Well, this isn't good. Huskies cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson won't play this weekend against Western Michigan after spraining his medial collateral ligament in the Buffalo game last Saturday. A redshirt junior and one of the most physical cover corners in the Big East, Wreh-Wilson suffered the injury late in the first half of the Huskies' 17-3 win over the Bulls.
Head coach Paul Pasqualoni says starting cornerback will be out "a couple of weeks," adding "I'm not totally clear for how long he'll be out, but right now he's definitely out for this week."
Fifth-year senior Gary Wilburn will replace Wreh-Wilson.
"Gary is a very talented guy," Pasqualoni said, via the Hartford Courant. "He's an older guy. You know, oftentimes an older, fifth-year senior like a Gary Wilburn is looking for an opportunity to get in there and play. Nobody is happy about the way this has happened because Blidi, he had such a big game going the other night when this happened. It's just a shame. He's a leader and he's a captain, but, hey, this is an opportunity for Gary Wilburn and I think he'll do well with it."
During the offseason, Wreh-Wilson talked about defensive coordinator Don Brown's new scheme. He called it "more aggressive … we're just going to try to get after people. If you can create chaos around (an offense) it makes it harder for them to execute."
And through four games, that's exactly what the defense has been able to do. While losing Wreh-Wilson will impact this unit, they did get defensive end Jesse Joseph back against Buffalo. He had missed the first three games with an injury. Not only that, there are enough playmakers on defense to overcome the loss of one player.
So no, it's not ideal, but it could be worse. Imagine if, say, running back Lyle McCombs went down. Opponents are already keying in on the Huskies' running game, which was successful through the first two weeks, and without the threat of a big play, the UConn quarterbacks would face even more pressure.
Plus, Wilburn has experience, too. It's not like he's a freshman a few months removed from his high school prom. He started against Buffalo and West Virginia last season, and played 11 games. If nothing else, it will be an opportunity for him to gain more experience, which can only help the Huskies as the season progresses.