Report Card: UConn Vs. Memphis

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What’s going on?

Here’s my final UConn report card of the 2013 season. As you know, UConn blew out Memphis 45-10 on Senior Day Saturday to end the season at 3-9, 3-5 in the American and also on a three-game win streak.

Memphis (3-9, 1-7) was a bad team. UConn looked like a good team with promise for next year although the offensive line loses quite a bit of experience that will have to be made up in order for more explosions like the one Casey Cochran (single-game school record 461 yards and career-high four TDs) had.

How about that Geremy Davis (15×207, 1 TD), now a 1,000-yard receiver. Deshon Foxx (11×137, 2 TDs), you may recall, I said had the ability to be a play-maker and he’s shown it in flashes but he has to be consistent and build off the good of this season. The reason is because we know Shakim Phillips will be back as a starter oppositie Davis most likely but Brian Lemelle and Dhameer Bradley are going to come back hungry for time. They already were all season (I’m witing about the potential of the receivers for next year for tomorrow and I’ve gotten started a little bit here so let me stop).This unit could turn out to be something special next year and I don’t recall a time when that could be said about the group, especially as a whole, in a while.

Lastly, to all the seniors, thanks for everything, all of you. You were a terrific group to the media. I can attest. Best of luck to each and every one of you as well as Yawin Smallwood. Thanks for everything, All the Best.

OK, on we go…

Defense

Line:

The Tigers had 257 yards of total offense with 72 coming on the ground meaning the line got good push, five tackles went for loss and quarterback Paxton Lynch was sacked thrice times, including once by senior captain Shamar Stephen. Senior end Jesse Joseph (five tackles) had a great game B plus 

Linebacker

Another monster game for Smallwood who had two of theree sacks among his seven tackles. He anounced after the game he was entering the NFL Draft early. There’s no reason for Smallwood to come back to college. All he needs to learn now he’ll get at the next level. His physical tools and instincts to play this game suggest now is clearly the time for him to bolt. He’s expected to get his degree in Decemeber. Go young man. The unit was solid, too, against the Tigers. B plus   

Secondary

Lynch (18 of 37, 169 yards, 1 TD), wasn’t close to the pitchers UConn had seen most of the season and the Huskies didn’t allow him to become one. He was picked off once by safety Andrew Adams. He threw a meaningless touchdownn pass in the third quarter when the Huskies already led 31-3. The UConn secondary unit has had its ups and downs, mostly downs with injuries, inexperience and simply not playing well in spots – but Saturday was not one of those days. B plus  

Offense

Line

UConn quarterbacks threw 55 passes against the Tigers (the single game record is 56) because the running game couldn’t get going. Even still, the Tigers couldn’t tee off on Cochran (36 of 54 and no picks) because the line protected and allowed no sacks. Interestingly enough, the backfield was empty, just Cochran, went the Huskies threw it most of the time. That was impressive. Good job by that crew which had been taking a knocking, quite a bit by yours truly, most of the season. It struggled to produce for the backs in the running game but that’s nit-picking in a game it didn’t allow any sacks. B plus 

Quarterback

Casey went off. A

Running back

Good to see senior running back Martin Hyppolite (7×35, 1 TD) get in the box from a yard out in the fourth quarter. Lot of promise here for next year. I thought Kermit Buggs developed this unit nicely throghout this season in preparation for 2014. Anyway UConn only toted it 26 times. Memphis’ run defense deserves some credit C plus 

Wide receiver/tight end

In addition to what Davis and Foxx did I’ll just add Bradley’s numbers (2×24) and Lemelle’s (5×57), who we were thinking in the press box was going to be the third receiver to reach 100 yards in the game. He easily could have been. Anyway, a sparkling effort by this group. Remember when UConn had units that couldn’t catch it much less be productive? A

Special Teams

Chad Christen hit his longest field goal of the season, 46 yards, for the senior. Cole Wagner, also a senior, has become a near master of the pooch punt. The Huskies really are going to have to improve on returns, kickoff and punt. Their coverage teams did a good job against Memphis B  

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