Report Card: UConn Vs. Cincinnati

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Cincinnati beat UConn 34-17 at Rentschler Field Saturday in dominating fashion. The Bearcats were the better team and the more physical team. The Huskies end the 2012 season 5-7, 2-5 again, so no bowl game this year, either. Huskies missed two in a row in 2005 and ’06 as well.

Let’s get to the final report card of the season…

Offense

Out-gained Cincinnati 373-356 but the Huskies had to throw the ball quite a bit because they trailed the whole game…

Line: Lyle McCombs had 60 yards rushing ion 21 carries and Chandler Whitmer was sacked four times. No recipe for success in there. D

Quarterback: Whitmer (16 of 31, 264 yards one TD, one interception) was rusty early but did what he could. Johnny McEntee (7 of 16, 73 yards 2 INTs) was not sharp, had a couple of costly picks. C minus

Running back: McCombs 21×60? Hey, he ran hard. He didn’t have a lot of help. What few holes there were the Bearcats closed quickly. C

Receivers:  Shak Phillips (7×93) had a nice game, Mike Smith (3×54) had a 51-yard scamper, Geremy Davis had five catches for 46 yards. Nick Williams had two catches for 38 yards but could have had more. This unit was OK Saturday.

Tight ends: Griffin (2×85, 1 TD) and John Delahunt (1×3) are usually pretty solid and they were Saturday B plus

Special Teams: Tough break with hip flexor for K Chad Christen. That may have been a sign during the week things were not going to go well but freshman Bobby Puyol hit his lone attempt, 40 yards and made the PATs. His redshirt was burned but what other alternative did the Huskies have? He’ll be redshirted next year. Nothing in the return games for the second consecutive week. The one return Nick Williams did break was called back by a penalty.  One of the program’s most prolific returners is done. How will the Huskies make up for that?

Defense

Bearcats offense drove and scored on the defense the first time in touched the ball in the first quarter and opened the second half the same way.

Line: Well it did a good job stuffing the run. George Winn was held to 70 yards on 22 carries but when Cincinnati needed a yard or needed to sustain a drive it was able to make a play. The defense is supposed to prevent some of that and it did just not so much when it really needed to. There were some injuries to deal with here, too, namely Trevardo Williams (ankle) C minus

Linebackers: Saw some pass coverage problems among the group. Jory Johnson and Yawin Smallwood had nine tackles apiece and Sio Moore (three) had the only sack of the game for the Huskies. Tough for this group to be as productive as it’s capable, the entire defense, really. C

Secondary: Saw some pass coverage problems among the group here, too. They had no luck defending the big tight end Travis Kelce. C minus

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51 thoughts on “Report Card: UConn Vs. Cincinnati

  1. Chandler Booth

    Uconn may have had a bad season but no conferance is safe to be in, that uconn could get into its time for all see that the acc is no better than the big east at lest 4 teams may be leaving and othes like florida st wants to leave its time for those in all of the other teams to band together and think out of box some football powers want only a few schools to make all the money but if the best of the rest unit it will be a powerful group. And all of these could force change first the big east next acc unite now

  2. ROADRUNNER

    @publicus…there is nothing more PATHETIC than someone like you who takes aim at a group of passionate fans regardless of how realistic or unrealistic the opinions are expressed. The common denominator here being THEY CARE ABOUT THE TEAM , THE DIRECTION OF THE PROGRAM, AND THE UNIVERSITY. YOU on the other hand, offer nothing other than insight into the “NEANDERTHAL” that you are!!!On another note…I just noticed you stuck to the bottom of the sole of my boot..appropriate…If you surface again you MAY get the pointed end of it you know where!!! I bet you can relate to those words now??

    1. Mike.0

      Hey,Jerkus Publicus Maximus, nice way to relate to people. This is only sports. It is entertainment. It is make believe YOU GOOF!

