Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Lack of QB Hurts UConn Long Term

What did we learn from last Saturday's game against Fordham? Well for one thing the passing game at UConn won't see any immediate improvement from last season. UConn started three quarterbacks in the game, and none of them shined or separated themselves as the clear started. The big surprise is that Michael Box, the QB who started against Louisville last year, is the only one of the four mentioned at the start of the year to have fallen out of the conversation amongst coaches. Of the three that did play, junior and youtube star Johnny McEntee was the most accurate passer. He was eight of twelve for the game but showed patience and poise in the pocket, albeit against an inferior opponent. Michael Nebrich, widely considered the most athletic of the bunch, was three of eight and struggled with accuracy. He seemed jittery in the pocket and was all too eager to pull the ball down and run for it, his day finished with an interception. Scott McCummings, freshmen, threw only one pass but it was a beautiful 55 yard touchdown to Ryan Griffin.

There is little to gain from breaking down these performances any further because of the quality (or lack thereof) of the opponent, but what we did learn is that Coach Pasqualoni is planning to continue to play some variety of the three of them in the next game as well until someone establishes themselves as the best. This is a mistake. There may be no clear cut decision in terms of talent, but as a new coach in a system designed for running having a stable QB situation only stands to benefit the offense as a whole. With receivers that have struggled their entire careers continuing to ask them to work with three different passers at all times is only a detriment to their development, there is no consistency in practice which will haunt the Huskies down the road when they are playing teams that can compete. The leading receiver in the game against Fordham was Ryan Griffin, a tight end, with three catches. The only good news in the passing game for UConn was distribution with seven different players catching at least a pass, but with only thirteen completions for all three QBs there were few catches to go around and even fewer bright spots as a fan.

If this team can make the expectations that most fans have considering the hype and promise from last year and the response of the players and university officials to the new coach, a decision needs to be made about the starting QB. With a passing game ranked at the bottom of NCAA, having indecision start at the coach only spells disaster down the road.

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