There is time to turn things around. Four of UConn's last six games are at home, starting with Saturday's game against South Florida and coach Skip Holtz. The Huskies need to protect their home turf. UConn is 6-1 in Big East home openers. The only loss came in 2006 against No. 4 West Virginia. GAME CAPSULE
SOUTH Florida (4-1, 1-0 Big East) at UCONN (2-4, 0-1)
Saturday, October 15, 2011, 3:30 p.m.
SNY (Jim Barbar, Christian Fauria); WTIC 1080 (Joe D'Ambrosio, Wayne Norman)
Rentschler Field (40,000), East Hartford, Conn.
THREE KEYS FOR UCONN:
CONTAIN BULLS QB B.J. Daniels
Daniels can hurt you any number of ways. He is second in the Big East in passing (258.8 yards per game) and eighth in the conference in rushing (51.6 ypg). He has passed for 1,294 yards, eight touchdowns and has thrown just one interception. Daniels, a redshirt junior from Lincoln High School in Tallahassee, Fla., isn't new to this. He has thrown for 5,048 yards in his career. He did not play against UConn last season but two years ago he completed 11 of 16 passes for 160 yards against the Huskies. UConn has been burned the last two weeks by spread offenses that throw the ball. The Huskies must do better against USF.
BE READY TO PLAY
UConn played a solid first half against West Virginia last week, then ran into a snowball of Mountaineer offense in the third quarter. South Florida is a terrific first-half team, so the Huskies must prevent falling behind by a large margin. The Bulls lead the Big East in total offense, averaging 503.6 yards per game. If Daniels and USF come out attacking, score points and get confidence, UConn will be in trouble. On the other hand, the Huskies have shown they can take second-half leads – but they've been unable to hold on. It's time for UConn to play a complete game against a good opponent.
EXECUTE IN THE RED ZONE
The Huskies must stop settling for field goals and field goal attempts. That isn't enough scoring against high octane offenses such as Western Michigan, West Virginia and South Florida. UConn has scored only eight TDs from the red zone this season. Louisville, with five, is the only Big East team with fewer red zone TDs. And because the Huskies have had trouble moving the chains (they are last in the Big East in converting third downs) they are next to last in the Big East in red zone opportunities with only 14. Louisville has 11. But if it does come down to a field goal at the end of the game, UConn has Dave Teggart. The senior kicker has kicked last-second field goals for wins the last two seasons against USF.
THREE QUICK FACTS:
1. South Florida coach Skip Holtz makes his return to Connecticut. Holtz was 34-23 as UConn head coach from 1994-98. He led the Huskies to the I-AA playoffs in 1998 when UConn finished 10-3. The son of Lou Holtz, Skip was born March 12, 1964 in Willimantic.
2. The Bulls have scored first in all five of their games this season. USF punted in the first quarter for the first time this season in a 44-17 loss at Pittsburgh on Sept. 29. The Bulls had outscored their opponents 65-7 in the first quarter prior to that game. Pitt scored 10 times in the first period.
3. The Bulls averaged 49.8 points a game in their four victories. USF has scored 143 of its 199 points in the first half this season.
FINAL NOTE: The game has been designated by UConn as a "Breast Cancer Awareness Game" in conjunction with the Susan G. Komen Foundation and Breast Cancer Awareness month. UConn players will be wearing a pink ribbon sticker on the back of their helmets while