Big East Philosophy: A celebration of UConn Huskies and Jordan Todman

With one more week to go in the regular season, the Big East is Connecticut’s to lose.
Jordan Todman stiff-armed many defenders, not just the Orange, on his way to a Doak Walker Award snub (Icon SMI)

Jordan Todman stiff-armed many defenders, not just the Orange, on his way to a Doak Walker Award snub (Icon SMI)

The Huskies need a win at South Florida this weekend and Connecticut, only a few short years removed from D-1AA (now known as FCS) competition, will head to a BCS Bowl.

Of course Connecticut has lost it’s fair share of games this season. That fact is likely to cause some outrage amongst the elitist elite of college football. The Huskies have lost to Michigan (the very same Michigan with Greg Robinson as it’s defensive coordinator) and Temple (I don’t care how much better the Owls are, losing to Temple is never a good thing).

Say what they will, and they will say a lot, Connecticut has a lot of talent and the Huskies are rolling. Let’s take a look at the make up of the likely 2010 Big East Champion (Is this a reverse jinx? Do I put a lot of parentheses in a paragraph?)

Connecticut Offense – If you think I am going to put anything else under a category of ‘Connecticut Offense’ than Jordan Todman, then you are unfamiliar with this space on Fantasy College Blitz. Despite the fact that the Doak Walker Award committee didn’t see Todman fit, the Husky junior has rushed for 1,481 yards and 14 TDs. In Connecticut’s win over Cincinnati on Saturday Todman carried the ball 31 times (his fourth time with over 30 carries this season) for 175 yards and 3 TDs. Considering that Todman missed some game action with an injured hand, those numbers are even more impressive. It’s important to note that the Connecticut offensive line is one of the best run blocking fronts in the country.

There isn’t much to the Connecticut offense. Head coach Randy Edsall isn’t much for the spread options, the shotgun formations, or that fancy dancy passing the ball thing. There are three reasons behind the bland Husky offensive philosophy. First, to paraphrase the legendary Syracuse basketball head coach Jim Boeheim, if you had Jordan Todman at running back why would you give the ball to any else?

Secondly, Connecticut has played roulette with a bunch of crappy QBs. Zach Frazer was ineffective and benched for Cody Endres who was ineffective and benched, and kicked off the team too, for Frazer. For all the great RBs that Connecticut has had lately, Edsall seems to forget about that whole quarterback position thing.

Lastly, Edsall has been and always will be a run first type of guy. The Husky coach played for Dick MacPherson at Syracuse. Coach Mac taught Edsall the ways of run.

Connecticut DefenseIn the latest BlitzIndex defense rankings the Husky D comes in at No. 25. Connecticut held Syracuse to 6 points at the Dome two weeks ago and this past Saturday the Huskies kept Cincinnati at 17. That’s the same Bearcat team that put up 69 points against a supposed good defense in Rutgers. In the preseason most thought the Huskies defense would be a reason the team would contend in the Big East, but it took until November before Connecticut started to round into form on that side of the ball. Of course, UConn opened at Michigan and Denard Robinson! That could stunt the growth of any defense. The defense is rising for Connecticut and their special teams have returned punts and kickoffs for scores this season as well.

There isn’t much to the potential Big East champions, but what’s there is rolling right now. As for the nation, they’ll have their way with the Huskies (and not in a good way), but we in Big East Land know they are boring enough and sneaky talented enough to beat an over-hyped Big 12 team.

Week 13 RECAP -

Bilal Powell – Louisville RB – Welcome back Mr. Powell! After missing a game and barely playing last weekend due to injury, the senior back ran 23 times for 123 yards and one score. Powell also caught two passes in a blowout win over Rutgers.
West Virginia Defense – The ‘Neers keep rolling! West Virginia held Pittsburgh to 10 points at Heinz Field on Saturday. Pitt’s Jon Baldwin and Dion Lewis, likely players to be working Sunday’s soon, were both held in check a bad loss for the Panthers.
Special Shout Out No. 1 – South Florida has now beaten Florida State and Miami on the road in back to back seasons. The Bulls beat the Hurricanes 23-20 in OT for another one of those ‘Program Changing’ wins. Not only did first year head coach Skip Holtz beat the in-state ‘Canes, he did so with Bobby Eveld at QB. Who? Eveld is a true freshmen walk-on who replaced the injured B.J.Daniels and made several massive plays in the second half. Also, USF’s win got Miami’s head coach Randy Shannon fired, so there’s that.
Special Shout Out No. 2 – Louisville beat Rutgers 40-13 on Saturday to officially become bowl eligible! This is the same Louisville program that had hit rock bottom under former head coach Steve Kragthorpe, but new head man Charlie Strong has the Cardinals playing good football. With Powell at running back and a top 25 defense U of L will be a tough opponent for a third tier BCS conference foe in a middle of the day, middle of the week, random bowl game.

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