Report Card: UConn Vs. Rutgers

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I don’t think we need to go too far into detail breaking the grades down. It was a poor performance by most accounts. The Huskies were held scoreless for the first time since being shutout at Louisville in 2010, also the last time they won consecutive games.

The Huskies bowl season hopes don’t look so good today. Are these guys going to qualify for a bowl game? Tell you what, the Huskies better not lose to Temple Saturday. That would be a bad scene. The knives will come out. They’re already sharpening.


It gave up a touchdown. It couldn’t get off the field on a couple of long drives but what good would it have done if it did? The offense was as ineffective as its ever been.

Line: Rutgers running back Jawan Jamison (28×110) had a decent day and worked hard for all but 28 of his yards which came in the midst of the Scarlet Knights’ only scoring drive, which was 84 yards long.  Gary Nova (18 of 27, 157 yards, 1 TD) didn’t have a great game but he wasn’t pressured as much as he should have been. He was sacked once, one of eight tackles for Ryan Wirth who continues to play well. B

Linebacker: The starterscombined for 28 of the Huskies 81 tackles. Jory Johnson led the team with 10. The group was active and solid. B

Cornerback: Uneven play here but Rutgers receivers really were a challenge: B minus

Safety: OK, here, too B


Lyle McCombs had 32 yards rushing. Chandler Whitmer had 191 yards, 18 incompletions and four interceptions? Overall baffled by some of the weapons that are not being used to the fullest or at all.

Line: McCombs had 32 yards rushing D

Quarterback: Whitmer had 191 yards, threw 18 incompletions and four interceptions? That’s 10 picks for the year vs. four touchdown passes. Whitmer missed some guys he had open and he wasn’t pressured. He’s a fighter and it’s admirable that he tries as hard as he does but this was not his finest hour and it needed be at the times it could have been, weren’t many open windows but there were some. He has to better when they’re slim. The offense didn’t score, as part of the deal, that responsibility falls on the QB, fair or unfair. Whitmer knows that. D

Running back: Loved how tough Max DeLorenzo ran. Loved how Martin Hyppolite tried. McCombs ran well on the drive that produced the field goal. Overall, 74 yards rushing on offense for the Huskies is simply not going to cut it. It’s rotation time in the backfield, too. D

Wide receivers: Geremy Davis (4×78) was solid again. Mike Smith (3×52) were good, needed more opportunities. Not their fault they didn’t get them. B

Tight end: Ryan Griffin (3×31) and John Delahunt are proving to be reliable receivers as well as blockers. The seam stuff works great  but how about some shorter, low risk stuff to these guys early, especially on first down to gain move the ball and give the offense some confidence  from an opening drive? Nothing wrong with dinking and dunking your way to a TD; makes the defense tired, too.I’m not a coach. I do think the tight ends are playing well, though B

Special Teams

P Cole Wagner was special, three boots inside the 20 including one downed at the Rutgers 1. You know, for as much time as the Huskies spend on special teams they should be more productive as a receiving unit and defensive unit. The Nick Williams drop resulted in just three points but it was a drop and fumble, the first of his career. Don’t expect this to be an issue. The issue is giving the guy room to do his thing. The Huskies need this this year, need it now. C



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50 thoughts on “Report Card: UConn Vs. Rutgers

  1. Freddy

    They don’t have the answers that’s the issue. Has nothing to do with working hard because Coach P is a very hard working coach. He’s not capable mentally of getting the answers to stop the bleeding. Same with Georgie boy.

    1. SillyBoy

      If we had any form of even a high school offense we would clearly be in the Top 10 and breathing down Bama’s neck!

  2. Teresa

    What is that old saying… “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and over expecting a different result”

  3. Burton

    Coach P was successful in syrcause because he had a plan and dominated northeast recruiting. I still don’t think he has a plan at uconn and it’s year two. Look at the coaches he had in Syracuse during his tenure. That was a great staff. This is just a weird staff and group of guys. Other then coach brown who could you honestly see out recruiting another school for a player? Wholley? Cerismo? Day? To be polite they are tools, kids don’t respect them. This staff doesn’t have the ability or talent to be successful no matter how hard they work. It’s time to move on.

