It was a long trip home for UConn football this weekend, and not just because they were returning from the farthest trip west in program history. The Huskies lost 62-7 to No. 20 Boise State on Saturday in their second game in a row against a ranked opponent.
“We knew it was gonna be a tough matchup against a top 15 team, in my opinion, and we just don’t have the matchups yet,” head coach Randy Edsall said.
Boise State’s 818 yards of total offense set their own school record as they handed UConn their worst loss since they fell 66-10 to Middle Tennessee in 2000.
A raucous Albertson’s Stadium crowd forced the Huskies into six false start penalties, making the Huskies start off behind schedule on three of their first four drives.
That wasn’t nearly the only brand of mistake that cost the white and blue on Saturday night, as Edsall pointed out.
“For some of these guys, the moment was too big for them yesterday because they’ve never been in that environment before,” Edsall said. “Some of these guys, they’ve never had to prepare for situations like that, and that’s all part of the process that we’re going through.”
Boise State scored every time they touched the ball in the first half with five consecutive touchdowns bookended by field goals.
At the end of the first half the score was 51-0, and Boise State had 514 yards of total offense to UConn’s 78.
Rypien launched deep ball after deep ball into the night, completing four passes of 20 yards or more, three of them for touchdowns. He completed 21 of 28 passes in the game for 362 yards, most of which were earned in the first half before he was taken out.
Not to be outdone, Boise State’s ground game also put together a dominant performance. The Bronco offensive line shoved around UConn’s front seven to the tune of 400 yards rushing on 8.9 yards per carry. Junior Alexander Mattison led the way, with 11 carries for 115 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Meanwhile, UConn’s offense found nearly as little success on the other side of the ball against a salty Boise State defense. Quarterback David Pindell couldn’t match his breakout performance last week against UCF, completing 11 of 21 passes for just 71 yards.
The Huskies offensive line in particular had a long night. It seemed like a blue jersey was in the backfield on nearly every play, and that combined with the raucous Albertson’s Field crowd made for a long night for the men up front.
If there was a positive to take away from this weekend for the Huskies, it was running back Kevin Mensah. The speedy sophomore found his footing after a rough game last week against UCF, dipping and dodging to 82 yards on 8.9 yards per carry on Saturday.
UConn’s lone points on the night was set up by a 55-yard run by Mensah, their biggest play of the night. Pindell found tight end Aaron McLean on a 15-yard play action pop pass, his first touchdown reception of the year.
Now the Huskies have to find a balance between distancing themselves as much as possible from that night and learning from their mistakes. They won’t watch film of the game as a team, but individual position coaches will get in contact with the players and tell them what to watch and where they can improve, Edsall said.
“It’s a process, and we’re not gonna cut corners going through the process… we’ll just keep working and we’re gonna get better.”
Luke Swanson is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.