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University of Connecticut Football

Today, the University of Connecticut Huskies take on the U.S. Naval Academy in a noon kick-off.  The Huskies have been installed as a two-and-a-half point favorite.

Given the five point edge the home team typically gets in home games, Navy can easily pull a "mild' upset.

The NY Post's Lenn Robbins predicts just that.

Here is his assessment:

September 30, 2006 -- NAVY at CONNECTICUT Noon

MSG Line: Connecticut by 21/2.

Angle: The Huskies (2-1) are struggling to find themselves and Navy (3-1) probably won't help. The Huskies' loss was to run-oriented Wake Forest. No team is more run-oriented than Navy. The Middies are coming off a heartbreaking 24-23 loss to Tulsa when an extra-point kick in OT was blocked. The line suggests Navy is the better team, because UConn gets 3 for playing at home.

Eyes on: Navy FB Adam Ballard; UConn LB Danny Lansanah.

PREDICTION: Navy 33, Connecticut 30.

A point that Mr. Robbins misses is the change in QB for the Huskies.  Sophomore QB D.J. Hernandez led the Huskies in the first three games after winning the job over senior QB Matt Bonislawki, who was still feeling the after effects of a broken collarbone.

D.J. Hernadez proceeded to turn the ball over six times - two fumbles and four interceptions - the the past two games.  One of those INTs was returned for a TD by Wake Forest in the Huskies 24-13 loss two weeks ago.

I expect the new QB, Matt Bonislawski, to prevent those types of game-changing mistakes, and, cynically,  one can't help but wonder whether or not the QB change wasn't driven by the Huskies desire to get #1 Top TE prospect, Aaron Hernandez, to change his mind on a commitment to U. of Florida.  

Aaron is the brother of D.J.

A bigger probelm is the poor special teams play to date.  The Huskies kicker Matt Nuzie has missed 2 of 3 field goal attempts and a PAT - a 28-yard FG and the PAT against Wake Forest.

The Huskies also allowed a kick-off return for a TD against Indiana and a blocked 30-yard FG.

One thing to keep in mind against the run-oriented offense of Navy is the Huskies defense allowed zero yards rushing against the Hoosiers last week and only 99 against the run-oriented Demon Deacons.

Overall, I expect a Huskies win if the special teams do not lose the game and the Huskies can run the ball effectively - somewhere between the 127 yards vs WFU and the 257 vs IU.

For more on the Huskies see their home site or this blog.