  4. JD

    Good afternoon Dez!

    Other than that one poor drive in the third Qtr, I actually thought the Defense played great Saturday but was overshadowed by a lowsy Offense.

    As bad as the Huskies have been Offensively, I believe they still have a good chance at winning six games. The BE isn’t great and Temple, Syracuse, USF, and Pitt are all very winnable.

    I think we find out more about this team against Temple than we did against Rutgers, No?

    Keep doing your thing Dez!

    Let’s Go Huskies!

  5. Howard Lubinger

    Dez – great job as always. Spot on.

    While Whitmer certainly was under duress for most of the dropbacks, he seems to have a lot of difficulty moving through his progressions. When he doesn’t have to checkdown he throws a pretty good, confident ball. When he does checkdown, he throws ducks and interceptions. His timing is poor and his arm strength is terrible (he has trouble throwing the ball out of bounds). While people say that the play calling is poor, the play calling has to match the talent of the players. When the OL cannot open up holes or pass block, the play calling is now extremely limited. When a QB cannot throw a 12 yard timing pass on a rope, you again are limited.

    UConn football at the FBS level is a very short history. We have very few signature wins. Even consider UConn football overall. Someone mentions Yale on this string. For a long time UConn’s biggest rival was Yale however Yale did not consider UConn their biggest rival. BC should have been the next logical rival however politics took that away. Who’s next? Rutgers? UMass? Until the games start meaning something outside of wins and losses, it’s more of a forced rivalry.

    This cannot happen overnight. The fanbase and programs that UC is being compared to have been around and playing at a high level of competition for decades and generations. The love and dedication of these teams are in the DNA of their fans. The fact that people take the time to complain about coaches and players is great. The spirit and love and dedication is alive. Don’t get down because it’s not widespread. It cannot be expected to.

  6. joesimsbury

    Change is needed before it gets completely out of hand. That was a most listless, uninspiring performance v. Rutgers. 8-10 almost 2 years in? No consecutive wins? This is why I gave up my season tickets.

    The day we beat beat South Carolina in the 2010 Papa John’s Bowl seems like an eternity ago as does the 5 game run through the BE in 2010. (Just writing this is surreal – “We beat South Carolina in January 2010!”) Unfortunately hiring PP has been Hathaway’s final revenge. This is how developing programs get wasted. It’s too bad and I agree with many of the comments. UConn will never be attractive for conference expansion with the current state of its football team. Manuel has his work cut out for him and we all hope he’s up to it.

  7. mg


    We have seen UConn struggle over the years – even in the Fiesta Bowl year we struggled mightily. But the product we are being served up is difficult to watch. Not because of the losses, not even the play calling (for me), but the way we are losing. The last few years under RE were a period where teams knew they played UConn – they came off the field tired, brusied, and looking for no mas. We out toughed folks horizontally to compensate for lack of a vertical game. But this team, and particularly the O line, lacks toughness. They are soft – they don’t open lanes for RBs (although they do open lanes for opposing LBs to hit QB), they don’t get after folks, they don’t defend their players. They are not what we want out of UConn football. It may be PP, it may be GDL, it may be the players themselves.

    Again, I can take a loss, but we have seen a lack of effort and a lack of toughness and for me that is the biggest disappointment. If the team comes out with the same lack of energy, effort and toughness next Sat., I will have a hard time convincing mysel that i can continue to support the program under the current leadership.

  8. Jake

    Dez, did you notice that NCS BEAT FS. I wonder if looking back you think we played NCS pretty tough and perhaps the HC did a good job in that game?