  3. Rhatman

    Wonder if Louisville are happy that they kept Kragthorpe that 3rd year? Other programs have success in their 1st 2 years with a new coach (see Cincy) if that coach is right for the program, it’s just not an acceptable excuse. Program is bigger than the individual, wrong call was made when he was hired, end it now, why wait for justification in another years time, it will just be a bigger hole that we’ll have to dig out of. Who cares about the payout to HCPP when the cost of not paying him out is dwarfed by missing out on the next round of conf realignment and the subsequent extra income generated from that.

  4. Mike.0

    Sooo! We are talented enough to be competitive in the first half but not in the second half. I would rather go with that than say our coaches are not able to make adjustments that the other coaches are making. Are we kidding ourselves? A D1 team scoring 1 TD total. That is beyond comprehension! OUr offensive stats are just mind blowing.

  5. ROADRUNNER

    @skisafari ..you are absolutely dead center bullseye and I agree completely …Susan Herbst ” a yes woman” when it comes to the Athletics…Ward Manuel will buy time since he is REACTIVE and will not make decisions untill the last minute to milk his position and so he could spend another season at the Carribean Classic..Aresco is merely and AUCTIONEER…the Governor rolls the window down to let fly 700 mil to pay for a “freakin bus route” …The ACC DIDN’T Even consider the number of fans in the seats ..they are still reeling from these suit brought to them from “Dick the self serving lawyer Blumenthal”…The ACC ?? Hmm let’s see what happened to the HC of NC State..and look at his record!!…THE FANS DEMAND BETTER AND BOOSTER AT UCONN WANT TO BE HEARD…

  6. Adam

    George DeLeone MUST go. The offense has gotten worse over the course of two years. We can no longer run the football like we used to, the offensive line play has gotten worse, and the second half (lack of) adjustments is well documented. The offensive ineptitude was on full display when it burned two crucial timeouts in the second half of the last game of the season.

  7. freddy

    not making a bowl really hurts the progress of the program. that 15 extra practices is essentially. Deleone cant comeback, it just cant happen.

  8. JD

    Really wanted a “W” in this game but as soon as Cincy came out I knew this game was over. They came out knocked us around Offensively and Defensively. We were over-matched physically(Not Talent wise). It was an up & Down Season but mostly disappointing. Really thought this team this year and last year should have been 8 win teams(and I still do).

    The Defense played great all year, despite key D-Line Injuries early on and being on the field way too much.

    Special Teams were far too inconsistent but decent.

    As for the Offense, this product UCONN put on the field was close to the worst in all of D-1A College Football. Not just the Soft and Weak O-line, trigger happy QB, JV Running Back, and Slower than Avg receivers. No one is to blame more though for the abominable “O” but the Coaching Staff. They should be embarrassed for the product they displayed this Year.

    It is clear now that changes need to be made at the highest level Offensively. I stayed supportive all year but we as fans cannot continue to support this kind of an effort. The games were lost on the Offensive side of the ball and they showed No improvement from start to finish.

    Disappointed b/c I felt this team had some really quality/experienced players(Mike Smith, A.Masters,R.Griffin, Delahunt,N.Williams, J.Joseph, T.Williams, R.Wirth,Gratz, Blidi-Wreh, S.Moore,J.Johnson,J.Jennings).

    Let’s see what happens.

  9. mikeinmanila

    It’ll be interesting how DeLeone returns…exactly how could that be justified? Seems like an OC equivalent to DC Brown would have resulted in a 7 or 8 win season.

    If DeLeone returns, next year is going to be a “dead man walking” season for Pasqualoni and DeLeone.

    1. mikeinmanila

      And this couldn’t be happening at a worse time for UConn…hopefully the ACC and B1G see the “long term potential” of UConn.

      1. Rich G.

        What potential? If anyone from the ACC mistakenly turned on that game the other day they would have seen an empty stadium and a bad on field product. To me it showed that their pick of Louisville was obviously the right one. At this point I’m not even sure we belong in Conference USA 2.0 next season.

