Preview: Maryland football vs. Connecticut
|7:30 p.m.||Rentschler Field, East Hartford, Conn.||ESPN3.com/ WTEM-980||Terrapins 2-0; Huskies 0-1|
EDSALL’S RETURN How will Connecticut fans receive former coach Randy Edsall, who spent 12 years building the program from the Football Championship Subdivision? After the Huskies lost their season opener to FCS Towson, their fans’ anger seems to have shifted onto current Coach Paul Pasqualoni, so Edsall’s long-awaited return might bring mixed feelings. All week, the Terrapins have insisted their focus remains not on protecting Edsall from a sure-fire shower of boos, but rather avenging last season’s 24-21 loss and moving to 3-0 for the first time since 2001.
MARYLAND’S SUDDEN OFFENSE For the first time in program history, the Terps have opened a season with consecutive 40-point games. They’ve rolled up more than 500 yards of offense against both Florida International and Old Dominion, something Maryland failed to do in all of 2012. C.J. Brown’s quarterback rating ranks fourth nationally and his nine total touchdowns leads the ACC. Wide receivers Stefon Diggs and Deon Long, each with a 100-yard game so far, have justified the hype. Meantime, the Huskies ceded 33 points and 393 total yards against Towson.
PROTECTING BROWN Last September, Connecticut sacked then-quarterback Perry Hills six times. A new-look Maryland line with fresh faces along the right side — tackle Ryan Doyle and guard Michael Dunn — has given up four sacks and allowed Brown to operate effectively and safely. The Huskies like disguising blitzes, but if Brown’s front five holds up, Maryland’s playmakers may thrive.