The 2010 UConn Football squad is focused on one main goal, winning each and every game one step at a time.
Their opener will be against one of the most hostile crowds in all of America: Ann Arbor, Michigan in the renovated big house that holds just under 110,000 fans.
Now that's a lot of screaming blue and yellow Wolverine fans surrounding you from every angle.
Randy Edsall has never beat Rich Rodriguez but that changes this year.
Ever since Rich Rod bolted West Virginia, this UConn program had remained under the radar as a steadily improving program, while Michigan has regressed significantly.
Heading into the game Michigan is going to be favored.
That's expected, but what many people in America don't realize is the talent and athleticism this UConn team is equipped with.
Zach Frazer is going to have to take advantage of Michigan's suspect secondary early and often. Look for Kashif Moore and Mike Smith to be the two main targets on the outside.
Watch out for Ryan Griffin at tight end, standing at 6'5 he can be utilized as a blocker and receiver. He is a matchup problem for any linebacker.
The real battle that could decide the game is inside the trenches.
UConn's offensive line is widely unknown but with most guys weighing around 300 lbs it is one of the biggest in the country.
Michigan's defensive line anchored by Mike Martin and William Campbell are going to have to stop the run. If they can do that, it limits what UConn can do offensively.
Especially because Frazer is a much more efficient pocket passer then some quarterbacks that can throw it up forty plus times a game. If UConn is put in that position then chances are they won't win the game.
UConn is going to win this game because of their ability to run the ball.
Jordan Todman is expected to be the starter at running back and is aiming for 1300 yards rushing after a solid sophomore season.
Todman continues to improve and with the addition of transfer DJ Shoemate along with Wylie and Robbie Frey, UConn has a lot of options when it comes to running the football.
Randy Edsall's gameplan to win football games involves two main ingredients: running the football and preventing teams from getting big plays downfield.
In all of UConn's losses last season the big plays were crucial down the stretch.
Home losses against UNC and Rutgers involved a holding in the endzone and an 80 yard touchdown strike with seconds remaining.
Cincinnati continually lit up UConn through the air and a failed two point conversion ended up being the difference. Not to mention Noel Devines 61 yard screen pass that set up the game winning touchdown at West Virginia.
This team has and knows how to compete with the best football programs in America.
Whether it is Tate Forcier or Denard Robinson, UConn needs to key in on the quarterback. Mobile quarterbacks tend to give UConn linebacker fits.
It will be Lawrence Wilson and Scottie Lutrus jobs to keep an eye on the QB at all times. If UConn can take away that intangible then they should be able to win the football game.
Not to mention UConn's biggest weakness is it's secondary. Mainly at safety, Kijuan Dabney who has moved to strong safety can't get beat over the top. The spring game displayed awful coverage, which will need to be solved before the season starts.
Jerome Junior will be on the opposite side of him and as a starter last-season he's going to need to improve to shut down the passing games that teams throw at him.
Two players who will need to play like shut-down corners are Bhlidi Reh-Wilson and Dwayne Gratz. Both are relatively young corners, but the talent is there. Once they gain more experience they will be able to make up for the loss of Vaughn and McClain.
This is a statement game for UConn football. Just like it was going into Notre Dame riding a three-game losing streak following the death of a teammate.
In what would have been cornerback Jasper Howard's senior season this team wants to go out on top. Winning the Big East title and going to a BCS Bowl Game is what it's all about.
It all begins when that football is kicked in the air on September 4th.
Get Ready College Football Fans, it is only 48 day away!
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