It has not been a good season thus far for the UConn football team. It’s lost eight of the nine games it’s played, including humiliating defeats at the hands of Fresno State and Purdue, among others, and losses to traditionally beatable schools like Holy Cross and UMass.
Now, after a two week break following its recent loss to Middle Tennessee, the team will head down to South Carolina to face off against Clemson. Despite Clemson’s lackluster season thus far by their standards, as the Tigers are unranked and sitting at a 6-3 record, they’re coming in as 40.5 point favorites.
But the news about UConn going into this game isn’t the betting line, isn’t how many interceptions Steven Krajewski will throw from his spot as continuing to be the starter despite some painful moments in past weeks and it isn’t what would happen if UConn somehow even made this close.
No, the story for the Huskies coming into this game is the hiring of their new head coach. On Thursday, the team announced in a press release that they had hired Jim Mora, who formerly worked for UCLA and has NFL experience, to be the head coach next season.
Perhaps it’s smart for UConn, who must be expecting a loss on Saturday, to hire a head coach now and make that the story rather than what has the potential to be a humiliating defeat. Mora, when he spoke to the press on Thursday, seemed excited about the new opportunity; “I can’t wait for the day that people say to me, instead of, ‘Why would you go to UConn?’ they say, ‘I understand why you went to UConn,'” Mora remarked in an interview with Yahoo Sports.
Mora will be in Clemson on Saturday to watch the team he will soon lead play against the Tigers. But there are still question marks around the Huskies’ new coach. Mora hasn’t coached since he was fired by UCLA in 2017. Now, since he is already working as an assistant coach, fans are anticipating the impact he can bring this season.
But Mora is still only the future for the Huskies. The present is a date with a Clemson team that certainly does not want to embarrass itself by even allowing a close game. Clemson has been rock solid on defense, allowing an average of just 16 points against the likes of Georgia and Florida State. Meanwhile, UConn’s Steven Krajewski has struggled and only thrown seven interceptions to six touchdowns in the five games where he made at least ten passes.
“This is the biggest game of the year. If we lose this game, there will be a new head coach here,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney remarked last week. Luckily for him, his team is poised to put him in a position where he doesn’t even have to consider that possibility.