EAST HARTFORD, CT - NOVEMBER 09: Chandler Whitmer #10 of the University of Connecticut Huskies throws a pass against the University of Pittsburgh Panthers during the game on November 9, 2012 at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
The Huskies have two weeks to fix everything that led to the shocking 33-18 season-opening loss to Towson. After a month of training camp, we're not sure that's nearly enough time. Yes, we're only a few days into September, so it seems premature to bang on the panic button, but here's the reality: UConn lost to an FCS program, and on Sept. 14 they'll host Maryland. Seven days later, Michigan comes to town.
If the Huskies play against the Wolverines like they did last Thursday, we could be looking at the type of blowout that could define Paul Pasqualoni's short tenure as head coach.
And while the coach isn't panicking -- at least publicly -- it sounds like he's as flummoxed as the rest of us with how his team played. The difference between us and Pasqualoni: it's his team.
On offense, Junior quarterback Chandler Whitmer had a rough outing against Towson, something Pasqualoni was asked about after the game.
"I would say this, overall, we didn’t play well enough as a team," the coach said, via the Hartford Courant. "I would say that, and that certainly includes the quarterback position, I thought Chandler was a little bit jittery in our opener. He did the same thing last year against UMass when we opened the season it was kind of the same, first-game jitter thing. We’re going to work.
"Fortunately, we’ve got two weeks for Maryland," Pasqualoni continued. "I’m confident Chandler will perform better in the next outing and of course we’re going to work the two backup quarterbacks, the three quarterbacks hard. You know last night when Chandler got the ball out on time he threw the ball well and when we didn’t get it out on time it didn’t look very good.”
The other two options at quarterback: Sophomore Casey Cochran and true freshman Timmy Boyle.
On defense, linebacker Yawin Smallwood said there's no magic formula for righting the ship.
"We've got pick our heads up and just be ready to work," Smallwood said via the Courant. "We've got to get into the film room, see where the mistakes came from, we have to fix those mistakes. We have a long season ahead of us and we can't let stuff like this happen again. It's just one game. Guys gotta keep their heads up ... it's a long season. We're going to need guys to stick together as a unit and continue to stick together and play strong."
And the season is going to seem even longer if this team -- on both sides of the ball -- doesn't do a 180. Because while Maryland may not be an upper-echelon FBS program, they're certainly better than Towson. And right now, we don't even want to think about Michigan.