Report Card: UConn Vs. Pittsburgh

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UConn got a much-needed 24-17 win over Pittsburgh at Rentschler Field Friday night.

The Huskies squandered at 24-0 first half lead though and have now been outscored 76-3 in the second halves of ballgames since Week 4 – but they won and as previously mentioned it was a much needed win. Anyway, onto the report card.


Held Pitt to 121 yards in the first half, huge with a productive offense to boot. Pitt blew up in the second half and finished with 350 total yards but the Panthers were a one-dimensional team all night and those are a little easier to defend – a little.

Line: Tailback Ray Graham was held to 41 yards on 15 carries and from the looks of things he probably took a couple dings home, too. UConn gave that kid some shot’s Friday and he took ‘em but it didn’t help the Panthers. Quarterback Tino Sunseri was sacked three times with Tim Willman getting to him once ( you know, Willman is really starting to show himself on that line). Now UConn let Sunseri pull a couple Houdinis but he does that to a lot of teams. Bottom line, the line did well but will have to be better against Louisville. For now the unit gets a B

Linebackers: Yawin Smallwood (nine tackles), Sio Moore (six tackles, two sacks) and Jory Johnson (six tackles) were monsters against Pitt. Moore almost pulled off an unable play with a bat down of a Sunseri pass in the end zone where he almost made the interception, too. Moore had a shot at one or two more as well. This unit is one of the best around when all three of these guys are on top of their games B plus

Secondary: Solid in the first half, far from perfect in the second but the secondary kept everything in front. Sunseri was certainly looking to expose the Huskies deep but between the pressure and coverage he was limited there. Sunseri is a good quarterback. He’s gonna make plays and so are those receivers. B minus 

Special Teams

Well, what can you say here except UConn is a different team when Nick Williams is blowing past people in the return game. Ooh the David Stevenson block in the back on the late return hurt. The Huskies would have added to their second-half point total in games but it wasn’t meant to be. What was also good to see was the Huskies were a little more solid in the coverage game.  Chad Christen came through on the 29-yarder he was called on to make in the first quarter. B plus


The Huskies scored 24 first-half points and Lyle McCombs topped the 100-yard mark for the second time this season – all thanks to very good play by the oft-criticized offensive line.

Quarterback: Chandler Whitmer (19 of 25, 213 yards, 1 TD)  was outstanding on the late third-down conversion pass to Shak Phillips. It secured the win, like Jordan Todman getting the two or three yards he needed on fourth down in the fourth quarter to secure the win the last time Pitt was here in 2010. Funny how things work. Anyway, Whitmer showed how effective he can be with time and poise. Now the late pick? I like the aggressive call but I can also understand Whitmer seeing a wide open target and being too excited to hit him. That’s what happened. B

Running back: It could have really helped this team early on if it shuffled different backs in a little more.  Would love to see more of Max DeLorenzo and Martin Hyppolite as the season winds down, too,  but Lyle McCombs (29×125, 1 TD) was the Lyle McCombs we have seen before Friday night but hadn’t seen in a while. What a difference the offense can make when he’s doing his thing. B plus

Wide receiver: For the most part, made big catches when they needed to be made. This unit always had the potential to be good. Phillips led the way with five catches for 52 yards. Mike Smith had a big 27-yard catch in this one, too. All of Nick Williams three grabs (31 yards) were big. B

Tight end: I’m running out of words to describe Ryan Griffin (6×84, 1 TD) A

Line: Nice job in the first half, some struggles in the second. For what it needed to do Friday night… the line was good enough B minus

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12 thoughts on “Report Card: UConn Vs. Pittsburgh

  1. DebbieZ

    What an excellent first half by all of the Huskies on Friday night; nice to see the agressiveness on both sides of the ball. Now if that could be carried over into the second half it could save a lot of nerves and fingernails of the diehard fans! Hopefully the time off before the game in Louisville will be spent working on the toughness and ability to finish a game. After watching the Louisville loss today against Syracuse, I have a feeling that the Cardinals will be working out their frustrations against the Huskies! Let’s hope we’re ready!!!

