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The UConn Fast Break - 10/12/2021
Football disappoints, hockey splits a series with no. 10 BU, and basketball action coming on Friday!
Welcome to this week’s Fast Break, and thank you for being a subscriber. Can you believe it’s the week of First Night Friday?
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Two steps forward, one step back
UConn football did not look good in the loss to UMass, but let’s maintain some perspective. They were without their head coach and two other members of the staff, as well as the starting left tackle due to COVID-19. Tyler Phommachanh, the starting quarterback that we are very excited about, is out “indefinitely” due to injury.
Despite the recent improvements by UConn football, they were very shorthanded this past Saturday.
The Huskies’ next two games still appear to be winnable. This weekend’s opponent, Yale, is 2-2 with losses to Dartmouth and Holy Cross. Losing that one would present yet another low point in an era filled with low points. While it’s possible for Yale to be better than UMass, that does not appear to be the case this year.
After Yale, the Huskies have Middle Tennesee State, also at home. The Blue Raiders are 2-4 with losses to Marshall and Charlotte but they also have wins over FCS Monmouth and Marshall of C-USA. It would probably be an upset if the Huskies won, but UConn should have a chance at home.
After those two games, the Huskies are looking at likely beatdowns against Clemson, UCF, and Houston to close out the season.
UConn football falls again - The Huskies lost their 11th straight game, falling to UMass, 27-13.
Takeaways from the UMass debacle - UConn had a win within its grasp, but could not close the deal on the road.
COVID-19 strikes UConn football - The team was without interim head coach Lou Spanos, two other coaches, and two players as they each tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week. All five were vaccinated and symptom-free.
UConn football future opponents - The Huskies have five games left on the season. Four of those opponents were in action this weekend.
The UConn Pod - The crew discussed the strides the football team was making before the UMass game.
UConn women’s basketball injury updates - With the season opener set for November 14 against Arkansas, fall practice is in full swing for Geno Auriemma’s Huskies.
Fall practice heating up - Auriemma also discussed how tight playing time will be this season, with one of the deepest rosters he has had in years.
UConn Women’s Basketball Weekly - In the newsletter dedicated to women’s basketball, Daniel Connolly highlighted 38 things to know about the team as we close in on a month until the season opener.
UConn men’s hockey splits with Boston University - #Icebus opened up Hockey East play over the weekend, playing a home-and-home series against the No. 10 Terriers. The Huskies lost a heartbreaker on Friday but got revenge with a dominant 5-1 victory the following day.
New UConn men’s hockey commit - Jake Percival, an ‘02 in-state forward from Avon, made his commitment to the Huskies earlier in the week. He is currently playing for Cedar Rapids in the USHL and is expected to come to campus next fall.
James. Bouknight. - This is our weekly entry into the “James Bouknight is awesome” file.
Final Four dark horses - In men’s basketball news, Andy Katz, of NCAA.com, listed the Huskies as one of his eight dark horses to reach the Final Four.
ESPN ranks UConn men’s basketball No. 23 - Jeff Borzello, of ESPN, updated his Way-Too-Early Top 25 rankings and the Huskies have popped onto the list at No. 23. He highlighted the Huskies’ strong recruiting class and potential breakout year for RJ Cole as reasons for their improvement.
Conference players of the week - A pair of netminders garnered conference honors this week as Darrion Hanson was named the Hockey East goaltender of the week after he saved 72 of 75 shots this weekend, while MaryKate Ward, UConn women’s soccer’s freshman goalkeeper, landed on the Big East’s honor roll list with a clean sheet in her first career start, saving all seven shots on target against Marquette on Thursday.
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Darion Hanson, UConn men’s hockey goaltender, made 72 saves across two games against Boston University, none more impressive than this one, which kept the Huskies up two goals while killing a penalty.
Then-head coach Bob Diaco paid for the trophy himself, without consulting the other school or his own athletic department, and after UCF refused to accept it when they won the game in 2016, it has famously gone missing. Then of the Hartford Courant, Mike Anthony has the last known photo of the now legendary disappearing hardware.
UConn, Great Pic
Our photographer Ian Bethune had four consecutive days this week of UConn games, shooting men’s and women’s soccer, men’s hockey, and football. Here’s a selection from each of them.
This past weekend, I actually was not able to watch the UMass game live so that I could attend the celebration of a 50th wedding anniversary in my family.
This is a newsletter about UConn sports, affiliated with multiple websites, newsletters, and podcasts that obsess over UConn sports, so I’ll keep this personal tangent brief. But now in my ninth year managing The UConn Blog, it can be really tough to unplug and even tougher not to get down about tragic losses like Holy Cross or UMass. As dedicated fans, I’m sure many of you feel the same way.
At the beginning of this season, I was planning to go to the UMass game, but later chose to attend this family event instead. The opportunity to unplug, on a precious fall Saturday, during a season like this, was actually really great. I can’t recommend it enough.
Anyway, basketball First Night is tomorrow, folks. You can watch on Facebook and check out our coverage on Twitter and at The UConn Blog!
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