  9. Devon

    I don’t think it is a coaching problem. I was at the game. The defense tried everything including only 1 down lineman. The talent level was not the same. If you watched the SNY one hour show on Sunday you basically saw a quarterback running for his life. That was the biggest differance. Did Grantz play?

  10. Frankie/Stamford

    Dez, A long time UCONN football fan and used to get upset when we lost to Yale every year. I prefer to wait until the end of the year to make judgement on HCPP and staff. However what I’m seeing right now it does not look good. This is my own opinion, but I honestly believe they will have trouble winning another game in the Big East. Lets hope for the best!!!!!!

  11. Mike C

    I think getting an invite to another conference is a pipedream. Poor performances and lackluster football – Rutgers and Louisville are in line in front of us. With new playoff setup we will be on slow descent to mid major status.

    Sad because we had opportunity to build off Fiesta Bowl and haven’t.

  12. Jonathan

    I am sick of this team. Sitting in the UConn section for this game was the most painful experience I have had at a Uconn game. 8 seconds with three timeouts how do you not run a play there to get a couple of yards to get closer. I honestly believe that Pasqualoni is not the guy to get this done. And I dont care about the three years thing that people like to give coaches. It is time for Warde Manuel to put his imprint on this program. No one is excited for this program anymore. I will continue to go to games and root for this program. However, there are other fans that will disappear. Look at the attendance. You will not be able to compare attendance figues for next year to this years because that is due to quality of opponent in Maryland and Michigan.

    For UConn to ever be invited to the ACC, we need to improve this program. We need to go out and find an up and coming coordinator. I’d rather deal with an inexperienced coach learning the ropes and go through the growing pains in hopes of him becoming a great coach then deal with a coach that has reached his plateau and we know what he is.

    1. Steve-CT

      @Jonathan – I’m not so sure that you hit the nail on the head. Expansion is more or less about eyeballs on the TV and how many each school can provide. Last time I checked the ‘cuse and Pitt were not knocking on doors on the football field.

      1. Jonathan

        I am not saying attendance is the key to expension. Pedigree is. And for all we hate Syracuse and Pitt they have history that we don’t have. I using attendance to show the lack of excitement for this program. It is embarrassing that we cannot fill a 40,000 seat stadium for 6 games a year. For all I hate Rutgers, there fans and students are better than ours. They actually coordinated a black out and the entire stadium did it. The key to expansion making your program attractive and right now our program is not attractive with Coach P at the helm.

        1. Steve-CT

          @Jonathan – I was not talking about attendance, like I said, by “eyeballs” I meant TV viewers. Population of the area to expand into. The Pitt and cuse teams are nothing to get excited about, yet they were picked for expansion. Same reason why the Big East went into Memphis, Houston etc. Population, eyeballs etc.

  13. Artie A...

    For PP an F- for sitting Mccombs a whole quarter! This was ridiculous and bullish. He is only averaging one arrest a year. Chill out coach!

    While on the coaching subject I feel people should stop picking on the staff. Everyone including the players are calling for consistency, is running on first down every time not consistent?

    You people have to back off, be kind and think of our opponents thoughts on occasion. They love the way this offense is being coached.

    Personally I would love to see McCummings for an entire game. It may not be pretty, kind of like a Tebow thing but a W is better than what we are watching.

    Back to the coach he early in the season commented on how thick the playbook is, does anyone think we should now go to page two?

  14. UCONN FB

    I love what Scott McCummings brings to the offense in the Wildcat; saw it used successfully last season vs Rutgers, Syracuse, etc. After the pass he threw yesterday his new “nickname” should be CFL–because on a wider field that was a TD! Not knocking the kid; gotta laugh after yesterday to keep from crying. Start McCummings next week at QB.

  15. husky66


    No one will disagree that to pass, at least w/ this QB in this type of offense, you have to establish the run.

    After 6 games it is clear that UConn can’t run the ball. Please demand that PP and GDL answer specifically what is different about the OL’s blocking technique that we can no longer run the ball? And no acceptance of the typical coach-speak answers about execution, blah, blah.

