What are the words to describe this UConn football season? Underwhelming? Disappointing? About what we expected?
I don’t know. I just know it wasn’t great.
Their record was 2-10, but that was actually an improvement. They squeaked by FCS team Wagner 24-21 in their season opener, and then lost their next six. They beat UMass in convincing fashion, with their 56-35 victory on Oct. 26 being their first over an FBS team since Oct. 21, 2017 — nearly two years.
They used three different starting quarterbacks, starting with grad transfer Mike Beaudry game one but then shifting to true freshman Jack Zergiotis game two. After game four, head coach Randy Edsall named redshirt freshman Steven Krajewski the starter, but Beaudry ended up being the starter the next game because as it turned out, Krajewski broke his clavicle in the first quarter of the game the previous week when he came on in relief, the same one he was named the starter afterward. Zergiotis was the starter again two games later, a mantle he retained for the rest of the season.
The running game was the most functional part of the offense, with the duo of Kevin Mensah and Art Thompkins racking up 1,045 and 510 yards on the ground respectively. They did so running behind offensive tackle and future New York Giants third-round pick Matt Peart.
And the defense? Well, it was better. I mean, the 2018 unit was ~literally~ the worst in college football history, so it would have been hard not to be better. Of the 130 teams in the FBS, they only gave up the third-most points and 15th most yards. So, it’s a start.
Really though, the biggest storylines came after the season ended, when, 26 (at least, that was the latest number I could find) different players entered the transfer portal. Twenty-six. You read that right. That’s a mass exodus of unreal proportions. Among the transfers included defensive anchor and captain Tyler Coyle as well as captain Donovan Williams. Coyle ended up at Purdue and Williams ended up at Elon, an FCS school, per 247Sports.
Then, in the wake of that, Edsall uttered a couple of sentences that would go on to make national news in regard to what he thought of transfers.
“I’d rather go with high school kids or junior college guys,” Edsall said. “Guys going into the portal to me, they got issues. They got issues, that’s why they’re going into the portal.”
So, yeah. That was the UConn football season. In 2020 they’re scheduled to go independent, a result of UConn’s move to the Big East. They’re actually scheduled to have seven home game too which is cool, and Athletic Director David Benedict did an admirable job putting the schedule together in the time he did. Not only does it feature games versus some local opponents like UMass and Maine, but there are some big-time programs on it as well like Ole Miss and Virginia.
However, I will say in my complete speculation and gut feeling that I don’t think there will be a college football season. At the very least, there isn’t going to be one where fans can attend, but I think no season at all is more likely than not. Again, just my gut feeling, I know nothing.
If they do have a season though and fans are allowed to attend, 2020 is going to be a very interesting year for UConn football.