2008 Connecticut Huskies Football Preview
2007 UConn Record: (9-4, 5-2 Big East)
2007 Bowl: Meineke Bowl vs. Wake Forest (L 10-24)
UConn Head Coach: Randy Edsall (50-55 at Connecticut, 50-55 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Rob Ambrose
Defensive Coordinator: Todd Orlando
UConn's Returning Leaders:
Other Key Returnees: DE Cody Brown, RB Donald Brown, CB Darius Butler, LB Dahna Deleston, LB Scott Lutrus
Key Losses: CB Tyvon Branch, DT Dan Davis, WR Terence Jeffers, LB Danny Lansanah, G Donald Thomas
Despite a share of the Big East title and a whole lot of starters returning, Connecticut is not content heading into the 2008 season and Coach Randy Edsall is not afraid to mix things up. In order to replace departed linebacker Danny Lansanah, Scott Lutrus is moving to the inside linebacker spot and former safety Dahna Deleston is moving to linebacker. That will make the linebackers a very formidable unit, but it leaves an opening at the safety spot.
More 2008 Big East football previews:
But with or without any changes, the Huskies defense is what made the team successful last season and will do so again this time around. With eight starters returning and an influx of talent like redshirt freshman tackle Jarrell Miller, Uconn might just have the best defense in the Big East in 2008. Lawrence Wilson tallied 113 tackles last season and should lead the group of talented linebackers. With Deleston and Lutrus, who had a tremendous freshman season, joining him the linebackers will be the heart and soul of the defense. And it is not like the front four or the secondary lack in talent or experience. Julius Williams does a great job of getting into the backfield and cornerback Darius Butler has the experience to shutdown any receiver.
The defense will keep the team in just about every game, but the situation will arise when the offense needs to step up and make a big play. The lack of that firepower pretty much resulted in the team’s four losses last season. Quarterback Tyler Lorenzen did a good job of helping out the defense by not turning the ball over, but he rarely made the big play either. Making matters worse is his top two returning pass catchers in Brad Kanuch and D.J. Hernandez are possession receivers and lack big play ability. The situation is so dire that even cornerback Butler will see some time at wideout, but it is imperative that Uconn finds somebody who can stretch the defense.
The Bottom Line for the Huskies:
The offense is not all bad and running backs Andre Dixon and Donald Brown are a formidable duo and will run behind an underappreciated offensive line. Dixon and Brown split carries last year and combined for 1,649 yards and 11 touchdowns. The numbers should only get better, but they, the offense and the entire team will be much better off if the passing game can open up the running game.
2007 Connecticut Huskies Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 161.38 (49th in nation, 4th in conference)
Passing Offense: 185.77 (97, 6)
Total Offense: 347.15 (90, 6)
Scoring Offense: 26.46 (66, 6)
Rushing Defense: 157.38 (62, 6)
Pass Defense: 194.00 (17, 4)
Total Defense: 351.38 (37, 5)
Scoring Defense: 19.00 (14, 3)
Turnover Margin: 1.08 (7, 2)
Sacks: 2.31 (41, 5)
Sacks Allowed: 2.31 (77, 6)
By Joel Welser
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