We're at the point in the proceedings where there's not much to be excited about beyond individual efforts and hopes that this somehow all comes together next season. For now, the Huskies are a bad football team, even by AAC standards, and there's no easy fix.
First-year coach Bob Diaco is well aware of this, though he sounds like has a plan to again make UConn relevant. The biggest question, of course, is when.
The latest setback came Saturday when Memphis throttled UConn, 41-10.
But there were bright spots. Like the Huskies didn't allow a sack against the conference's most aggressive defense.
"(Quarterback) Timmy (Boyle) kept some of the plays alive, that one I wish he didn't keep alive that was a downright game changer right there, the fumble," Diaco said, via the New Haven Register's Jim Fuller. "He kept a nice play alive, slid to his left and slipped it to Max (DeLorenzo) at the end. It was really nice to see. The offensive line is improving, they are getting better and better. I think Andreas (Knappe, the starting right tackle) played his very best game and now that is two weeks in a row that he looks like a dude, he looks like a real guy out there so that is exciting."
So there's that. And until late in the game, things were relatively close.
"It was really, through seven minutes to play in the third quarter, 13-3," Diaco said. "It was a football game. The plan was good, and for the most part, the execution of the plan was good in terms of targeting and blocks destruction and the fits. What plagues a young team is penalties and ball security issues. We had penalties that were moving the ball closer to our goal line and penalties that moved the ball farther away from our goal line. We had some long runs that came back on penalties, and we had some defensive plays where we had them stopped and the drive was kept alive. The one drive in the second half to get the 13 points to 20 points, we had a few penalties on that drive that ended up setting them in close. And then we went turnover, turnover, and that's how the thing to 34," Diaco told the Register.
About those penalties...
"They were basically aggressive penalties so it is young players trying to finish," Diaco said. "You think about the game-changing (penalties). Right out of that chute Ronnie rips off that run (on UConn's third drive) and we get a hold. You watch the play and you watch Tommy (Myers), Tommy is blocking that guy and really giving him the business, finishes him into the ground. It is that finish that they flagged the hold on. That was a game-changing play, independent of whether we scored or not, the fact of the matter is that the exposure for our defense has been so great, in particular the last few weeks that is the main issue there from a point-production standpoint. The inability to get the field flipped in a problem early in the game."