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Villanova Wildcats @ UConn Huskies Preview

The UConn Huskies will open up the 2015 season on Thursday at they'll host the Villanova Wildcats at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field [...]


This week:

Villanova Wildcats vs UConn Huskies

The UConn Huskies will open up the 2015 season on Thursday at they’ll host the Villanova Wildcats at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field.

The Line:

According to, UConn is favored by 3 points. The over/under is 52.5 points.


According to UConn Huskies ticket office, there plenty of tickets available to Thursday’s game

Getting To The Game:

Here is link for the weather report. Here is all the parking info you will need for the game, this link includes directions to Rentschler Field. Here is a Rentschler Field seating chart and here is some general information for Rentschler Field.

The parking lots will open up 4 hours before kickoff. Here is a list of the tailgating rules at the Rent.

Th route for the Husky Walk as the team arrives for games at Rentschler Field this year and fans get a chance to greet the team as they get off their buses and make their way to the stadium. The Husky walk, which takes place approximately, two hours and 15 minutes before kickoff,  starts in the Gray Parking Lots and the team will makes its way to the large tunnel near Gate B.

The UConn team will now do its pregame warmup in front of the UConn student section on the South End of the stadium.

Once again, FanFest takes place starting four hours before kickoff up until 30 minutes before the game between Gates A and B outside the stadium gates. The offerings change each game, but activities typically include inflatable games for children, live bands, promotional vehicles and UConn student-athletes from various teams signing autographs.

Once again this season at the end of home games, the UConn team will sing the “UConn Husky” fight song in front of the student section at Rentschler Field.


Jasper Howard MemorialA memorial in honor of Jasper Howard, the UConn football student-athlete who tragically lost his life five years ago, was officially dedicated on November 1. 2015 at halftime. Funds for the statue were raised in a grassroots fashion with the efforts spearheaded by UConn supporters Dan and Lisa Lowry of Prospect, Conn. The lead gift for the memorial came from former UConn head football coach Randy Edsall, who was Howard’s coach with the Huskies. Donations also came from former Husky student-athletes and fans from around the country.

Howard lost his life on October 18, 2009 – hours after UConn had defeated Louisville at Rentschler Field on Homecoming. Howard recorded a career-high 11 tackles in the contest and a fumble recovery.

Funds will continue to be raised for the Jasper T. Howard Endowed Scholarship Fund at UConn, which is presented annually to a cornerback on the Husky football team who best embodies the qualities of Howard.

For information on how to contribute to that fund, please visit

The statue is made of barre grey granite quarried in Barre, Vt. It is a three-piece memorial that has an overall height of seven feet and weighs 3.25 tons. The top piece of granite is carved into mirror 6’s so whether viewing from the front or back it is a 6 and is colored to replicate the home jersey Howard wore.

The pedestal which the 6 sits on top of is lettered on the East and West facing sides. The east side has a quote from Jasper and is accented by 23kt gold leafed letters. The west side contains a narrative of Jasper’s life and a porcelain picture of Jasper. K. G. Keena Memorials of East Hartford, Manchester Monument Company of Manchester and Wethersfield Monument of Wethersfield designed, created and installed the piece.



Thursday night’s game will be televised by SNY.  Eric Frede will be on play-by-play with Andy Gresh on color and Kerith Buke on the sidelines.


The UConn IMG Sports Network is the home of Husky football on the radio. WTIC Newstalk 1080 in Hartford serves as the fl agship station and is the state’s only 50,000 watt signal and can be heard in 23 states and parts of Canada. The 2015-16 year marks the 24th consecutive season that WTIC is the flagship for UConn sports.

Veteran UConn announcers Joe D’Ambrosio (play-by-play) and Wayne Norman (color commentary) return to call the action with Kevin Nathan on the sidelines.

