EAST HARTFORD – The scariest thing about this Halloween weekend was the UConn football team’s performance.
If you were a child in Derry, Maine, deathly afraid of bad performances by sports teams, Pennywise the Clown would show you Saturday’s game tape.
“I’m not even going to show this film to these guys,” UConn head coach Randy Edsall said after the game.
The Huskies lost 70-31 on Oct. 6, seemingly marking the season’s nadir. Their 52-12 loss to Missouri is a worthy rival. Following a lucky safety on the game’s opening drive, they were dominated thoroughly by Missouri, while making errors of their own.
“There were opportunities and we didn’t take advantage of them early. We knew it was gonna be a game where we were going to have to score. The matchups weren’t in our favor, so we had to be able to make plays on both sides of the ball, and we didn’t get that done. That’s why it ended up the way it did,” Edsall said.
UConn dropped plenty of passes and missed tackles all over the field. Without running back Arkeel Newsome, the ground game was a disaster and the passing game lacked a valuable safety valve.
“I’d be interested to see. I bet there was probably a dozen drops. Probably about a dozen. And missed tackles. Again, a lot of it has to do with confidence,” Edsall said.
The most inept unit was the work done by the UConn secondary, which posed little opposition to the Tigers’ offense as they steamrolled up and down the field. Missouri quarterback Drew Lock was this week’s benefactor, posting a gaudy stat line as most opposing signal callers do – 377 passing yards and five touchdowns on 84 percent completion percentage.
Senior cornerback Jamar Summers, so crucial to the defense’s success in 2015, had another poor game at home. He was picked on by Lock, and after finally coming down with an interception in the third quarter, he tossed the ball at the intended receiver, earning a penalty and an early trip to the locker room from Edsall.
“Not gonna disrespect the game that way and play in this program,” Edsall said of his decision to send Summers off. “It’s all about respecting the game and doing what you’re supposed to do. If you’re not going to do that, then you don’t deserve to be on the field. That’s my opinion. That’s how I’m gonna do things.”
It doesn’t get any easier. No. 23 (Coaches’ Poll) USF is next, although they lost at home to Houston Saturday to drop out of the AP Poll. Then No. 15/14 UCF, which dropped 73 points on Austin Peay Saturday.
“It’s over with now, can’t get it back. So, we’ll just move on to South Florida. All you can do,” Edsall said.