After two and a half months of some of the most depressing football you'll ever see, the Huskies end the 2013 season with a three-game winning streak, including a record-setting game for redshirt freshman Casey Cochran, who threw for 461 yards and four touchdowns in UConn's 45-10 win over Memphis.
But with the 3-9 season in the books, the process of fixing this mess truly begins. Athletics director Warde Manuel will have to decide if interim head coach T.J. Weist, who replaced Paul Pasqualoni in late September, has earned the right for the full-time gig, or if the search will extend beyond the university.
Whomever is the coach in 2014, they won't have the services of junior linebacker Yawin Smallwood, who plans on entering the NFL Draft next April.
"The NFL is just a dream," said Smallwood (via the Hartford Courant), who had seven tackles and two sacks against the Tigers Sunday. "I've been playing this game since I was 7 years old and I only had one thing on my mind, and that's get to the next level."
The linebacker, one of 12 semifinalists for the Butkus Award, leaves Storrs with nothing but positive experiences.
"I'm just happy and excited that I was able to come to the University of Connecticut," Smallwood said. "These coaches work their tails off to make sure that I develop into a good player. … It's just a dream come true and I'm just going to keep working."
He's also talked to former UConn teammates now in the NFL about what to expect.
"I've talked to them about the next level, but not so much about if I'm going to leave," Smallwood said. "Ultimately, this was my decision. I felt it was best for me to go ahead and enter. I feel like I'm ready. I've proved I can make plays out there on the football field and I just felt like it was the right time."