Credit Huskies offensive coordinator George DeLeone for admitting what critics have been thinking for most of the season: he's not pleased with the current state of UConn's offense and he takes full responsibility.
We've had our share of bellyaching about UConn's inability to sustain drives and score points. We questioned the decision to waste plays on the Wildcat, the inconsistencies along the offensive line and in the running game, the the apparent lack of flexibility to alter a game plan that clearly isn't working.
"It's been a tremendously disappointing year," DeLeone told the Hartford Courant's Desmond Conner last week. "It's been a tough year for me personally. Mentally, physically; psychologically, it's been a tough year. We put everything we have into this job here and when it doesn't work out, you're disappointed. I saw at times the last couple games we've done some better things, but I've learned in this business all you can do is worry about the next day, the next practice, the next game.
"I'm not here to say we've done a great job on offense," DeLeone continued. "I don't believe we have. I've been disappointed, and it eats away at you. I get it. I can't sit here and tell you we've done a fabulous job since I got here, because we haven't offensively."
DeLeone, 64, goes way back with Paul Pasqualoni and some of the complaints we're hearing now were the same ones when both were at Syracuse.
The rushing attack ranks 115th out of 120 FBS schools and UConn is 107th in total offense. Put another way: there's a ton of room for improvement, something that would come in handy these final two games of the regular season, two games the Huskies have to win to qualify for a bowl game.
"There's no doubt we just have not done a good job there," DeLeone told Conner. "We have not been as consistent as we've needed to be for a lot of reasons. We have to be able to put pressure on the other team. We had a chance (against Pitt) to really knock that game out. That could have been a 35-7 game, easy, but under the conditions that we're working with … I was just grateful as hell we made that last catch, that's all I know. … We took a step in the sense that our defense didn't have to come out and stop them. That was a plus."
It's a start but ultimately, the offense has to improve if the Huskies are going to be anything more than a middle-of-the-road Big East team.
"I'm looking for, but not settling for, little victories like that. We're growing. Is it what I want? No. I wish we were outscoring our opponents 76-3. We just do enough things that kill us. That's part of where we are in our growth."
And unless something changes in a hurry, the Huskies will have another long offseason to contemplate all that went wrong.