  10. Mike

    Dez- I’m really having a hard time understanding why you, Jacobs, Nathan et al continue to steadfastly defend this coaching regime…I’m usually the last person to call for a guy for to go after two years but having been attending UCONN football games for 20 years this is the lowest i’ve seen the program…Fans don’t show up, those that do don’t really cheer or boo (apathy is never a good thing). The team is BORING. I’m sure PP is a very nice man but that doesn’t make him a great coach. His record speaks for itself and in his last five years as a head coach he is 8 games under .500. If I was a high school senior and PP came to my house I would say thanks but no thanks coach. I’m a realist and I don’t expect UCONN to ever be a major football power, but it is possible for us to be like BC was before the last two years (7-9 wins a year, competitive with top teams in the conference…etc), I believe so. With PP this program risks becoming irrelevant, it is time for the University President and AD to make a gutsy call and inject this program with some fresh blood…

    1. dconner Post author

      I wish there was some way I could show/prove my opinion doesn’t matter at UConn but there’s just no convincing people like you that I don’t work for the school, nor do I make decisions. I just don’t know what else to do or say. I guess it should be flattering that people think I’m oh so powerful but the reality is, that couldn’t be farther than the truth. Lets not spend this time worrying about me and my opinion. Please understand it means nothing. It really and truly doesn’t. I don’t know of any other way to make this clearer. I’m sorry. If you want to wail about the staff go ahead but really Im not the issue at all, ok?

      1. mike

        Dez, My main point is and still was no one in the state media holds the coaching staff accountable for the mess that has become UCONN football. The level play has not been up to par recently but look at the play calling on offense throughout the year…in a word terrible. I don’t believe you should be calling for the coach to be fired, but the coaching needs to be upgraded as well as the talent on the field….that should be obvious to someone that i’m assuming attends every UCONN football game. Why don’t you guys question PP? don’t want to upset Storrs? PP is a CT guy? I just don’t get it….

        1. dconner Post author

          Typical, “Oh, the media is not asking the tough questions”. What you mean is you’re not getting the answer you want. There’s a difference. The only answer you want is yes, the coach is going to be fired. I can’t help you there Mike, sorry.

          1. mike

            Please tell me the last time anyone in the CT media has asked Ward if there will be changes on the staff, or at the very least how he feels about the program? can you at least ask PP if there will be changes on the staff? The seems to be no critical analysis of the coaching staff and as a long time UCONN fan that’s what frustrates me. As i’ve said i’m not suggesting you call for his ouster but simply be critical of him…there is a difference.

          2. dconner Post author

            Ok hopefully this satisfies you and you can move on. I talked to Warde two hours after the game Saturday
            night, a little over two hours after the game – that’s the Cincinnati game Mike , just this past Saturday and I asked him, specifically, asked him hour before the game too. NO CHANGE was the response when I asked him about his head coach for next season. He will talk to Pasqualoni at some point, like all ADs do after a season. They will talk about the direction of the program and I’m pretty sure Warde will say what he liked and what he didnt. He may or may not suggest coaching changes but even if he does it will be Pasqualoni’s choice/decision in the end what he wants to do. If he makes none he’ll have to live with the decision and Manuel’s decision, too. If this thing doesn’t show signs of trending upward with a bowl game then I think the AD will probably have a decision toile going forward after year three. That’s all I got and so that all your questions are answered the AD, as I mentioned on the chat talked about the pitfalls of cutting a coach after Year Two. Interestingly enough he directed me to story in the New York Times last week. It’s written by Jere Longman. In that story is study conducted on the long term damage of making such a move. Now after all I’ve said here you still have questions about the head coach next year then it doesn’t appear ill be able to help you. I know Im real clear on where the athletic director stands on the football coach. If not you may want to send him an email and talk to him directly.

  11. fobe

    As a UConn grad living in the Syr area for the last 30 years I’ve had the opportunity to go to many Syr football games. I can’t tell you have many times in the last 2 yrs of PP’s time as head coach the fans heard “I see many positives” and “we’re headed in the right direction”. Sound familiar?

    One of the big problems here is that a good coach will elevate the talent level on existing players (Randy did a great job of that). Other than Mike Foley and Don Brown this staff just don’t have the ability to convice players that they are better than they are. Looking at PP on the sidelines and George in the booth…do they look like they can create excitement followed by a program on the rise. Won’t happen and didn’t at Syr once things started to slide…

  12. Navin R. Johnson

    I clearly remember speaking to TheJerk about the Coach P hire after it happened. I was excited about it. Not thrilled but excited for the fact that they would have a decent head coach for about 5 years who would then groom the next head coach…possibly a young OC or DC. I also remember saying that this was a critical hire coming off the Fiesta Bowl and Connecticut couldn’t lose the momentum of that major bowl game.

