Three Things to Watch

Are you ready for some college football? Well, ready or not, the season is here. Connecticut vs. Massachusetts at The Rent on Thursday night gets it going. The Huskies are the first Big East team to play a game. Here are three things to watch for in that game, along with the entire Big East schedule for Week 1.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH (UMass at UConn)

1. UConn quarterback Chandler Whitmer: The Huskies are going with their junior college transfer. Coach Paul Pasqualoni named him No. 1 heading into preseason camp and he held on to be the starter. UConn wants leadership, direction and efficiency. If Whitmer keeps his footwork on his drops and doesn't rush, he should avoid turnovers and that's so important for the Huskies. Scott McCummings will trot in for wildcat plays. Last year's starter, Johnny McEntee is waiting in the wings. But UConn wants Whitmer to succeed.

2. UConn's discipline on defense: The Huskies really don't have a clue what to expect from the UMass offense. That's because the Minutemen have just upgraded to the FBS and first-year coach Charley Molnar will run a no-huddle, spread offense that UConn really couldn't study on film. UConn must make quarterback Mike Wegzyn, a redshirt freshman, very uncomfortable. Wegzyn is starting for Kellen Pagel who is bothered by post-concussion like symptoms.

3. UConn's kicking game: Dave Teggart, UConn's Mr. Reliable, is gone. Playing at home, and being heavily favored, should take away a lot of the pressure for Teggar's replacement, Chad Christen. The Huskies are hoping for a smooth transition.

BIG EAST POWER RATINGS

(Same as Big East preseason picks posted here July 29. Comments will begin next week)

1. Louisville

2. USF

3. Rutgers

4. UConn

5. Pitt

6. Cincinnati

7. Syracuse

8. Temple

THIS WEEK'S BIG EAST SCHEDULE

Thursday, August 30

Massachusetts at Connecticut........... 7:30 p.m.

Television: SNY, BIG EAST Network

Series: Massachusetts leads, 36-33-2

Last Meeting: Nov. 20, 1999 — Massachusetts, 62-20

Friday, August 31

Villanova at Temple................................ 7 p.m.

The Mayor's Cup

Television: ESPN3

Series: Villanova leads, 16-14-2

Last Meeting: Sept. 1, 2011 — Temple, 42-7

Saturday, September 1

Northwestern at Syracuse........................ Noon

Television: ESPN2

Series: Syracuse leads, 4-3

Last Meeting: Sept. 19, 2009 — Syracuse, 37-34

Youngstown State at Pittsburgh............. 6 p.m.

Television: ESPN3

Series: Pittsburgh leads, 2-0

Last Meeting: Sept. 5, 2009 — Pittsburgh, 38-3

Chattanooga at USF................................ 7 p.m.

Television: ESPN3

Series: First meeting

Rutgers at Tulane.................................... 8 p.m.

Television: CBS Sports Network

Series: Rutgers leads, 3-2

Last Meeting: Oct. 2, 2010 — Tulane, 17-14

Sunday, September 2

Kentucky at Louisville........................ 3:30 p.m.

The Governor's Cup

Television: ESPN

Radio: BIG EAST/IMG National Radio Game of the Week

Series: Kentucky leads, 14-10

Last Meeting: Sept. 17, 2011 — Louisville, 24-17

Bye Week: Cincinnati

Next Game: Sept. 6 vs. Pittsburgh (ESPN)


UCONN Playbook Top Stories