    UConn used to be able to run on anyone they played and now can’t. Pretty simple question that deserves an answer.

    1. dconner Post author

      I respect you and your comments but that’s going to end soon if you try to tell me how to do my job. I know what questions to ask and when to ask them and I have asked this question. I have never once told you how to do your job or anyone else for that matter. Thanks is advance

      1. Anonymous

        Hey Des, I just wanted to take a moment and say thank you for all that you do. I appreciate all of your articles and honest opinions since I haven’t been able to make many games this season I rely on your blogs to keep me up to date and I always look forward to reading what you write…So THANK YOU!!!

  16. Rob

    When is UCONN going to see Coach P was the wrong choice to be the head coach. I love how he made Delone O-LINE coach. They are worst then last year. I’m a season ticket holder and I would like my money back. Please UCONN get rid of this mistake and move forward. Maybe Mr. Burton was right about Coach P..

  17. NJ Huskie

    When you have a chance to go into half ahead 7-6 and kick a FG? The play calling was awful but not as awful as this coaching decision. Especially when you have all your time outs and if you don’t get the TD, Rutgers would have terrible field position into the wind.

  18. Chris H.

    People can say what they want about the team not having talent cause there’s plenty of talent here. The problem is PP and DL they need to GO!!!!!! This is frustrating!! I’ve seen plenty of coaching changes in the NCAA and have succeeded their first year or second year, so I’m tired of the excuses about we need to be patient and let him bring in his recruits… that’s bull im not buying that! Now I see why Mr. Burton was upset, he envisioned big things for our program after the fiesta bowl and we then go and hire PP… Wow!

  19. Gary

    Dez, say it. GDL has to go. PP has to go. This offense resembles a high school offense more than a college offense. PP and GDL are too old to coach 19 and 20 year old kids. Too old.

  20. Mike

    This head coach’s last 3 years at Syracuse were sub par.He was fired as a result. He left the college ranks for 5-6 years…an eternity in college football. While he was gone, all the big time programs had moved to some form of spread –up tempo game. He returned to something he doesn’t understand or is unwilling to adopt. I am challenging all you out there to watch one Saturday of college football on TV, and then tell me if our offense resembles in any way what you see. Our offense resembles something you would see on NFL films 1975-1980.He is going to get his 3 years like all D1 coaches get for this simple reason. His recruits will now be here and should be a major impact on the team. There will be no excuse of I don’t have my players. I went to the Fiesta Bowl and see where we have come. I am sad and disappointed because the realization has set in that it is going to be a very long road back to Phoenix.

  21. Rich

    Hi D.C. WOW! Going in the wrong direction after being in Arizona just 2 years ago. Lot of solid seniors on this team. Everything starts with the offensive line in my books. That area has always been solid but it’s looking weak and what’s up with the Bennett – Coach P. exchange? Looks like coaching staff selection by Mr. Hathaway is one nice parting shot. Mr. Burton are you out there? I think you are being proven right! Good luck to the kids.

  22. John

    The Report Card should add a couple of categories:
    Time management, including the game against Buffalo: D- (and that’s not an average)
    Play calling to UConn’s strengths: D-

    After 20 games with HCPP at the helm, just tired of seeing the same, predictable choices that don’t demonstrate a wholehearted confidence in the players, their abilities and competitive spirit to WIN and WIN big even before the 1st half is over. Dominating the opposing team is a good thing. A little bit Vince Lombardi would go a long way towards putting this team in the right mindset. But it has to start at the top.

  23. Steve-CT

    Let’s hope they can bounce back like they did in 2010. Still some guys on the team that remember that…

  24. Fobe

    What a waste of such a great defense. No offensive support is killer. George is a stubborn bullhead that continues to lack creativity. If you followed Syr football when he was the OC, you’ll know what I mean. He’ll continue to try and pound the ball inside on 1st and 2nd down until the entire staff is dismissed. I feel for both Coach Foley and Brown. The fans have a right to be angry!

