Nothing has changed here, and the results won't until things do

East Hartford

It's not going to change. This just in. Every UConn football game plays the same. Sort of like the old Bill Cosby skit, "the same thing happens every night."

It's all on the defense. All of it. Every game. If they stand stout, leaning wearily against each other against the unspoken agony of constant responsibility, everyone goes home happy. If they fail, it's checkmate. Because there is no other aspect of this outfit that's capable of winning the game.

Does it really matter if that's talent or coaching?

And while we all have our little theories, do they really matter?

So maybe the offense and special teams should be thankful Chad Christen, the beleaguered kicker who channeled his inner Scott Norwood on Saturday at Rentschler Field, gets the headlines. That way the rest of them get to walk between the raindrops.

The punchless offense.

Nick Williams, the rare playmaker, fair-catching too many punts.

So while you pine for the days of Dave Teggart, consider this about UConn's 17-14 loss to Temple:

Temple's second-half possessions:

Six plays, punt.

Three plays, interception.

Six plays, punt.

Five plays, punt.

Three plays, punt.

Four plays, turn it over on downs.

Four plays, turn it over on downs.

All that time, UConn's offense failed to play add-on, keeping it 14-7.

And then all it took was for defensive back Taylor Mack to slip on Chris Coyer's toss to the end zone, just enough for Jalen Fitzpatrick to grab it and score the tying touchdown.

UConn's offense in the second half:

Three and out.

Three and out.

Six plays, punt.

Ten plays, missed field goal. (Went to the immortal "Wildcat" on second-and-three from the Temple 21 and lost three yards.)

Seven plays, turnover.

Three and out.

Eight plays, field goal block.

Three plays, ran out of time.

Want to blame Christen for the missed field goal after the 10-play drive? We could discuss that. But the rest of it? Pathetic.

And all that time, the defense stood up. It gave the offense seven opportunities to do something. Seven times of failure.

"You try to keep positive," defensive tackle Ryan Wirth said. "That (touchdown) drive was inexcusable. That's not a part of who we are and as a team we're going to go back and fix it."

Wirth should have said: "as a defense, we're going back to fix it." As a team? Another story. As a team, UConn has no answers. Because UConn has nothing outside of its defense.

"This is a very, very disappointing thing, but I can't say we didn't go out and play hard," UConn coach Paul Pasqualoni said. "We played hard. For 90 percent of it, the defense played unbelievable. We came out of the gate fast offensively and had 14 up there and a chance to get a few more. All we really needed was one more point. This is obviously a tough deal on everybody. That's what football life is about: adversity. It's important the kids maintain their focus and react in the right way."

Pasqualoni likes to say his team is a "work in progress." His defense is a work in progress. There is always progress. His offense is a work in regression. Because how do you score 14 points rather quickly against Temple not to be confused with LSU watch Temple make the requisite adjustments and then get shut out?

But then, it's not like we haven't seen this before. The defense played great against N.C. State. The defense played great at Rutgers. The defense played great against Temple. Loss, loss, loss.

How long until the defense mimics Peter Finch in "Network" and goes to the window yelling they're mad as hell and are not going to take it anymore?

"It was one of those games," Pasqualoni said.

Isn't it always?

This is the opinion of Day sports columnist Mike DiMauro.


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