After suffering a head injury during the Louisville game last week, QB Mike Box was unsure about his playing status for this Friday night’s contest against the West Virginia Mountaineers. We found out today that in fact Mike Box is out for this week\’s game and Zach Frazer will return to the field and take snaps under center once again. After starting the first 3 games for the Huskies in 2010, Frazer was replaced by Cody Endres during the Buffalo game. Since that point, Frazer fell to 3rd on the depth chart and is now returning due to suspension and injury. There was a report that Frazer was dropped on the depth chart due to his poor attitude when he was benched on September 25th, but regardless, he now needs to step up and lead this team to victory.
One of the issues with Frazer before he was benched was his immobility and poor decision making in the pocket. Frazer has only completed just over 53% of his passes this season and has only thrown 2 TDs and 1 INT on the season. He struggled to make the big play when the team needed it the most and will need to be more aggressive and controlling with the ball on Friday to throw off the West Virginia defense. At this point, Frazer has everything to gain and nothing to lose because he only has a handful of games remaining in his college career. The ball is his to own, the offense is his to own, now he just needs to go out and grab it. Who doesn’t want to go out with a bang?
Box isn’t the only player out or probable for Friday. The UConn special teams’ crew is taking a hit with return man Nick Williams out with an upper extremity injury and Robbie Frey probable with a leg injury. Frey’s injury along with a head injury for D.J. Shoemate that has him out and Kelmetrius Wylie’s season ending knee injury, the Huskies are still crazy thin at RB. Edsall and his coaching staff would prefer not to use Jordan Todman as much as they have, especially given his arm injury this season, but they really haven’t had much of a choice. The injuries at RB make an even bigger case for a more aggressive passing game to open up the lanes for the run inside and relieve some of the pressure on Todman.
The West Virginia defense has allowed just 13.3 points per game so far in 2010. That is good for 5th in all of the FBS, posing a tough test for a struggling offense with a new, old QB under center. UConn is a run-first offense, but has yet to really settle in to a comfortable feel and rhythm, which is a source of concern. It will be almost impossible to beat West Virginia and then Pitt without a strong offensive identity and efficiency on that side of the ball. In the same vein, the Mountaineer offense scores over 26 points per game, which is troubling for the defensive squad of UConn that has lacked the hard-hitting style that we have seen over the past few years. If the Huskies are going to win Friday, they need to play strong bend-don’t-break defense and gain and offensive rhythm from the 1st play any carry it through with 40,000 fans cheering at their backs.
I can feel the excitement and nervous energy mounting…Let’s Go Huskies!