Fans can get an early look and Edsall's Huskies in Friday's spring game

Besides bragging rights going to the victor, the final score means little in UConn football's annual spring game on Friday.

Performance matters the most.

The Huskies can show off what they've learned during spring practices and leave one final impression on the UConn coaching staff before heading into the offseason.

"I'm still trying to evaluate guys...," coach Randy Edsall said. "I just want to see who are the guys who can perform and execute the things that we want. I don't want to see a lot of penalties. I want to see precision on both sides of the ball.

"... It's still a work in progress. It just gives the kids another opportunity to go out and show what they can do and it gives us another opportunity to evaluate them."

Effort is likely to outscore execution in the first public scrimmage with the new coaching staff.

The game will give fans their first look at the Huskies since last fall's dismal season. Kickoff is 7 p.m. at Rentschler Field in East Hartford. Admission is free and so is parking. Lots open at noon, with a fan appreciation sale starting at 2 p.m. at Pratt & Whitney Stadium.

The format will be close to regular season game conditions, with four 12-minute quarters. Edsall will pit the first team offense against the first team defense and second teamers will compete against each other.

"It's going to be good for the fans to see where we're at," junior Hergy Mayala said. "We've been working since the (new) coaching staff got here. A lot of improvement and this is for the fans to see it."

Red-shirt senior Tommy Myers added: "I'm excited to show the fans the new Huskies."

Don't read too much into what happens tonight.

The Huskies are far from a finished product. And they'll be missing some experienced players, including quarterback Donovan Williams, defensive end Luke Carrezola, linebacker E.J. Levenberry, offensive linemen Tommy Hopkins and Ryan Crozier who are sidelined with injuries.

Edsall is in the early stages of implementing a new system, offensively and defensively. He's moved some players to new positions.

With the ball, the Huskies plan to play fast, running a no-huddle offense. They've embraced the new approach.

"We've come together as a team on offense, for sure," said Myers, a tight end. "We're just playing together and going fast and being physical. We're just playing as a team, which is something that we haven't had and something that we're working on every day."

Competition for the starting quarterback position could last right up until the season opener on Aug. 31 against Holy Cross. Bryant Shirreffs is the most experienced of the bunch.

There wil be some additions to the roster when preseason camp opens this summer.

Edsall doesn't plan on releasing a depth chart when the spring season ends. It's way too early to do that.

"I've got questions about everything," Edsall said. "We're not ready to play a game. I'm glad we don't have to play until August. There's questions that I have at every position. Again, a lot of that stuff won't get answered until we get what I know is going be our whole roster here.

"Then I'll have a better idea of what we want. I'm getting a good idea about where we are with this group. They've gotten better. They have improved. ... And we'll continue to get better."

g.keefe@theday.com

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