I didn’t make the trip up to Buffalo, so ESPN3 it was. The broadcast was bad; the actual game was way, way worse.
Some quick takeaways:
*So you think Paul Pasqualoni should be fired Sunday. Fair. To be honest, I didn’t think he deserved a third year (but that’s for another time).
Although it’s inevitable, firing Pasqualoni midseason doesn’t really accomplish much; it just appeases the fanbase. If you’re looking for the precedent, Warde Manuel fired Buffalo coach Jim Hofher with two games left in 2005, but allowed him to coach the rest of the season. The move gave Manuel additional time to seek a successor, and I think you’ll see something similar here.
Unless, of course, Manuel is just so fed up that he feels compelled to make an announcement tomorrow. That’s always possible.
*A lot has gone wrong in the Pasqualoni era. When you look back at at these three years, moving Mike Foley off the offensive line will be considered the greatest single mistake. From 2006-11, no matter what runner was in the backfield, UConn could move the chains on the ground. The one constant: Foley. His lines paved the way for Donald Brown, Andre Dixon, Jordan Todman and, once upon a time, Lyle McCombs.
In his final year, the 2011 Huskies (led by McCombs) rushed for 1,823 yards. He was moved to tight ends in 2012, and UConn’s O-Line has been anemic since. The Huskies are averaging 45.8 yards per game on the ground, dead-last in the country. Oh yeah, they can’t pass block, either.
*Earlier this week, I wrote about the possibility of inserting true freshman Tim Boyle at quarterback. My argument, simply, was that it was Pasqualoni’s last move in an attempt to save his job. After this debacle, he’s out of moves. You know it, I know it, Manuel knows it and Pasqualoni has to know it. Even if Boyle starts against USF and looks like the next Dan Orlovsky, he’s a goner.
So, there are a few ways to look at this: Pasqualoni can go ahead and play him because, well, what does he care if a redshirt is burned? (also, burning a redshirt isn’t the end of the world. The only way to truly get better is with in-game experience, and Boyle can benefit greatly from starting these next few months). Or Pasqualoni can just stick with Whitmer because he probably is more comfortable at this point.
My gut feeling: I think we’ll see Boyle versus USF. Again, I don’t think Whitmer is terrible. I actually think he’s pretty good. But he put UConn in a hole Saturday with a pick-six and a fumble (he held the ball too long), and this isn’t anything new. He’s way too turnover prone. As you’re probably aware, UConn isn’t talented enough to lose the turnover battle and still win the game. Not with this running attack, not with this susceptible defense.