Grading the Huskies

UConn shut out the Maine Black Bears 38-0 at Rentschler Field last Saturday. John Silver analyzes the win and grades out the individual units.

Quarterbacks - Tyler Lorenzen is as steady and cool a customer as there is. Nothing gaudy Saturday with 182 yards passing and no big plays, but that is what makes him so good. Didn't force much, and took what the defense gave him. One bad interception, but that was only bad decision of the game. When the Huskies needed it, he used his legs to get a critical first down. He spread the ball around and managed the game like a pro. Shows great confidence. Came out in the third. Nice to see Dennis Brown get some action. Grade: B



Running backs - Give Donald Brown some room and he is productive, but the running game has been inconsistent this season. Brown gained 107 yards, but lost 20 for a net of 87. He didn't get frustrated when the line failed to block. Lou Allen showed some nice change of pace and did a good job in the fourth quarter pounding the ball. Allen flashed speed on the 31-yard TD run. Grade: B



Receivers - Another good solid game from the crew. Brad Kanuch got in the mix for six catches for 76 yards while Terrence Jeffers made his grabs count with a pair of TD catches. D. J. Hernandez showed his game breaking ability again and tight end Steve Brouse had a nice gainer. Not spectacular, but very solid. Don't remember a critical drop. A like the unit and the versatility of it. Grade: B



Offensive line - Inconsistent in the running game and that has to be fixed with bigger and stronger teams coming in. William Beatty was very good at left tackle and the left side of the line was a force. The right side was way too inconsistent. Dan Ryan struggled at times with speed rushes at right tackle. The run blocking failed to gather steam for the second consecutive week. It is consistency this unit is looking for. Grade: C



Defensive line - The tackles Dan Davis and Rob Lunn did an excellent job controlling the line of scrimmage while defensive ends Cody Brown and Julius Williams made some plays and tackles for a loss. The unit dominated the line of scrimmage and didn't let Maine get its running game started. Very good performance. Grade: A



Linebackers - Scott Lutrus started the game rolling with an INT return for a touchdown. Danny Lansanah was a force with three tackles for a loss before he took a cheap shot to his right ankle. Lawrence Wilson is making a case to stay in the lineup when Ryan Henegan comes back. The linebackers have been very impressive the first two weeks. Grade: A



Secondary - No big plays in the passing game and a spectacular interception by Robert McClain late. Dahna Deleston showcased his strength with six tackles supporting the running games. Darius Butler added four tackles. The unit did a nice job coming up on run support on Maine's ground oriented attack. More difficult challenges lie ahead, but they were up to the task against Maine. Grade: A



Special teams - Desi Cullen can do better with five punts averaging 37 yards per. Cullen did have two more touchbacks on kickoffs which is a serious weapon. Not much doing on the kickoff returns and the same on punt returns. Larry Taylor tried, while Jasper Howard got his first taste of action in that role. Kickoff and punt coverages didn't yield much. Tony Ciaravino was well short on a 52-yard field goal. His extra points and one field goal made did show a better kick trajectory. Grade: C+



Coaching - Team was ready and focused to play. Defense knew everything Maine was going to do. The offense has been slow starting, but a nice adjustment staying with the no huddle early in the second half. Most controversial play, if you can call it that, was letting Ciaravino kick a 51 yard field goal. Team was focused, executed the game plan, and didn't panic. Nice job getting most of the starters out at the end of the third quarter. Grading is on a curve, if it wasn't a I-AA team the Huskies were playing they would get an A. Grade: B+




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