The UConn football team returned to practice Sunday evening, the Huskiesâ€™ first full workout since the worst defensive performance in the programâ€™s history.
â€śI would be disappointed if they werenâ€™t dejected. And I would be disappointed if we didnâ€™t come out and play better this week,â€ť UConn coach Randy Edsall said Sunday, two days after his teamâ€™s 70-31 loss to Memphis. â€śIf youâ€™re a competitor and everything else, you canâ€™t wait to get back on the field to prove thatâ€™s really not who you are.â€ť
The Huskies will get a chance to redeem themselves Saturday against Temple in Philadelphia (noon, ESPNews).
The good news for UConn is that it probably canâ€™t play any worse defensively. The Huskies allowed a school-record in points to the Tigers, and nearly a school-record in yards (711).
â€śItâ€™s different guys taking different turns of not getting it done. Itâ€™s not just one guy,â€ť Edsall said.
UConn had an especially difficult time on third downs, on offense and defense. The Huskies were 2-of-11 on third down, while Memphis was 13-of-20. Memphis converted three third downs on its initial drive of the game alone.
â€śIt was a different culprit, so to speak, each time,â€ť Edsall said.
Although the Huskies (1-4, 0-3 American) have played multiple players at most positions on defense already this season, Edsall is toying with the idea of even more substitutions.
â€śMaybe we have to sub a little bit more on defense,â€ť Edsall said. â€śSometimes it seems like some of our guys do better if theyâ€™re fresher.â€ť
There are positives in each game, Edsall insists, and what he calls â€śflashesâ€ť of outstanding plays.
The UConn offense, for instance, averaged 6.9 yards per play against Memphis.
â€śThatâ€™s pretty good. But we didnâ€™t get enough plays,â€ť Edsall said.
That leads into the coachâ€™s overall plea for consistency from his players.
â€śThatâ€™s the thing thatâ€™s frustrating to me. Why canâ€™t we do it consistently throughout the game?â€ť Edsall said.
Owls in sight
Edsall remarked last week that his team seems to face an extremely talented quarterback each week this season.
The man under center this week against the Huskies doesnâ€™t have quite the pedigree of some others, but UConn isnâ€™t getting much of a break.
Logan Marchi, Templeâ€™s sophomore quarterback, is coming off the best game of his young career. Marchi, who attended St. Paul High School and played for Connecticut high school coaching legend Jude Kelly, led the Owls to a 34-10 win over East Carolina on Saturday in Greenville, North Carolina.
Marchi, who originally committed to UConn in 2013, threw for a career-best 321 yards and two touchdowns, while helping Temple get season-highs in points and yards (523).
Temple (3-3, 1-2) lost to South Florida 43-7 and Houston 20-13 before breaking through for its first league win last week.
Central Florida, South Florida and Navy all remain undefeated after Week 6, making the American the only FBS conference with three unbeaten teams left. USF is 18th and Navy 25th in the latest AP Top 25 pollâ€¦ UConn quarterback Byrant Shirreffs is sixth nationally in passing efficiency (171.3), is 16th in passing yards per game (295.0), and 15th in total offense per game (312.2). â€¦ UConn defensive end Cole Ormsby, a senior from Windsor, is 27th in the nation in sacks (0.8 per game). â€¦ Despite giving up 70 points last week, UConn is not last in the nation, or even in the conference, in points allowed. The Huskies are giving up 43.6 points per game, 124th in the nation. East Carolina is allowing 48.8 points per game, last in the league and last, 129th, nationally.