  2. Cheshire Fan

    With 1:30 left in the game and take a knee three times is all you need to do to win why would you run it twice and risk the fumble?

    Also i agree on going for the endzone being a bad idea when you only need a field goal?

    Ignoring Ryan Griffin in the second half?

    This is all bad coaching.

    The players played well.

  3. mikeinmanila

    Two observations:

    1) 76-3 in the second half since week 4
    2) Kevin Ollie’s 6 month contract vs Paul Pasqualoni’s 5 year contract

    The solutions seem pretty straightforward…

  4. Mike

    Got to the game last night…big win…good win..had a great time. Now, go win another.
    1.Offense looked like a real D1 offense mixing it up for a half. I liked it.
    2.Don’t anyone tell me that we don’t have talent and that RE left us in dire staits. We have some pretty good players that are capable to win in the big east.
    3.4th quarter red zone interception CAN NOT HAPPEN.I know the kid got excited but in that situation you run down the clock and get 3. That is the game. 3 is as good as 7 there. Risk not worth the reward.

  5. Navin R. Johnson

    A win at The Rent. Nice job by the boys but man did they make it close in the fourth quarter.

    Good to see McCombs and Whitmer having good games and Griffin as well.

    Enjoy the week off after the W

  6. Artie A...

    LOL !!! According to the HC and many others we are now making plays that seal a game in the second of four periods?

    My how the game has gotten by me……

  7. husky66

    take the win. and could we get a student manager to be sure GD isn’t taking a snooze in the second half?

  8. TAD

    Finally a good win. Sio was a monster on D. Ryan was a monster on offensive. The pass game set up the run game. Offensive line played their best game of the season. Not sure why we went into a shell in the third quarter. I do however, disagree with people second guessing that pass call that turn out to be a pick in the fourth quarter. It was not a high risk play. Our quaterback simply throw a terrible pass. ( He made up for that pass with the pass to Philips to seal the game). You can’t expect the offense to be effective and beat good football teams if you don’t allow it to throw in that situation. If we run into the line for no gain and then miss the field goal ( see temple game ) we would have been no better off. It was a good call my Deleone. Maybe next time Whitmer makes the play.

  9. Chris

    A win is a win. Doesn’t mean there weren’t warts, but it’s been a whe since we got a W. Got too conservative in the 3rd quarter, still calling TO’s before punting, and still don’t know when to go to the Victory formation. Regarding the play call on the pick in the end zone, I hated the call. At that stage in the game a FG is as good as a TD. If there was ever a time to go conservative that was it. Kill the clock and go up 3 scores. What does a TD do for you there? Risk is not worth the reward there.

    Kids played hard last night. Wish they went to Griffin in the 2nd half more. Whitmer has guts. Like what I see from him.

  10. Livin

    Happy to get the win, especially for the kids who continue to work hard, but very disappointed with the second half. When you are outscored 76-3 after halftime, it’s easy to conclude that the opponent’s coaching staff makes the proper adjustments and our dinosaurs continue to stick with the same mediocre schemes. How about Coach P’s continued insistence on running plays rather than kneeling down at the end of games. Very intriguing. Maybe the coaches need a cheat sheet on clock management.

    Sorry to keep piling on, but watching KO run the basketball team last night and seeing that group overachieve was a real pleasure. Compare that with the travesty which is our football head coach and his staff. One has a five-year contract and the other a six-month contract. Doesn’t seem to add up. Hopefully, the new AD will rectify the situation in a hurry.

  11. Jesse


    It seems that T Mack continually gives up the big play. I had high hopes for him after his Freshman year, but he seems to have regressed alot. He gave up 2 big ones ealrier this year that cost us games and then last night he was getting eaten alive by whoever he tried covering. Sunseri continially went after him.

    Hopefully the Staff get’s this team ready for the game in 2 weeks and they can get a bigupset win.


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