For Thursday’s opener vs.Villanova, WTIC will begin their broadcast day on-site at 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. with their afternoon sports show “Joe D. and Gresh” followed by the IMG Network pregame show with Bob Joyce and – new to the broadcast team this year — former Husky quarterback Casey Cochran. The game broadcast at 7:00 p.m. In addition, the games can be heard on the TuneIn Radio app.

Here is a full list of stations on the UConn IMG Radio Network.

The Villanova game will also be available on Sirius Radio Channel 108 and XM Channel 108.

Villanova Wildcats Radio:

Villanova Wildcats football games can be heard 610 SPORTS (WTEL-AM). Ryan Fannon has the play-by-play while Kevin Reilly is the analyst.

Last Week:

This is the season opener for both teams


Thursday’s game will be the 14th meeting between UConn and Villanova in the sport of football, but the fi rst since 1999. Villanova leads the series by a 9-4 count with 12 of the games being played between 1987 and ’99 when both teams were members of the Yankee Conference and Atlantic 10 football.


The Huskies have nine players from the state of Pennsylvania on their team – TE Alec Bloom (Ligonier), LB Chris Britton (Harrisburg), DL Julian Campenni (West Pittson), LB Luke Carrezola (Langhorne), LB Jon Hicks (Palmyra), LB Junior Joseph (Sinking Spring), WR Brian Lemelle (Harrisburg),DL Kevin Murphy (Westchester) and OL Zach Rugg (Windber).

Villanova has three Connecticut natives its roster – LB Austin Calitro (Danbury), LB Don Cherry (Trumbull), TE Ethan Ericson (Glastonbury)

Villanova Defensive Coordinator Billy Crocker grew up in Waterford and is a graduate of Waterford High School.

UConn Notes:

Here is a transcript of some UConn head coach Bob Diaco’s remarks from the pregame press conference.

UConn head coach Bob Diaco made his UConn and collegiate head coaching debut on August 29, 2015 vs. BYU. Diaco served on the Notre Dame coaching staff as the defensive coordinator for the past four years and the assistant head coach for the past two. He was the 2012 winner of the Frank Broyles Award, given to the top assistant college football coach in the country and was the first Irish assistant to receive the prestigious award.

Here is UConn’s roster and 2015 schedule.

Here is UConn’s depth chart for the game.

The captains of the 2015 UConn Huskies football team are Marquise Vann, Julian Campenni, Andrew Adams and Andreas Knappe.

Starting with the 2015 season, the home field of UConn football will be known at “Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field” – instead of just “Rentshcler Field” as it was known for since it opened in 2003.

UConn has an all-time record of 50-28 at Rentschler Field and a 27-13 mark in non-conference games.

The Huskies were picked to last in the eastern division of the American.

UConn is 9-4 in season openers since making the jump to then-Division I-A in 2002. UConn has won nine of its 12 season openers at Rentschler Field (2003-Indiana, 2004-Murray State, 2005-Buffalo, 2006-Rhode Island, 2008-Hofstra, 2010-Texas Southern, 2011-Fordham, 2012-UMass) and also downed Duke, 45-14, in Durham, to open the 2007 season and Ohio University, 23-16 in Athens, to open 2009.

Connecticut boasts a 45-26 record against non-conference opponents in the regular season since making the move to the FBS in 2002.

UConn defensive coordinator Anthony Poindexter and former All-American linebacker John Dorsey are on the 2016 National Football Foundation College Football Hall of Fame ballot. The announcement of the 2016 Class will be made on Jan. 8, 2016.

Here is a breakdown by class of current Husky players who saw their first collegiate action last season:

True Freshmen, now True Sophomores (10)
TE Alec Bloom, LB Luke Carrezola, OL Ryan Crozier, LB Vontae Diggs, TE Steve Hashemi, TB Ron Johnson, CB Brice McAllister, RB Arkeel Newsome, OL Trey Rutherford, CB Jamar Summers.

