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University of Akron Zips blog

Opponent breakdown: CONNECTICUT

By mrasor Published: June 18, 2007

'Rentschler
Football
Head coach: Randy Edsall
Last season: UConn ran the ball well, but they couldn't stop the run. They defended the pass well, but they couldn't throw the ball themselves. A 46-45 win over Pittsburgh was nice, but it's not enough to quell whispers that Edsall better return the team to 2004 form or the Huskies will have a new coach.
Best returning player: Sophomore running back Donald Brown
Offense: The Huskies lost both guards, but that doesn't mean the running game has to suffer. Brown was UConn's only All-Big East performer in 2006. He'll only get better. The two returning tackles, however, must do a better job protecting quarterback D.J. Hernandez, assuming it's Hernandez who is taking the snaps. It could be junior Tyler Lorenzen or Iowa State transfer Dennis Brown. Hernandez, whom the spring roster lists as a wide receiver, played so-so in 2006, his sophomore season. All in all, this is a running team so it's basically a moot point.
Defense: The 105th-best run defense in Division I won't improve with the loss of two tackles. Cornerback Darius Butler and linebacker Danny Lansanah do well to stop the passing attack. The juniors grabbed four interceptions each last season.
How the Zips match up: The Huskies were pretty bad last year and don't look a lot better in 2007. The same could be said of Akron, I suppose. Although UConn's talent level isn't all that great, they should be bowl-eligible thanks to a cake nonconference schedule. The Zips will have a good chance in this game despite UConn's strong running game. Both teams will move the ball effectively while chewing up clock. The team with the fewest mistakes wins.
Way-too-early prediction: UConn 31, Akron 24

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