Football: UConn vs. East Carolina preview capsule

Quarterback Bryant Sherriffs talks with the press on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017 in the Burton Football Complex. (Jon Sammis/The Daily Campus)

Time and Place: 12 p.m. Sunday, September 24 at Rentschler Field in East Hartford. The game was originally scheduled for Nov. 4, but Hurrican Irma forced a re-shuffling of the American Athletic Conference’s schedule.

Where to Watch: ESPNU, channel 50.2 on UConn TV listings

Last Meeting: ECU won 41-3 last season in Greenville, N.C. The two opponents have met three times in history, with the Pirates leading 2-1

Last Time Out: UConn lost 38-18 on the road to Virginia, as Cavaliers quarterback Kurt Benkert set a program record for passing yards in a game. ECU was drilled even worse by an ACC opponent, losing 64-17 to Virginia Tech at home.

UConn (1-1, 0-0 The American) vs. East Carolina (0-3, 0-0 The American)

Key Players:

UConn quarterback Bryant Shirreffs

Shirreffs will make his second consecutive start Sunday after seizing the job from David Pindell with a second-half comeback against Holy Cross. Shirreffs had a moderately successful passing day against Virginia and continues to make things happen with his legs, but turned the ball over twice in the red zone to cost the Huskies points.

East Carolina quarterback Gardner Minshew

Minshew came out firing against Virginia Tech, slinging a pair of touchdown passes to go up 14-7, but that was nearly it for the Pirates’ offensive production. He finished the day with 241 yards and two touchdowns on 11-for-30 passing, while running twice for -19 yards.

UConn running back Kevin Mensah

The freshman Mensah busted on the scene with an impressive 30-yard touchdown run late in the Virginia rout. UConn head coach Randy Edsall said that Mensah “has the most speed and biggest burst that we have on our football team.”

UConn wide receiver Hergy Mayala

Following in the footsteps of graduated wide receiver Noel Thomas is a tall task, but Mayala is off to a strong start in 2017 as the Huskies’ lead wideout. Through two games, he has grabbed 11 passes for 183 yards and three touchdowns.

Talking Points

Pursuit of Revenge: UConn’s 41-3 loss to East Carolina sent them spiraling for the rest of the season, as they played completely inept offensive football the rest of the way. Multiple players said on Tuesday that they would like to make up for last year’s defeat and the team will have at least one new advantage with the game moving to Hartford from North Carolina.

Sunday Kickoff: With Rentschler Field booked Saturday for a MLS match between New York City FC and the Houston Dynamo, this week’s re-scheduled tilt was forced to move back a day to Sunday, the day traditionally set aside for NFL football.

Conference Play: Another result of the scheduled shake-up: UConn’s conference opener was pushed back from the original USF date to Sunday. The Pirates will also be playing their conference opener.


Tyler Keating is the sports editor for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at tyler.keating@uconn.edu. He tweets @tylerskeating.