Redshirt Freshmen, now Redshirt Sophomore (9)
DL Foley Fatukasi, OL Tommy Hopkins, LB Junior Joseph, WR Thomas Lucas, RB Josh Marriner, TE Tommy Myers, LB Cole Ormsby, LB Cameron Stapleton, LB Jalen Stevens

Redshirt Sophomores, now Redshirt Junior (5)
C Kyle Bocheloh, OT Andreas Knappe, DL Sean Marinan, WR Nick Vitale, P Justin Wain

Lombardi Award Watch List
LB Graham Stewart
LB Marquise Vann

Rimington Trophy Watch List
C Ryan Crozier (out for season with injury)
Presented annually to the most outstanding center in college football.

Wuerffel Trophy
OT Andreas Knappe
Presented annually by the All Sports Association in Fort Walton Beach Florida. Named after 1996 Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Danny Wuerffel, the Wuerffel Trophy is awarded to the FBS player that best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement.

Allstate American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team Nominee
OT Andreas Knappe
The Good Works Team recognizes players from across the country who exemplifies a superior commitment to community service and volunteerism.


Notes from this week’s opponent Villanova:

Villanova head coach Andy Talley is beginning his 31st year as the head coach of Villanova and his 36th years as a collegiate head coach. He has an overall collegiate coaching record of 243-146-2 and a 215-128-1 mark at Villanova. The 243 career victories rank him eighth on the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) active coaching list and he rates 21st in career winning percentage at .611. Talley has led the Wildcats to the NCAA playoffs 11 times, including the 2009 NCAA FCS National Championship, last season’s quarterfinals and two other trips to the semifinals. He is a 1967 Southern Connecticut graduate and was a four-year defensive back. He is a member of the school’s Hall of Fame.

Here is Villanova’s depth chart for the game.

Here are Villanova’s 2015 roster and 2015 schedule.

During the tenure of head coach Andy Talley, Villanova has registered a 14-16 (.467) mark in season openers. Of the 16 losses, 13 have come against FBS opponents.

The game will mark the 20th time that Villanova has played an FBS opponent since the Wildcats restored football at the FCS level in 1985. In the previous 19 games versus FBS competition, Villanova has tallied a 3-16 (.158) record.

Villanova will have tri-captains for the 2015 season. Senior quarterback John Robertson, senior linebacker Don Cherry and senior defensive end Reggie Paris will serve as captains.


Team Recognition: Villanova
•Ranked No. 4 in the STATS FCS Preseason Top 25
•The preseason favorite to win the CAA Football title

Senior Quarterback John Robertson
• STATS FCS Offensive Player of the Year Watch List
• STATS FCS Preseason All-American
• CAA Football Preseason Offensive Player of the Year
• CAA Football Preseason All-Conference Team

Senior Linebacker Don Cherry
• STATS FCS Defensive Player of the Year Watch List
• STATS FCS Preseason All-American
• CAA Football Preseason Defensive Player of the Year

Wednesday UConn Football Links:

To open the links up in a new tab or window, use Control+click

Video: UConn Football Talks About Villanova QB John Robertson [trueblueuconn]

Huskies Will Need Their Special Teams Ace And Reserve Safety: Junior Lee [desmond conner – hartford courant]

UConn Football Insider: Given Recent History All Eyes Will Be On Offense [desmond conner – hartford courant]

The 2015 season: UConn can only go up [ed daigneault – waterbury republican-american]

Newsome looking to master gift of grab in second season at UConn [jim fuller – new haven register]

Villanova Coach Andy Talley Has Fond Memories Of Connecticut [hartford courant]

Arkeel Newsome, Ron Johnson to share running back load for UConn [new haven register]

Trumbull’s Don Cherry looking to lead Villanova past UConn [new haven register]

UConn Football Notebook: Huskies to boast a two-headed starting running back [the hour]

Villanova OL Jake Prus to miss three games to donate bone marrow [ledger gazette]

Next Week:

The Huskies stay home at Rentschler Field to take on the Army Black Knights. Kickoff is scheduled for 12 p.m.

*information compiled from UConn and Villanova’s game notes.

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