Column: Unhappy homecoming
Published: Sunday, October 13, 2013
Updated: Monday, October 14, 2013 13:10
On Saturday I did something I haven’t done since the last UConn football game of the 2011 season.
I took off my journalism hat for the afternoon to tailgate my last game as a student before I graduate.
It was just like I remembered it. Thousands of football fans that bleed blue lined the parking lots of Rentschler Field. Colorful flags were raised high above the smoke filled air as the smell of grilled food carried from the entrance of the stadium to the woods.
While many things stayed the same at the Rent, this Saturday was also the beginning of a new era in UConn Football. It was the first game since the Huskies ousted Paul Pasqualoni. The situation interim head coach T.J. Weist inherited was less than ideal.
Time goes on and so does the season.
However, even with a new head coach the results on the field did not differ than when Pasqualoni was at the helm. You didn’t need to be in the press box to see the UConn offense struggle as much as they did. Granted, it was the first collegiate start for the true freshman Tim Boyle, so growing pains were expected. But it was the receiving core that let down UConn and the 37,681 fans who were hoping for a happy homecoming.
The Huskies committed six dropped passes, including one by Spencer Parker that should have resulted in a touchdown.
Close but no cigar.
That seems to be the storyline that has followed this team around all season. This time it really hurts though. After one of the worst starts to the season in 20 years, many optimistic fans had Oct. 12 circled on their calendar as the Huskies’ most winnable game of the season.
The road ahead does not look favorable for the Huskies. Next Saturday UConn travels to Cincinnati to face a 4-2 Bearcat team followed by another tough contest on the road against UCF. Keep in mind this is the same UCF team that defeated Penn State in State College and the team that nearly defeated No. 12 South Carolina.
There’s also the Nov. 8 matchup with No. 8 Louisville that will be here faster than Husky fans rushing out of the stadium to beat the traffic on I-84.
Homecoming is supposed to be a time where alumni come back to bask in the nostalgia of college days gone by. For current students, it is supposed to be a time to show off pride for your university.
Instead it was the typical thinning of the herd that occurs in the student section during the fourth quarter of the game, despite the fact that it was three-point game. Can you blame them at this point though?
While the deficit was only three points, it felt like 30 points. All the fun and joy of homecoming was lost as the reality of the season as a whole set in. UConn is 0-5 and could potentially fall to 0-8.
I think it’s already safe to say, “Well, there’s always next season.”
Follow Tyler on Twitter @TylerRMorrissey