THE LAST BATTLE
Huskies and Orange face for last time as Big East opponents in football
Published: Thursday, October 18, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 18, 2012 23:10
Tonight the UConn football team will travel to Syracuse in search of their first Big East win of the season, along with hopes of ending a two-game losing streak.
The Huskies are coming off a tough loss to the Temple Owls at home, where UConn lost 17-14 in overtime. UConn quarterback Chandler Whitmer threw for two touchdowns in the first quarter, for the Huskies only points of the afternoon. Kicker Chad Christen missed four field goals in the game, including one in overtime, but he’s looking to move forward from last week, according to UConn head coach Paul Pasqualoni.
“It will be like kicking indoors at the Shenkman Training Center,” Pasqualoni said. “Chad is going to work hard this week. We’re going to get a few more kicks in with him. I’m confident that he’s going to bounce back and do well.”
Last weekend UConn’s Max DeLorenzo got his first start at tailback where he rushed for 91 yards on 23 carries. Pasqualoni announced this week that running back Lyle McCombs will be listed as probable for tonight’s games against the Orange, after recovering from a wrist injury that kept him out of the game against Temple.
According to Pasqualoni, the swelling of McCombs left wrist prevented him from carrying the ball normally so he decided it was best for the sophomore running back to sit out one game.
This game will also be the first time that Pasqualoni will make the trip back to the Carrier Dome since 2004 when he was the head coach of the Syracuse Orange. While at Syracuse, he coached the Orange to a 107–59–1 record, including six bowl victories. However Pasqualoni see s this game as just another conference game on the Huskies schedule.
“It’s a Big East conference game,” Pasqualoni said. “That’s where I’ve focused my energy. We’re just getting ready to play the game. They have played a tough schedule and they’re playing tough football.”
So far this season, Syracuse has an overall record of 2-4 and a 1-1 record in Big East play. The Orange are coming off a recent 35-15 loss to No. 20 Rutgers. Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib has completed 162 of the 250 passes that he has attempted, as well as thrown for 11 touchdowns this year. Pasqualoni said that facing Nassib will be a big adjustment for his team.
“It’s a big adjustment because Syracuse is going to throw the ball,” Pasqualoni said. “They’ve got good running backs and good receivers. Their quarterback is a good player.”
In order for the Huskies to find success this weekend, they will need to find a way to contain Syracuse wide receiver Marcus Sales. Sales leads the Orange receiver’s in receiving yards with 545 as well as touchdowns with five. Not far behind Sales is junior wide out Jarrod West, who has 374 yards on the year thus far.
UConn and Syracuse will kickoff tonight at 8 p.m. from the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, New York. The game can be seen live on ESPN.