Thursday, January 17, 2013
2012 report cards: Connecticut
By Matt Fortuna
Our series continues with a loopback at the Huskies. To read Andrea's review of Cincinnati's season, click here.
OFFENSE: Assistant coach George DeLeone lost his duties this week as UConn's offensive coordinator. He will remain the offensive line coach and will be associate head coach, but the stripping of his title is all you really need to know about how this team's offense fared in 2012. Scoring offense? Last in the Big East (17.75 ppg) and 118th in the nation. Total offense? Still last in the conference (318.33 ypg), though up to 110th nationally. The Huskies were last in the Big East and 117th nationally in rushing offense (82.92 ypg) as well. They were actually fifth in the conference and 65th nationally in passing offense (230.42 ypg), but their 18 interceptions made them tied for 110th nationally (though just sixth in the Big East). They gave up 2.75 sacks per game, next to last in the Big East and 100th nationally. The most telling stat of all? Following a Week 5 Sept. 29 win over Buffalo, UConn did not score a second-half touchdown until its penultimate game of the season, Nov. 24 at Louisville -- and even that touchdown did not come until the second overtime. Its first second-half points after that Buffalo game came four games later, a field goal at South Florida on Nov. 3 -- the only second-half, non-overtime points the Huskies managed from games No. 6 to 11. (They scored 13 over three overtimes at Louisville.) GRADE: D.
DEFENSE: The worst part about UConn's atrocious offense? It ruined what was a very good season-long effort by its defense. Yawin Smallwood had 120 tackles on the season, good for 20th nationally, and was a factor in the Big East Defensive Player of the Year race every step of the way. Jory Johnson had 95. The Huskies topped the conference in total defense (309.92 ypg), good for ninth nationally, and they were third in the conference in scoring defense (19.83 ppg), good for 19th nationally. Rushing D? Second among its conference brethren (97.92 ypg), seventh nationally. UConn held eight teams to 20 or fewer points. Unfortunately for the Huskies, defensive coordinator Don Brown left after the season for Boston College. GRADE: A.
OVERALL: The big problem with holding eight of 12 opponents to 20 or fewer points? Just four of those eight contests resulted in wins. The other win was a 24-21 Week 3 squeaker over old friend Randy Edsall and Maryland. UConn finished 5-7 for the second straight season under second-year coach Paul Pasqualoni, this time 2-5 in conference play. The Huskies' problem was a simple one: They were great on one side of the ball and atrocious on the other side. Somewhere in between will get this team bowling again, but patience is running thin in Storrs. GRADE: C.