The UConn football team will look to rebound from a program-worst defensive performance Saturday afternoon as they travel to Philadelphia to take on American Athletic Conference rival Temple at Lincoln Financial Field.
Last Friday against Memphis, the Huskies (1-4, 0-3 The American) gave up 70 points to the Tigers at Rentschler Field, eclipsing the previous program record of 69 points allowed in a game, set in 1919 against Holy Cross. The UConn defense is surrendering boatloads of points, as opponents have scored 43.6 points per game.
Coming off that loss, which UConn linebacker Vontae Diggs frequently called “embarrassing” after the game, UConn head coach Randy Edsall was not satisfied with the way the Huskies practiced.
“I was disappointed today. I wasn’t happy with the way practice was today,” Edsall said at media availability following Tuesday morning’s practice. “I just know this. If it’s me, and I just came off getting beat, I’d be coming out there, somebody would be paying a price. … That’s something that we have to instill, because I didn’t see that today.”
Edsall also talked about the frequent line-up changes the Huskies have made, attributing them to inconsistent play.
“If you don’t perform, you’re not going to be out there,” Edsall said. “Sometimes guys need a wake-up call. Or sometimes guys just aren’t good enough. So, what you do is you try to find guys that are good enough to give you the best opportunity to go out and win.”
While the defense faltered against Memphis, the offense had another relatively encouraging performance, posting 31 points against the Tigers. While the unit slowed down in the second half with the game out of reach, putting up just seven points, they were good enough for another performance of 27 or more points, their fourth of the season. UConn scored more than 27 points just once last season.
The offense will need to deliver for the Huskies to beat a Temple team that beat up on East Carolina last weekend. The Owls (3-3, 1-2 The American) have not played nearly up to the high level of performance that delivered them the American Championship last season, but they remain a tough opponent to defeat at home.
“We gotta go play a team that’s very physical, who’s athletic, down in their backyard, coming off a big win. We’re going to have to prepare well, and we’re going to have to work to play a full 60 minutes,” Edsall said.
UConn and Temple will kick off 12 p.m. Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The game will be broadcast on ESPNEWS.
Tyler Keating is the sports editor for The Daily Campus, covering men’s basketball. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. He tweets @tylerskeating.