Pregame Buzz: SU at UConn

The Connecticut Huskies have not played in nine days, so the team figures to be healthy and rested entering Saturday against Syracuse. The Orange had the usual six days in between games, but it plays on the road for a second straight week.

Some have called today's tilt the Pasqualoni bowl in honor of the former Syracuse coach who is now at the helm for Connecticut. Others will call it a must-win for both schools in an attempt to get back on the winning side of things considering how both universities are coming off of a Big East loss.

Health-wise, both teams are fairly good to go. SU kicker Ross Krautman missed practice early in the week with a "strain" of some kind, but he has since returned and should not miss a beat in the kicking game. The only other player who was banged-up in practice was freshman wideout Kyle Foster, who has since been ruled out.

The Huskies were out-played by Pittsburgh on October 26, but they did not exit the game with any significant issues.

Players to Watch

UConn loves to run the ball, but it looks a bit different than it used to in the days of Donald Brown and Jordan Todman. Freshman Lyle McCombs is a smoother and smaller back, though he still breaks his fair share of tackles on any given play. However, he is not as strong as the pair of backs that proceeded him although he may end up being the best one. Tight end Ryan Griffin has NFL written all over him, as both a blocker and as a receiver.

When the Huskies are on defense, a host of players are worth keeping an eye on. The defensive line, for the second straight week, is the most dangerous unit on the field against the Orange. Kendall Reyes is a first-round NFL talent inside, and he is flanked by a consistent penetrator in Jesse Joseph – who is more of an up-the-field rusher. In the secondary, safety Ty-Meer Brown is usually in the mix for a big play as a ball-hawk or as a big-time hitter.


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