Diaco Shuts Down Passing Game vs. USF

George DeLeone, the offensive coordinator during the first two years of Paul Pasqualoni's tenure, regularly was criticized for his inability to put points on the board. His worst day was nothing to UConn's offense we saw Friday night against USF.

But there's a reason for that; first-year coach Bob Diaco, presumably fed up with turnovers, sacks and negative plays, abandoned the passing game and relied on a running attack, even if the results ended in another loss.

When it was over, the Huskies fell to the Bulls, 17-14, and did it with 132 total yards. Quarterback Chandler Whitmer finished 6 of 9 for 88 yards (1 TD, 0 INT) and Max DeLorenzo, Arkeel Newsome and Joshua Mariner accounted for 85 rushing yards (though Whitmer's minus-44 rushing total brought the average-yards-per-carry down from from 4.5 to 1.6.

"We have a chance to win the game at the end after all that, we didn't convert a third down (in the game) and we had nine penalties, a turnover sets up a score right at the beginning and we have a chance at the very end to win the game at the very end so there are a lot of encouraging issues so right out of the chute it was 14-0," Diaco said after the game.

Whitmer didn't disagree.

“It’s hard," he said. "You got to run the plays that are called and you try and execute as best you can. We couldn’t turn the field, backed up a lot, and we couldn’t get anything positive going."

Things will probably get worse before they get better, but this isn't news to Diaco.

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