For once, the score doesn't really matter. White beat Blue 46-37 in the spring game Saturday, officially concluding spring practices. The bigger takeaway: What it all means as the Huskies, 13-23 over the last three seasons, try to right the ship under new coach Bob Diaco.
In front of some 6,500 at Rentschler Field, the defense was the star of the show, welcome news after allowing big plays, lots of yards and plenty of points became habit-forming in 2013.
"Man, words can't describe how dominant our defensive line is going to be this fall," junior safety Andrew Adams told the Hartford Courant. "We have forces in the middle, B.J., Lo, Julian, all of those guys down there are going to be great players for us."
And safety Byron Jones added: "Those guys are tough guys, and that's where it starts for defense, the defensive line, and those guys have been tough throughout the whole spring and I think they're going to continue that through the summer -- and through the season."
Ultimately, the team's success will be determined on the other side of the ball by the quarterbacks. Diaco's top three choices: Casey Cochran (10 of 19, 91 yards, 1 INT), Chandler Whitmer (19 of 26, 163 yards, 1 TD) and Tim Boyle (7 of 14, 97 yards).
Cochran led the team to its only three wins a season ago while Whitmer and Boyle struggled in starts over the first nine games. But it's a new day and Diaco is only interested in looking ahead.
"At times, spotty … just OK," he said of the quarterbacks' performance Saturday. "I would like to see better clock management, collectively, kind of sauntering around, not really cognizant of the play clock as well as it needs to be; some moments of either delivering the ball a little too quick or holding onto it a little too long, so the timing of that needs to improve and it's going to improve, anyway. We haven't had a lot of these opportunities. It's all been kind of canned in a petri dish, how we've been practicing; very isolated intense moments but they were controlled so now to actually play a game where it's not, it was nice to see them operate -- and we've got a long way to go."
Luckily, the season is more than four months off.