Point/Counterpoint: Is this loss against UMass the worst of the season for UConn football?

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UConn quarterback David Pindell tries to avoid a cluster of UMass defenders. UConn lost 22-17 on Oct. 27, 2018. (Charlotte Lao/ The Daily Campus)

The UConn football team lost (again) on Saturday, dropping their season record to a pathetic 1-7. This time it was the UMass Minutemen who got the better of the Huskies, winning narrowly in the wind and rain 22-17. The debate this week is whether or not this tough loss (to a team that many felt UConn could and should beat) is worse than the blowout losses that the Huskies endured earlier in the season to teams that they had no shot to defeat.

Danny Barletta: Saturday’s loss was bad. There is no doubt about that. Anytime you blow an eight-point fourth quarter lead to a team that you have superior talent over, it’s not a great look. But at least they had a fourth quarter lead to blow. There is no way that this loss is worse than the 62-7 massacre that Boise State put on UConn in the second game of the year. I understand that Boise State was ranked 20th in the nation at the time and that nobody expected UConn to be in that game. However, there’s a difference between losing in blowout fashion and having a team which has been around since 1933 set school records for yards in a game. Boise State accumulated 818 total yards against UConn in that game. 818. They scored 49 points in the first half. I’m sorry, but there is no chance that a game in which they allowed only 22 points—the least they’ve let up all season by a lot—and actually had a shot at winning is worse than a game in which they were embarrassed from start to finish.

Neil Simmons: The Boise state loss was embarrassing, there’s no denying that, but I believe that the UMass loss was the worst of the season (so far). Nobody in their right mind would’ve expected the Huskies to go on the road and win at Boise. They were thirty-one point underdogs! But to lose to UMass at home is just pathetic. The Minutemen are one of the worst teams in FBS and we blew an eleven-point halftime lead to let them beat us on our own turf. Let’s not shower the defense with praise here; they still gave up almost 450 yards of offense. They only gave up 22 points because both teams played very conservatively due to the weather. Getting blown out on the road by a strong steam is one thing, but laying an egg at home against a regional rival is another.

Barletta: If anything, I think the fact that the offense was the main reason for the loss on Saturday is a positive, not a negative. We know this team can score. They kept up with an undefeated USF team, and their only win of the season was because the offense put up 56 points in a shootout. Saturday was a tough day to play with all the rain and the wind, and I think that limited both teams’ offensive schemes. The UConn defense has been absolutely terrible all year, and while the elements were probably more of a reason for the low score than the defense, this was still the best we’ve seen the defense play, with the exception of the first half at USF. An FCS team came into the Rent earlier in the season and put 49 points up on the Huskies. UMass is not good, but they’re still in the same league as UConn and had a better record coming in. Holding that team to 22 points is not a victory, but it is a step in the right direction for the defense. No matter the opponent, I’ll take a 22-17 heartbreaking loss over a 62-7, 56-17, 55-14, 51-21, or 49-7 embarrassment.

Simmons: It is a step in the right direction, I’ll give you that. But still, this is a team that the Huskies could have, and should have, rolled over. How do you go from giving a ranked USF squad a fight for 60 minutes and falling just short to letting a two-win UMass team outplay you? This should have been a pad-the-stats easy win. Instead it puts the Huskies at risk of finishing the season with just one victory


Danny Barletta is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at daniel.barletta@uconn.edu.

Neil Simmons is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at neil.simmons@uconn.edu.

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