After last week’s brutal loss to Wake Forest, Boston College football looks to bounce back on the road at UConn. Our friend Alan Kidwai at The UConn Blog shares his thoughts with us on the upcoming game.
1. UConn has struggled so far this season with a 3-5 record. What is the mood around the team?
It may be a struggle, but it’s a lot better than UConn has been in the recent past. Despite a slew of injuries, including losing QB1 and WR1 in the season opener, then losing multiple RBs and WRs across the season, when the offense was already the weaker side of the squad, the Huskies have performed admirably under the circumstances. They played Utah State tough, beat their FCS opponent, then lost badly to highly ranked Syracuse, Michigan, and NC State before beating Fresno and FIU and then losing a close one at Ball State.
Overall, Husky fans are pretty encouraged by the progress. UConn looks like a real FBS team at least (we are in a Year 1 rebuild after 3 failed coaches, baby steps) and there is hope that this can be a bowl team in the near future.
2. Head Coach Jim Mora is in his first year in charge. How has he done early in his tenure?
He’s done pretty well. As mentioned above this season is definitely out-performing expectations, including the Vegas over/under for wins at 2.5 that he has already eclipsed. With BC, UMass, Liberty, and Army remaining on the schedule, perhaps another win is out there.
Mora did a good job of bolstering the Huskies’ depth via the transfer portal. Specifically, the one-year turnaround of the offensive line has been very impressive. Often a weakness around these parts, it seems, the line is as good as it has been in a decade. The offense as a whole has looked strong under offensive coordinator (and BC grad) Nick Charlton.
3. Boston College’s offense features the electric big-play potential of Zay Flowers. How will UConn slow him down?
UConn’s secondary is the weakness of the defense, while the front 7 is fairly stout. I imagine they’ll shift coverage toward him and try to make others beat us in the passing game. But I think if UConn does that BC won’t have much trouble finding other open dudes.
4. Who’s a name to watch out for on this UConn team come Saturday?
I’ll throw out a couple of new ones, actually, since most major playmakers are injured! However, WRs Cam Ross and Keelan Marion are practicing this week and might play. Their appearance could make a big difference for a depleted Husky skill position group that is missing RBs Nate Carter and Devontae Houston, leaving a true freshman, grad transfer FB, and converted DB as the lead backs for this game. The true freshman, Victor Rosa, is someone to keep an eye on. He probably shouldn’t be playing this much right now but has been solid.
5. How does UConn pull out the victory? What about BC?
UConn needs to catch BC on a bad day, get some turnover luck, some drives that stall due to unforced errors. The Husky defense is good enough to stay in the game but the offense has been struggling and it’s only a matter of time before a team like BC, which may not be amazing but certainly has a talent advantage on UConn, breaks through.
The Huskies also need to find a way to get their offense going. But I’m just not sure this is the game for that, even if Ross and Marion return.
BC’s defense needs to pressure a young, inexperienced offense into a bad day and then keep mistakes down offensively and find a way to score enough points to win.
Thanks to The UConn Blog for their time. You can visit their site here, where our Q&A with them will be up soon.