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.