- Andrea Adelson, College Football
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2011 overall record: 5-7
2011 conference record: 3-4 (6th place)
Offense 7; Defense 8; Kicker/punter: 1
2011 statistical leaders (*returners)
Rushing: Lyle McCombs* (1,151 yards)
Passing: Johnny McEntee* (172-of-335 for 2,110 yards 12 TDs, 8 INTs)
Receiving: Kashif Moore (604 yards)
Tackles: Jory Johnson* (97)
Sacks: Trevardo Williams* (12.5)
Interceptions: Three tied with three each
1. Ryan Wirth steps up. UConn is taking a major hit to the middle of its line with Kendall Reyes and Twyon Martin both gone. Defensive tackle Wirth had one of the best springs for UConn and capped it with a terrific spring game, getting 4.5 sacks, 5.5 tackles for loss and a safety. He could be a really good replacement up front.
2. Running back depth. Even though running back D.J. Shoemate sustained a career-ending shoulder injury, UConn has to feel good about its depth at the position. Leading freshman rusher Lyle McCombs returns. Max DeLorenzo had a good spring, and there could also be big contributions from Martin Hyppolite and Joe Williams.
3. Big-play receiver potential. Boston College transfer Shakim Phillips had a very good spring, giving the Huskies hope that they have found a player to help the receiving group improve. He had five catches for 55 yards in the spring game. Mike Smith is back after sitting out a year to get his grades in order. Maybe UConn can also figure out how to get Nick Williams more involved.
1. Quarterback. Stop me if you've heard this one before. UConn is in need of a starting quarterback. For the second straight offseason there is uncertainty at the position, with five different players still in contention for the starting job. Junior college transfer Chandler Whitmer had the best performance in the spring game, but coach Paul Pasqualoni is going to wait to name his starter again.
2. Offensive line. UConn was shaky there last season and now goes into this year without its two best players in center Moe Petrus and tackle Mike Ryan. This has been made a priority, hence the decision to move offensive coordinator George DeLeone to coach this position. This group has to be better for the Huskies to be better.
3. Kicker. Dave Teggart was so reliable for so long for the Huskies, it would be easy just to take him for granted. Now he's gone and there will be a new player stepping up to fill his big shoes. Junior Chad Christen is among several players vying for the job. UConn also will have a true freshman come into the mix in the fall Bobby Puyol, one of the best high school prospects in the nation.