Running Game Needs to Improve

NBC Connecticut

We talked previously about the Huskies' red-zone deficiencies, specifically the ability to put the ball in the end zone. During coach Paul Pasqualoni's Tuesday news conference, the conversation about UConn's inconsistent offense continued. This time he focused on the running game.

A year ago, running back Lyle McCombs was the offense, rushing for more than 1,000 yards and earning freshman All-American honors in the process. Through five games of the 2012 season, the Huskies' ground attack is averaging an anemic 2.8 yards per carry. and McCombs isn't much better at 3.6.

But Pasqualoni has no intentions of abandoning the run, probably because it's not like the passing game is in any shape to pick up the slack.

“I understand (the problems with the rushing attack),” Pasqualoni said according to “My point to you guys (media), in no way am I discouraged by it. We got three guys that we are playing who didn’t play last year much, and we are seeing very good teams. Just last week, the team we played … so happens to be a very good team. I wished we beat a couple of things and beat them off the ball more. We will go back out and start things this week. I am optimistic that we can be a team that can run the ball. I am going to keep going with it. I understand where we are, certainly.”

This seems like a perfect opportunity for us to beat our favorite dead horse: do away with the wildcat.

We fully support the decision to stick with the running game -- it could be the best thing to happen to quarterback Chandler Whitmer as he continues to grow into the job -- but we're talking in the conventional sense. Partly because it will keep Whitmer on the field, but also because the wildcat doesn't work. Wildcat QB Scott McCummings is averaging 3.1 yards per carry. That's the second-worst average of the player with the second-most carries. This isn't an indictment of McCummings but of overall philosophy.

We'll have to wait until Saturday when the Huskies host Temple to see whether the wildcat will remain a non-trivial part of this offense. For now, all UConn can do is keep working to improve.

” I am optimistic each week that we are going to go out there and run the ball and we are going to run it well," Pasqualoni said. "We are doing game plan now and we will give our best effort.”

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