    Well two short years later and this team is in dire straights. A sinking fan base, sinking season tickets, poor play on the field, no ACC invite and a head coach that we are stuck with for at least another year.

    What to do? We have to wait for another 12 game season and in 12 months we will find out. It’s sad and frustrating and we as fans will be subjected to this play again next year. No improvement and we have to accept it. There is no reason why Connecticut should not have had 7 wins this year. It’s going to be harder next year…yes harder in The Big East.

    The program is sinking and it’s very hard to watch…don’t know if I can stomach it anymore.

  13. HunterSThompson

    This was the first year I have not had season tix since about 5 years before the rent. And I had them on and off for some time before that.

    It was for the same reason I stopped going to the hoops games the past few years – big money on an old coach with huge flaws providing no future for the program. Not-a-dime had to go for a myriad of ethical reasons (finally did, but several seasons too late) and PP has got to go purely for competence reasons. The school now has a different AD and President than they did when we showered $$ on two old guys without an ability to provide a future.

    We hired Ollie (sort of, a really embarrassing contract situation for the university) and now we need the football equivalent.

    That big ole booster doesn’t look so blustery and spoiled now, does he?

    HST

  14. ray

    Dear Mr. Manuel,

    Please don’t put us through another season of this.

    If you don’t do something expect attendance to be even worse next year.

  15. husky66

    One final grade.

    Dez gets an A. for hosting this forum and keeping us informed. great work, its appreciated.

  16. husky66

    Have to agree w/ the Jerk; feeling pretty down about the program. W/ the exception of G’s long catch and run and the called back KO, did anyone feel or see any excitment? can’t always tell on TV, but I don’t see excitement.

    TV market size, academics, BC animousity, whatever factors you wantto consider, no conference wants a FB program that looks and acts like what we’ve seen.

    But not even sure a winning program would do cut it either esp after reading about poor bball attenedence too. what’s going on in CT?

    Grade for the season: D and that’s just for pulling one out against Louisville and the defense playing reasonably well w/ zero offense.

  17. Rhatman

    Agreed buddy and skisafari, I think it’s time that the powers that be recognized that the cost of paying out the last 3 years of HCPP’s contract is massively outweighed by the cost of missing out on the ACC or B10 next time expansion is considered. Very, very sad to see how the program is perceived now. Prior to HCPP’s hire no one knew where we the program would end up, his hire said to the world that we would be happy with the mediocrity he produced at Syracuse particulalry towards the end. With HCRE weren’t we building to something much more than that?

  18. buddy

    Attention Susan Herbst and Warde Manuel: Time to step up and rescue UConn football. The program right now is the Titanic. It will go down unless change is made immediately. A lot of good energetic coaches out there who would love the job and rejuvenate this program.

  19. skisafari

    I was lucky enough to watch this game from the club level at the rent. I will tell you this. The Cincinnati coaches were running up and down the sideline in short sleeve shirts “coaching”. The amount of excitement, enthusiasm and energy on their sideline was incredible. To look at our sideline there was absolutely none of that. Coach’s barely moved. No energy, no excitement.

    It is obvious that hcpp (too old) is not going to be renewed after his 5 year deal. Uconn needs to be proactive and get rid of him. How can he be an effective recruiter when everyone(high school coach’s & players) knows by the time these kids get to Uconn he will be gone or at most have 1 year. Kids in high school today want to know the coach that is recuiting them is still going to be around when they get to the school. HCPP does not offer that.

    Uconn needs to nip this in the bud and get rid of HCPP and Deleone. Keep Hughes, Brown, and get someone young that can relate to today’s kids. Get someone who brings passion, excitement and gets the kids & fans fired up! Try to implement an offense that can score a point in the second half. Kids are different today than 10- 20 years ago. What worked then does not work now.

