting in an interception by Andrew Adams in the Huskies' season-opening win.
"I was just so eager to play since it got cut short last season," Carrezola said. "I was so excited for my team and these seniors, I give them everything because that is what they deserve. I got to cut it loose during the game and was able to make plays.
"I have been waiting for that for so long. I have worked very hard to get back. Tonight was a little bit of what I got to show and I think I have a lot more to show and I am excited for the rest of the season."
With Fatukasi recording two sacks, Carrezola and senior Graham Stewart adding one each, the Huskies matched their total for the first four games of the 2014 season. Villanova did graduate two starters off its offensive line and the Wildcats were still working out some of the details from its revamped unit, but the impact of players like Fatukasi and Carrezola was rather evident.
"He works hard, he is unselfish and Luke has a bright future ahead of him," Fatukasi said.
This is going to be an interesting week for the young defensive stars. There won't be much of a chance to rush the passer facing Army's triple-option offense. Last season the Black Knights only attempted three passes in the 35-21 win over UConn at Yankee Stadium. In Friday's loss to Fordham, the two Army quarterbacks attempted 16 passes but that was more of a result of playing from behind which was something Army did not have to do against UConn.
Carrezola will likely be asked to set the edge on the right side of the defense rather than head after the quarterback like he did against Villanova. Meanwhile, Fatukasi will need to sit out the first half after being ejected for fighting late in the Villanova game.