This is the third part in a series of football season preview articles by campus correspondent Luke Swanson taking a closer look at some of the opponents UConn will be facing this season.
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles”
– Sun Tzu, “The Art of War”
UConn football might not have a hundred games this year, and they may want to fear the result of some of them, but Sun Tzu’s message nonetheless rings clear. For my UConn football preview series I’m going to focus on, in my opinion, the best or most interesting player on each team the Huskies face in the 2017 season.
Last season, sophomore Temple running back Ryquell Armstead didn’t just take incumbent starter Jahad Thomas’ job, he ripped it straight out of his hands.
Not only was Armstead more consistent than Thomas, averaging 1.3 more yards per carry, but Armstead was more explosive than Thomas as well, recording three games in which he rushed for more than 100 yards.
Now a junior, Armstead figures to be the focal point of the Temple offense as the Owls move on from the Matt Rhule era and new head coach Geoff Collins tries to establish an identity on offense.
Armstead is a ferocious downhill runner who isn’t afraid to put his head down and run through a wall if it means getting a touchdown, but what makes him a three-dimensional back is his speed. Armstead runs a 4.46 40-yard dash, which would place third among all running backs at the NFL Scouting Combine this year.
UConn returns all three defensive linemen and two of their three of their starting linebackers, and they all should be familiar with Armstead, as he put 133 yards on their head when Temple beat the Huskies in East Hartford last November.
As they try to avenge last year’s loss, the Huskies will again have their hands full with Temple’s rushing attack, as the Owls return three starters and two experienced backups on the offensive line along with one of the best running backs in the conference in Armstead.
Luke Swanson is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.