    We “Uconn” don’t have another 3 years to figure this thing out. If Randy had not left we would be the ones in the ACC. Instead of Uconn being the new up and coming team with the new up and coming coach we are the team that is floundering with a coach that got fired at Syracuse and is coasting to his retirement. It is easy to see this program is not heading in the right direction.

    Fire Pasqualoni, fire Deleone, hire a new young creative coach and move on. The clock is ticking…..

  20. Vince

    Dez,
    Very disappointing season. Ever since Edsall left there is no Buzz around the program. Hard to get excited about our team. I guarantee if Manuel does not fix this asap there will be fewer season ticket holders next season. Something needs to be done about creating that Buzz around the program again. Manuel also needs to do something to create getting fans in their seat early & staying to end of game regardless of score. Yesterdy was an embarrassment.

  21. Artie A...

    Again nothing on coaching…Play calling = F-
    Sweep by McCoombs to gain 11yds must have been an accident as it worked.
    Why they did not have this kid run to the outside more than up the gut is mind boggeling….
    Constantantly trying to get the ball to Nick and ignoring two 6’5″ recievers, mind boggeling…
    Catch and run by Ryan was the O highlight of the year…

  22. Navin R. Johnson

    I was excited for yesterdays game. I was even excited when the D held Cincy to a field goal to make it 24-17. First time I was pumped under the Coach P era. All for not.

    What we have to understand…and lets all have very clear understanding is that this program is improving. Last year 5-7 and this year 5-7. This year Connecticut won back-to- back games. This wasn’t done in 2011. IMPROVEMENT!!!

    4-8
    6-6
    6-6
    5-7
    5-7

    Coach P’s records in his last 5 seasons as a head coach. Hardly positive numbers. He’s back next year and we have to live with another year of this.

  23. roberttherugguyraleigh

    9-4 in 2010, 8-5 in 2011, and 7-5 this year and going to another bowl NC State still fired Tom O’Brien. Hey, Tom O,Brien is available.

  24. TheJerk

    I was going to do grades today also but I am so down on this team/season/program/etc that it seems pointless. Definitly not a slam against you dez, but I think the next time I read anything about this team the 2 headlines better read “HCPP fired” or “Uconn to the pac16″

  25. RST

    On a slightly different topic I think an investigation should be launched as to how Chandler Witmer was cleared to play against Cincinnati. After the fact it seems that he clearly had concussive symptoms after the Louisville game. The National standard is no sports related activity for two weeks after the point in time that symptoms have disappeared. That standard was blatantly ignored yesterday!!!

    1. dconner Post author

      An investigation into how Chandler Whitmer was cleared? Wow you’re on a roll today. If he had played the whole game and UConn won would you have requested that same investigation??? I’m going to go out on a limb and say I doubt it. I think it’s one thing to be critical of the team and want the coach fired. It’s entirely something else to question an accomplished medical staff oh…just because.

      1. RST

        Naw, I am not on a roll today. The protocol is well established. You know that as well as I. We also know who has influence over whom and why. C’mon, Des, wake up.

        1. Chris

          RST – I think your anger is misplaced. I thought it was downright irresponsible to line up CW at WR, run the ball toward his side and leave him exposed and unprotected like that. And of course the play fooled nobody because we put that dandy on film against UMass when we were up by 30 plus late in the game. To me that was unforgivable.

          The fact that P was conducting this conf call instead of cleaning out his office unfortunately means he’ll return next year. If he’s allowed to keep his longtime sidekick things are gonna get ugly as far as fan support is concerned.

    1. TheJerk

      hey dont knock 7 points in the second half, thats the improvement we have been hearing so much about and waiting for

  26. RST

    What was the deal with both teams being so lightly dressed? (In fact, the Cinci coaches were in tee shirts!) Nick Williams dropped at least two balls that he should have had. The body makes those kinds of mistakes when it isn’t warm enough. On D, I thought the secondary acted as if they weren’t warm enough several times.

    1. RST

      Contrast that with several games on national TV recently with temps in the 50’s and every player in full Under Armour.

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