Projecting UConn’s Second Half of the 2014 Season

Sitting at the halfway point of the 2014 season, the UConn Huskies hold a 1-5 record and occupy the bottom of the American Athletic Conference standings.

With six games remaining, the upcoming schedule does not look any easier than the first half. Four of the next five conference matchups are against teams ranked within the top six of our most recent AAC Power Rankings.

Looking forward, a win may be hard to come by for UConn, that is until a season finale with SMU.

10/23 @ ECU

Thursday might turn out to be the ugliest game yet for the Huskies. East Carolina has serious thoughts of winning out and making its case for the College Football Playoff. The Pirates won’t let UConn stand in their way. If there is a bright side to this game, UConn is coming in with the top-ranked defense in the AAC only allowing 325 yards per game. ECU is averaging 371 yards per game — through the air. Something has to give in this Thursday night matchup, and I’m not going to doubt what Shane Carden can do.

11/1 vs. UCF

UCF captured second place in the most recent conference power rankings, and for good reason. The Knights have won four in a row, despite the last three games being decided by one score or less. The Huskies got blown out last year against UCF thanks to Blake Bortles’ five touchdowns. This year it might be closer than a 45-point loss, but two straight games against the top two teams in the conference isn’t the best way to open up the second half of the season.

11/8 @ Army

In the only non-conference game left on the schedule, UConn has a fighting chance against a 2-5 Army team that has not played against the same competition as The American. Army’s rushing game is serious, however, as it averages 319 yards on the ground per game. The Huskies have been looking good against the run so far this season, and if UConn wants to gain momentum going into the final three games of the season, this game would be a good time to start. In a somewhat neutral location, and coming off of two tough conference games, UConn can capture its second win of the season before another two games coming up.


11/22 vs. Cincinnati

Cincinnati was an early conference favorite, but three straight losses has changed many opinions about this team. Cincinnati has another top-notch quarterback in Gunner Kiel, and showed dominance in its 41-3 win against SMU. East Carolina will get its chance at the Bearcats the week before UConn does and if Cincinnati keeps giving up an average of 34.5 points per game, the Huskies can make a game out of this matchup. Probably not a win, but improvement. Isn’t that what Bob Diaco is all about anyways? 

11/29 @ Memphis

Memphis has had arguably the toughest schedule outside the AAC, with games (and losses) against UCLA and Ole Miss. UConn’s biggest win of last season came against Memphis, but the Tigers are a different team this year and most recently took down Cincinnati in a lopsided victory, but also lost to Houston on a last second play last week. The victory against the Bearcats were without Gunner Kiel, but injuries have also burned Memphis as their top rusher was lost for the season three weeks ago. If UConn is to make a game out of this, they must shut down down the passing game and be near perfect on special teams. It was Casey Cochran’s record-breaking 461 yards that put the Huskies over the top, but UConn will most likely have to find another offensive option to come back with a victory.

12/6 vs. SMU

SMU could be looking at an all-time worst season, offensively speaking. If UConn and SMU fail to capture a conference victory before the season finale, we could be looking at the conference’s first 0-for bowl. This might be the last legitimate chance for the Huskies to get a win this season if the Army game doesn’t end up in their favor. Diaco has said repeatedly this team is all about the future, but if a win doesn’t come in the battle of the bottom feeders, his future could be in jeopardy starting early next season. The future is bright for UConn, but a statement win is in order for recruits, coaching and morale of the team moving forward.

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