UConn football searching for answers after suffereing second straight humbling defeat

Boise State wide receiver John Hightower (16) runs away from UConn defensive back Ryan Carroll (39) on his way for a touchdown in the first half of Saturday night's game at Boise, Idaho. (AP Photo/Steve Conner)
Boise State wide receiver John Hightower (16) runs away from UConn defensive back Ryan Carroll (39) on his way for a touchdown in the first half of Saturday night's game at Boise, Idaho. (AP Photo/Steve Conner)

UConn arrived home early Sunday morning from Boise looking to move on from another humbling loss to a nationally-ranked football team.

Not much else the Huskies can do except learn from their mistakes.

They gathered for breakfast on campus before breaking up for the day. Monday is a scheduled day off and then it's time to prepare for Saturday's home game versus Rhode Island.

"Obviously, it wasn't the outcome that we were looking for last evening...,'' coach Randy Edsall said during a Sunday afternoon conference call. "We're not even going to show the film to them because of the lateness of the game. They're not even around today. Each (assistant) coach will text or email them things later today to let them know what they did right and what they did wrong and this is what you're going to have to work on this week to continue to get better."

The gory 62-7 loss to No. 20 Boise State on Saturday night falls in the horror film category.

The overmatched Huskies (0-2) trailed 41-0 at halftime and then gave up a 74-yard touchdown pass on Boise State's first play in the second half. They allowed a school-record 818 yards overall — 400 passing and 418 yards rushing.

They looked overwhelmed playing in front of a hostile crowd. False start penalties sabotaged the offense and big plays killed the defense.

"They've got to believe in themselves," Edsall said. "That was the thing I talked to the team about at halftime and at the end of the game. For some of the guys, the moment was too big for them because they've never been in that kind of environment before. Some of it has to do with youth, but they're afraid to make a mistake and they can't play that way."

UConn never got comfortable offensively.

The Huskies managed just 193 yards and scored their only touchdown in the third quarter when quarterback David Pindell connected with Aaron McLean on a 15-yard touchdown pass. Pindell finished 11 for 21 for 71 yards and threw an interception while rushing for 40 yards.

Not everyone was regularly on the same page, especially on defense. The Huskies have given up 118 points in two games.

"Defensively, that was a situation where we'd have eight or nine guys do what they're supposed to do on every play and the two guys that might not have made the right decisions ended up costing us," Edsall said. "We knew it was going to be difficult going out there and playing That's a top 15 team, in my opinion. We just don't have the matchups yet."

"... We'll just keep working and we'll get better and keep getting better. There were some things that I thought that we did get better at and guys got better at individually. It might not look like it but they did when you sit there and watch the tape. But it's got to be more consistent."

One of the few noticeable improvements from the season-opening 56-17 loss to Central Florida came in the punting game. Redshirt freshman Luke Magliozzi had a 48-yard punting average on nine kicks, booming four 50-plus yards including one that went 59.

On the injury front, the Huskies came out relatively healthy with the exception of starting safety Omar Fortt who's being evaluated for a possible concussion. He's questionable for Saturday's game.

g.keefe@theday.com

Boise State wide receiver Akilian Butler (81) looks up from under the pile of players he dragged in to the end zone for a touchdown against UConn in the second half of Saturday night's game at Boise, Idaho. (AP Photo/Steve Conner)
Boise State wide receiver Akilian Butler (81) looks up from under the pile of players he dragged in to the end zone for a touchdown against UConn in the second half of Saturday night's game at Boise, Idaho. (AP Photo/Steve Conner)

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