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The UConn Football Team's Slate Of Games

Special to The Courant

This season will be the first in three years where UConn doesn't play a marquee nonconference opponent -- and that provides a reasonable adjustment period for the Huskies, who will be warming to first-year coach Paul Pasqualoni. The schedule gets progressively harder, and with the exception of a home game against South Florida, UConn will face all of the Big East's top teams on the road.


Sept. 1, 7:30 p.m.,

2010: 5-6, 3-3 Patriot League

Series history: Fordham leads, 0-1

To win, UConn must: Come together early. A new playbook and young players will be tested for the first time against the Rams.

Keep an eye on: Substitutions. If any player on the Huskies can't hold his own against Fordham, he may not see much playing time the rest of the season.

At Vanderbilt

Sept. 10, 7:30 p.m., SNY

2010: 2-10, 1-7 SEC

S eries history: Tied, 1-1

To win, UConn must: Pressure quarterback Larry Smith, who struggled mightily last season but will keep the job simply because there is nobody else.

Keep an eye on: The offensive line. Vanderbilt had few healthy players during the spring, so all five returning starters played both ways in the spring game.

Iowa State

Sept. 16, 8 p.m, ESPN or ESPN2

2010: 5-7, 3-5 Big 12

Series history: UConn leads, 1-0

To win, UConn must: Take advantage of inexperience. The Cyclones lost three-year starters at quarterback and running back and have no big-play wide receivers.

Keep an eye on: The Cyclones' secondary. Seniors Ter'Ran Benton and Leonard Johnson may be the best cornerback tandem in the Big 12.

At Buffalo

Sept. 24, 6 p.m., SNY

2010: 2-10, 1-7 MAC

Series history: UConn leads, 14-4

To win, UConn must: Force turnovers, as Buffalo threw 23 interceptions and lost 10 fumbles last season.

Keep an eye on: Buffalo's pass defense. The Bulls allowed 181.4 yards per game, second in the MAC, and a 53.8 completion percentage -- the best in the conference.

Western Michigan

Oct. 1, 3:30 p.m., SNY

2010: 6-6, 5-3 MAC

Series history: UConn leads, 1-0

To win, UConn must: Play a quality game. The Broncos are expected to be among the contenders for the MAC title and will certainly be a player in the West Division.

Keep an eye on: Junior quarterback Alex Carder, whose strong arm makes him one of the best at his position in the conference.

At West Virginia

Oct. 8, noon, SNY

2010: 9-4, 5-2 Big East

Series history: West Virginia leads, 6-1

To win, UConn must: Not be overwhelmed. The Huskies have historically fared poorly in Morgantown and are likely to face one of the nation's flashiest offenses.

Keep an eye on: Mountaineers quarterback Geno Smith, a junior who should benefit from coach Dana Holgorsen's flashy pass-happy offense.

South Florida

Oct. 15, Time, TV TBA

2010: 8-5, 3-4 Big East

Series history: Tied, 4-4

To win, UConn must: Control the line of scrimmage. The only place the Bulls don't have many playmakers is on the defensive line and among the linebackers.

Keep an eye on: Quarterback B.J. Daniels, who seemed to either make a great play or prove he was wildly out of control last season.

At Pittsburgh

Oct. 26, 8 p.m., ESPN

2010: 8-5, 5-2 Big East

Series history: UConn leads, 4-3

To win, UConn must: Irritate quarterback Tino Sunseri, who's not the best fit for the up-tempo spread offense new coach Todd Graham brings from Tulsa.

Keep an eye on: The Panthers' defense. A switch to a 3-4 scheme, as the Panthers are doing this year, is always a difficult transition to make in college.


Nov. 5, time, TV TBA

2010: 8-5, 4-3 Big East

Series history: UConn leads, 4-3

To win, UConn must: Take advantage of the Syracuse defense, which lost several key playmakers from last season, including linebackers Doug Hogue and Derrell Smith.

Keep an eye on: Ryan Nassib, who is not a spectacular quarterback but will already be starting for a season and a half by the time the Orange head to Rentschler Field.


Nov. 19, time, TV TBA

2010: 7-6, 3-4 Big East

Series history: Louisville leads, 4-3

To win, UConn must: Be physical. The Cardinals are no longer a doormat with coach Charlie Strong ramping up efforts in recruiting and bringing in a highly regarded class.

Keep an eye on: Running back Victor Anderson, who was stellar as a freshman but has languished behind the departed Bilal Powell each of the past two years.


Nov. 26, time, TV TBA

2010: 4-8, 1-6 Big East

Series history: Rutgers leads, 21-9

To win, UConn must: Hold the lead in the closing seconds. The Huskies have led twice with a minute to play each of the past two seasons but still lost the game.

Keep an eye on: Jeremy Deering, who was a wide receiver last year as a freshman but moved to running back after proving so efficient in the wildcat offense.

At Cincinnati

Dec. 3, noon, ESPN or ESPN2

2010: 4-8, 2-5 Big East

Series history: Cincinnati leads, 5-2

To win, UConn must: Control Zach Collaros. The three-year starter at quarterback will be playing at Nippert Stadium one last time and is always capable of putting on a show.

Keep an eye on: Cincinnati's linebackers, who are likely to remain fluid most of the season and will be the key to fixing the Big East's most porous offense in 2010.

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