Editor’s Note: This is part two of an eight part series giving analysis of each of the eight teams in the Big East Football Conference, proceeding alphabetically, but ending with Syracuse. Feel free to use the comment section to supplement the facts and analysis presented, however the opinions will stand. Enjoy and I hope you are looking forward to the new Big East football season as much as I am. Part one can be found here.
Preview – Coach Paul Pasqualoni returns to college coaching after a six year stint in the NFL. To make matters more interesting he is taking over Connecticut after being the head coach at Syracuse for 14 seasons, ending in 2004. Coach P lost his job at Syracuse after sinking into mediocrity his final four years, culminating in an ugly bowl loss. Meanwhile Connecticut is coming off their best season in history, outright winning the Big East and heading to the Fiesta Bowl, where they were promptly trounced by Oklahoma in front of only a few Connecticut faithful. Gone is their stud running back, star defensive players, and starting quarterback. This makes the recipe for a massive fall off from the previous year. Some serious rebuilding and getting the most out of his players is the only way Coach P and UConn will find success on the field this season.
Key Returning Players – DT Kenday Reyes, RB DJ Shoemate, K Dave Taggart
Key Losses – RB Jordan Todman, QB Zach Frazer, LB Scott Lutrus
My Thoughts – Connecticut is looking for a Grand Canyon type fall. Think Cincinnati last season. While they probably won’t go from first to worst, sixth or seventh place at the end of the season is not unthinkable and probably expected. While I would have loved another crack at Randy Edsall, a chance to beat the old ball coach is a fun proposition, especially since he is now running a hated rival program.
Will We Beat Them? – This game, in East Hartford, has the recipe for everything a Syracuse fan could want. The chance to face the old coach, the chance to win for the first time The Rent, and the chance to earn another statement win for Doug Marrone in saying that Syracuse is back and we are on the rise. I think Syracuse does finally earn that victory if the weather is even remotely reasonable and the defense comes to play. Ryan Nassib will do his part, and the defense should as well, especially since Connecticut has barely picked their starting QB. Game on UConn.
Labels: 2011 Big East Football Prospectus, Big East, Football