Saturday is the day that every UConn fan has had marked on the calendar for months. The Huskies prepare to meet their former head coach Randy Edsall and his Maryland Terrapins in a match made in TV heaven. For UConn, losing simply isn’t an option.
Much like Jim Calhoun built UConn Basketball into what it is today; Randy Edsall built UConn football into what we see today. Under his guidance from 1999 to 2010, UConn went from a middle of the road FCS team to a serious contender in the Big East and the FBS, culminating in the first BCS game in the school’s history (a 49-20 loss to Oklahoma in the 2010 Fiesta Bowl). The loss would be Edsall’s last game on the sidelines for Connecticut. He took the Maryland job and flew out the very next day, failing to inform his team of his decision or departure. When introduced at Maryland, he said it was his “dream job”. Edsall has since spoken publicly that he regrets the manner in which he left, but not the fact that he left.
When put to question, players will probably tell you that this game holds no added significance, but make no mistake; it does. While people in the state of Connecticut and at the university appreciate what Edsall did for UConn football, they still resent him for the disrespectful manner in which he left. As a resident of Connecticut, student of the university, and UConn Football fan, I can say for absolute certain; I want UConn to embarrass Randy Edsall and his new team.
However, saying I want UConn to embarrass Edsall, and the team actually sticking it to him on the field are two way different things.
The UConn offense needs to find its stride against Maryland to win this game. It needs to get on track after two disappointingly subpar showings in the first two games of the season. The UConn defense, led by Trevardo Williams and Sio Moore, is the best in the Big East and will do its best to put the UConn offense in good positions to score, but the offense needs to put points on the board. If the Huskies drop the turnover bug and get Lyle McCombs going on the ground, this game will be a victory for UConn.
Maryland comes into the game looking much depleted as the Randy Edsall era hasn’t gotten off to a “dream” start. In typical Edsall fashion, he has ostracized players to points of irreparable damage, ultimately culminating in the departure of starting quarterback Danny O’Brien after a heated transfer battle between coach and quarterback. The Terrapins opened the season and almost suffered an embarrassing loss to William & Mary but got on track with a convincing victory against Temple. Freshman quarterback Perry Hills gets better by the game and has stepped in quite admirably for the departed O’Brien. In tandem with halfback Justus Pickett, the Terrapins can look dangerous.
Look for the Huskies to get a little revenge on their one time head coach and get their season back on track this Saturday at Byrd Stadium.