  25. husky66

    RU loses it’s coach and ends up better off and is ranked. Cincy changes coaches every couple of years and somehow keeps finding success. Louisville bounces back quickly after a downturn. We lose our coach, even if it was time for him to go, and we’re nowhere. Sure talent matters, but its just as much coaching. Look at Arkansas for evidence of that.

    before this game I said it could be a turning point for HCPP. It was. and not the way any of us wanted. It’s just one game but it was bad. I don’t want to see these kid’s sesaon go the wrong way, but the rest of the season is going to be playing for PP’s job regardless of what AD says. All he’ll have to do is see the empty seats.

    Poor play calling, poor execution, poor clock management, turn overs. offense and coaches grade: D

    Defense: B, I do wonder how that locker room is between the two units. or even w/ the coaches.

  26. TAD

    Can’t run against Buffalo and can’t run against Rutgers. On one of the halfback sweeps there was two lineman and a fullback leading the way against one Rutgers linebacker and the linebacker was able to tackle McCombs for a 5 yard loss. How can that happen? I saw at least 5 blocks missed by the fullback and no one was getting out wide enough to stop the blizing Rutger’s outside linebacker. The whole offensive team needs to take ownership of their terrible play not just the coaches. No one is all that impressed with DeLone but the players need to show up and play hard. With 4 seconds to go in the game a blizing Rutgers player took 4 steps after Whitmer released the ball to hit him and the rest of the offensive team seem disinterested. How about some life in this team. That Rutgers player should have had a few Uconn players ( who cared) in his face.

  27. YankeeI

    Sad sack play calling again. Trailing late and you run off tackle twice? really? Looks like the game has passed this coaching staff by. All the high power,exciting teams in CFB have relatively young, vibrant, innovative coaches who aren’t afraid to lose. This staff is losing both because of a lack of talent and the fear of losing. UConn football will always be mediocre. Betcha Warde is saying what he’s really thinking!

  28. Navin R. Johnson

    As The Jerk said this was one of the worst days in the history of Cnnecticut football. Not because they lost but the way they lost. I still can’t imagine how they run on first down all the time when it dosen’t work.

    Coach P…F This isn’t because he can’t motivate his players or get back-to back wins 1.5 years into his tenure here at Connecticut, but the fact that he played Lyle “Spit and Push” McCombs yesterday. What is going to happen when Coach P doesn’t have a talented team and they have to rebuild? Will it be a 2 win season or 0 win season?

    Lyle McCombs…F Let’s see what the facts are. Benched until tehy come out.

    Defense…B Nice effort yesterday.

    1. buddy

      Hard to believe that they will win a BE game this year. Program has taken major steps backward.

  29. dconner Post author

    No he was telling me what question to ask and how to ask it so I beg to differ. Listen, I understand the fans frustration. I understand Husky66s frustration and everyone else’s.

  30. husky66


    You say you’ve asked that question, great. Apparently I missed that. I’m certainly not looking to tick you off and did not mean to come across as telling you how to do your job. Frankly I couldn’t and wouldn’t do it knowing full well I’d never get a straight answer to simple questions like I’ve proposed. We don’t have access to the coaches, you are one of the few who do.

    I do know this. If I am unsuccesful at my job to the degree the UConn FB staff has been to date, my performance will be questioned and I’ll be expected to have some very specific answers and resulting success. Or I lose my job. No three year understanding. Get results or move on.

  31. dconner Post author

    Im not upset. sounds like youre the one who could use the thicker skin. Opinion Blog? Really? Listen James I’ve never asked for your comments in particular and if you didn’t comment again I think we’d be ok here. Might be tough but I think we’d be OK.

  32. dconner Post author

    I thought you were going to ESPN to get your UConn football news? No matter you’ll be forced to go there after today. Your time here is limited.

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