Be excited, Mustang fans.
This weekend SMU has far and away their easiest match-up of the season against Connecticut. At Ford Stadium, the Mustangs should have no problems against the Huskies, who tied a school-worst eighth straight loss to start a season this year. That's what was expected against Temple, and SMU is more than capable of looking past an opponent, but it's hard to imagine a scenario here where the Mustangs don't come up on top.
Here are five players that you should know of before the game this weekend.
1. LB Yawin Smallwood- Smallwood is the top player on the UConn roster, and it's not really close. After being named First Team All-Big East last season as a redshirt junior, Smallwood was named to the preseason watch list for the Butkus Award, given every year to the best linebacker in the country. On the year Smallwood has 89 tackles, one sack, one quarterback hurry and one forced fumble. He is also good in pass coverage with five pass breakups. We'll have to wait and see if the SMU offensive line is up to the challenge of blocking Smallwood this weekend.
2. QB Casey Cochran- This redshirt freshman is starting his first career game at the college level against SMU this weekend. He is the third starting quarterback of the season for the Huskies, replacing true freshman Tim Boyle after he threw eight interceptions against zero touchdowns in four games. Cochran has limited snaps this year but has completed 17 of 28 attempts with two touchdowns and an interception. While he is surely an improvement over Boyle, he should be outmatched even by SMU's secondary.
3. RB Lyle McCombs- If there is any player you can call a weapon on the UConn offense, it would be the redshirt junior from Staten Island. McCombs is the workhorse of the Connecticut offense and has carried the ball 112 times for 496 yards. He also has four touchdowns (tops on the team), but McCombs is not a dynamic player. He has no catches on the season, so SMU does not have to worry about him slipping out of the backfield on Saturday.
4. CB Byron Jones- Jones switched to cornerback this season after playing safety for the past two years. The redshirt junior is excelling at the new position. He has three interceptions, eight passes defended, and five breakups. Jones brings the hard-hitting mentality of a safety to the new position and has tackled the ball-carrier 32 times. Hopefully the SMU coaching staff calls most of its plays away from Jones.
5. WR Geremy Davis- Davis is the Huskies' top receiver, and he will need to step up for Cochran to have any success this weekend. Davis has already passed his previous career high of 613 yards last season with 620 this year, 283 more than the next player on the team. While he has 41 receptions this year, not one of them was for a touchdown. This probably more of reflection of team's shoddy quarterback play, but SMU should be able to contain Davis.
5 UConn Players To Watch
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