Report Card: UConn Vs. Michigan (Updated)

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What’s goin on?

In case you missed it (ICYMI) here’s last night game story on No.15 Michigan’s 24-21 win over UConn at Rentschler Field Saturday night in which the Huskies squandered a 21-7 second half lead.

The Huskies get an A for effort, right? They were in this one from start to finish and so were the fans. They ought to be commended but the object of playing games is to win them. As UConn head coach Paul Pasqualoni aptly pointed out there are no moral victotries. In this one, however, the Huskies truly have something to build on and if they don’t it’s their own fault.

With that we move on to the report card

OFFENSE

Quarterback

Chandler Whitmer was 16 of 32 for 159 yards two touchdowns but how big was the one interception he had leading to a 21-21 tie after the Huskies had been up 21-7? Well, the play trumped Ty-Meer Brown’s fumble recovery and touchdown for that lead as the biggest play of the game in my opinion. Whitmer started well but that offense produced no second half points again and that is a problem, a big problem. Whitmer was also sacked four times and on at least two occassions I thought he could have got the ball out to avoid those hits. Whitmer is a gamer, though. You have to give him credit but you have to win the game. Geremy Davis four catches, 52 yards? I thought the deep ball in the end zone was a touchdown, looked like it from where I sat. Anyway, his picks come at the worst times. D plus

Running back

i think Lyle McCombs (8×38) would be a good third down/situational back but right now the Huskies need more thump at tailack and Max DeLorenzo (6×23) showed us some of that Saturday night. Whatever happens DeLorenzo clearly showed he needs the ball more to get going and he should get it. That being said the Huskies had an abysmal ground game -47 yards total. As we know that’s not all their fault. The effort was certainly there on McCombs’ and DeLorenzo’s parts to get the job done. McCombs caught a nice pass for a 7-yard touchdown in the second quarter.C minus

Receivers/tight end 

There is something about the seam route run and seeing the tight end fly down the hash deep catching a pass wide open. Whitmer hit Sean McQuillan for a big 19-yard gain off one in the first quarter. Didn’t see it again. As I said I thought Davis’ deep ball diving catch in the end zone was a TD but how many deep balls were thrown? Deshon Foxx (5×60) had a bit of breakout game but really is capable of much more but he may be heating up., Spencer Parker caught his touchdown relatively easy in the second quarter. No nervous moment for the walk-on there. The point here is this offense has guys that can catch and make plays. They have to make them when they get it but they have to get it. This group can be really good B 

Offensive line   

The offense produced 206 total yards, OK? It rushed for 47 yards? Geez it was already second worst in the country coming into the game at 57. The quarterback was sacked four times. With the understanding the Huskies were down a starter in right tackle Kevin Friend (ankle)… F

DEFENSE

Defensive line: Michgan was held to 289 yards not bad for the UConn defense considering the weapons it faced but Fitz Toussaint did break on the Huskies for 120 yards on 24 carries including two touchdowns. His first, from 35 yards, where he zig-zagged his way through a unit that couldn’t get next to him or tackle him in the third quarter and he simply went around the defense for the game-tying score in the fourth. The 35-yarder was terrible, exciting to watch but it was an excercise in what happens when you don’t get a guy on the ground quick. Quarterback Devin Gardner added another 64 on the ground but was sacked three times, fumbled twice, intercepted twice. They kept it close but the breakdowns at inopportune times hurt. C

Linebackers: Yawin Smallwood (13 tackles, a sack and two tackles for loss) came up big in a big-time game. What do you say? This Jefferson Ashiru (eight tackles) may give Graham Stewart a run for a starting role when he gets back from an ankle injury. He has a chance. B

Secondary: Safeties Ty-Meer Brown (eight tackles, forced fumble and fumble recovery for touchdown) and Obi Melifonwu (seven tackles, fumble recovery) both are big time players who turned in big time plays in this one. That’s not debateable after Saturday night. Jhavon Williams’ (four tackles, interception) potential is limitless and Byron Jones (five tackles, INT) was solid.but the pass interference call on him on a third-and-13 extended the drive that led to the Wolverines first quarter TD. B

Special Teams

Let’s see eight punts in which Cole Wagner averaged 38.1 yards; 20 total yards on five punt returns, including one for 15 and one that would have been lost deep in the Huskies own end by Brian Lemelle had Jhavon Williams not pounced on the loose ball. Lemelle is trying though. You had the 46-yard field goal miss by Chad Christen. No kickoffs were returned. Bottom line: this unit has get better. C minus 

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