In a football season of turmoil and disappointment, the University of Connecticut football team finally got a win. With a W in the books, the team faces Middle Tennessee State University in a Friday night matchup at Rentschler Field.
Middle Tennessee certainly has not had the best season up until this point. The Blue Raiders are 2-4 on the year and are coming off an embarrassing 41-13 loss to Liberty University. Despite the recent struggles, the team certainly has plenty of bright spots and talent to compete, especially with UConn.
The team brings in Chase Cunningham at quarterback, a redshirt junior who has played well for the Blue Raiders. Cunningham has 973 yards on the year, as well as 12 touchdowns and just two interceptions. The junior has demonstrated mobility and can cause some trouble for the Husky defense.
Middle Tennessee has had difficulty rushing the ball this year, with redshirt junior Chaton Mobley accumulating just 184 yards on 34 attempts this year. However, with the Huskies’ problems on the defensive line, Mobley may be relied on more than usual by the Blue Raiders to win in this matchup.
UConn looks to counter Middle Tennessee in this matchup after the encouraging performance of quarterback Steven Krajewski in last week’s 21-15 nail-biting win against Yale University. Krajewski had 199 yards and two touchdowns for the Huskies.
On the rushing end for the Huskies, the team saw an impressive performance from backup running back Kevin Mensah last week. Mensah had 58 yards on just 12 carries, and while he will remain at backup in Friday’s matchup, it will be interesting to keep an eye on how the veteran carries last week’s encouraging results into Friday.
The receivers have been one of the brightest parts of the team this year ever since the emergence of freshman Keelan Marion and the freshmen receiving core that came in after the widespread injuries to the Huskies’ upperclassmen. Their entire receiving core will have to be on point in this matchup to contend with the Blue Raiders.
For the injury report, the team has defensive anchor Ryan Van Denmark listed to return in this game — a huge addition for the Huskies, who desperately need his presence. Tight end Jay Rose will miss Friday’s competition due to testing positive for COVID-19, limiting Krajewski’s receiving options. Cornerback Jeremy Lucien will be a game-time decision after suffering a concussion.
UConn will also host its first LGBTQIA+ Pride game in team history, with each player wearing a gay pride sticker proudly on their helmets. The first 500 fans in attendance will also receive a free rainbow headband, and the Hartford Gay Men’s Chorus will sing the national anthem.
With this matchup’s general festivities and competitive nature, it won’t be a game that Husky fans will want to miss. The game will kick off at 6 p.m. and be broadcast by CBS Sports Network.