2009 Connecticut Huskies Football Preview
2008 Record: (8-5, 3-4)
2008 Bowl: International Bowl vs. Buffalo (W 38-20)
Coach: Randy Edsall (58-60 at Connecticut, 58-60overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Joe Moorhead
Defensive Coordinator: Todd Orlando
Other Key Returnees: OT Mike Hicks, G Zach Hurd, WR Brad Kanuch, LB Greg Lloyd, DT Twyon Martin, G Moe Petrus, FB Anthony Sherman, S Robert Vaughn, LB Lawrence Wilson
Key Losses: OT Will Beatty, TE Martin Bedard, DE Cody Brown, RB Donald Brown, CB Darius Butler, S Dahna Deleston, C Keith Gray, WR D.J. Hernandez, QB Tyler Lorenzen, DT Rob Lunn, DE Julius Williams
Few have notice, but Connecticut has turned into a successful team in the Big East. Two bowl games in a row is a big accomplishment and Coach Randy Edsall is still in Stoors and making the most of the talent that he can get into Uconn. The Huskies have some big names to replace, like running back Donald Brown and quarterback Tyler Lorenzen, but another bowl is not impossible.
Connecticut won games with their defense last year and that should be the case again this time around. There are some big names to replace, but at least the linebackers return. Scott Lutrus, Greg Lloyd and Lawrence Wilson are an experienced bunch in the middle of the field and that should help the entire unit while they learn to live without defensive end Cody Brown and cornerback Darius Butler. Twyon Martin is the lone experienced lineman and some players like Lindsey Witten have to step up and get some pressure on the opposing quarterback. In 2008 the Huskies ranked third in the conference in sacks, but that was mostly Brown and Julius Williams. The secondary lost two very experienced players in Butler and safety Dahna Deleston, but there is talent left, most notably Jasper Howard and Robert Vaughn.
In 2008 the offense relied on Donald Brown to carry the load. He rushed for 2,083 yards and 18 touchdowns and then split a year early for the NFL. Who is going to take over that large workload? Jordan Todman had a good spring and will likely split carries this season with Andre Dixon. Either way, the ground game will not be as good as it was last year and without the ground game running on all cylinders, Connecticut has to put the ball in the air. The team only threw five touchdown passes all year and now Lorenzen, who threw three of those, is gone. That leaves Zach Frazer and Cody Endres as the quarterback options. Neither were very impressive when they played last season and one of them better step up or the offense could be going nowhere.
The Bottom Line for the UConn Huskies:
The quarterbacks threw a ton of interceptions last year, but it was not because they did not have time to look down field. The offensive line barely allowed more than one sack per game. The line may not be quite as good as they were last year without tackle Will Beatty and center Keith Gray, but there are some experienced players who are ready to fill the void and tackle Mike Hicks could be playing on Sunday’s after this season.
By Joel Welser
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