Football is finally back in Huskyville this Saturday as the UConn men’s football team takes on the Holy Cross Crusaders at Rentschler Field. The Huskies are looking to rebound successfully after a dreadful loss at the hand of Fresno State last Sunday. The last time the Crusaders and Huskies met was on Aug. 31, 2017, where the Huskies took the 27-20 victory.
There are certainly a few things to look at going into this first home game for the Huskies. After head coach Randy Edsall confirmed the starting quarterback position is now set, Jack Zergiotis’ spot is now secure at quarterback for the Huskies. It will be interesting to see how the sophomore returns to play after a less-than-encouraging performance last week. Perhaps one of the fascinating storylines for UConn is that of starting running back Kevin Mensah. Mensah, who grew up in Worcester, will look to help the Huskies beat the Crusaders and his former high school coach, Mike Pucko. Though the Huskies were looking to run two starting running backs at the start of the season, the team decided to go in a different direction, opting to solely use Kevin Mensah, pushing Nathan Carter out of his starting position. The receiver core remains the same for the Huskies, other than the move of Cameron Hairston into the starting lineup and the move of Jahkai Gill into the backup position.
The Husky defense remains the same and looks to vastly improve after its last game. Durante Jones and Diamond Harrell remain at safety for the Huskies, while Tre Wortham and Jeremy Lucien start at cornerback. With an encouraging performance from the special teams unit, Devontae Houston is the primary kick returner for the Huskies, while Cameron Ross is the punt returner.
This will be Holy Cross’s first game of the season. The Crusaders boast a lineup including sophomore quarterback Matthew Sluka, who won Patriot League Rookie of the Year in 2020 and was a finalist for the Jerry Rice Award in 2020. With 12 of its 15 All-Patriot selections from the spring 2021 season returning, the Crusaders have an assortment of talent including defensive lineman Benton Whitley, linebacker Jacob Dobbs, and defensive back John Smith. With such an impressive lineup, they will be a difficult matchup for the Huskies.
With such an impressive array of talent taking Rentschler Field, it should be a very entertaining matchup. Kickoff is at noon and will be televised on the CBS sports network.