At this point in the proceedings there really is nothing to lose. The Huskies are 0-8, the head coach has been fired and now the interim coach, T.J. Weist, will make his second quarterback change since taking over in late September. Out is true freshman Tim Boyle, whose four-game audition couldn't have gone much worse (and, frankly, much of that was out of his control; the offensive line and running game both struggled, too), and he will be replaced by redshirt freshman and two-time Connecticut Gatorade Player of the Year Casey Cochran.
Cochran has appeared in four games this season -- all in relief -- and has more than held his own.
"He's made very smart decisions," Weist said of Cochran, via the Hartford Courant. "And he's shown the ability that he can handle some of the things, handle pressure ... and really make good decisions. As far as Tim is concerned ... he needs more time to develop to give us a chance to win. Casey is a very smart quarterback and one of the hardest workers on our team."
And now, he'll be tasked with getting UConn to its first win of the season.
"It's been a long season so far," Cochran conceded. "It hasn't gone our way for eight games. A lot of guys have been disappointed and things like that. I was very excited to hear the news and excited to see what we could do against SMU. They're a good team and have played some really good teams. ... When I heard the news, I think what I was most excited about was for this game. Maybe not so much knowing I was the starter, but I was more excited for the opportunity to play in this game with my teammates, the guys who I've been working with ... for two years. I think that's what I was most excited about. ...
"As hard as I worked in high school I had to work 10 times harder to get to this spot here," he said. "It definitely feels good to be in this position, but I think what I'm most excited about is to actually play in the game and see what I can do."
In four appearances this season, Cochran has completed 17 of 28 passes for 183 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.