KICK OFF: 4 p.m. ET
ANNOUNCER: Alex Faust (play-by-play) and Petros Papadakis (color analyst)
RADIO: UConn IMG Radio Network; Varsity Network app; 97.9 ESPN Hartford, VINO 940 AM, WGCH 1490 AM, WICC 600 AM, WAVZ 1300 AM, WATR 1320 AM, WILI 1400 AM and 95.3 FM
ANNOUNCER: Mike Crispino (play-by-play), Wayne Norman (color analyst), Adam Giardino (side)
RECORDS: UConn (0-0), Utah State (0-0)
IN THE PAST WEEK: It is the first game of both teams in the 2022 season.
POINTS DIFFERENCE: Utah State – 26.5
BELOW: 59.5 (Odds via Borgata)
HISTORY OF THE SERIES: The UConn Huskies and Utah State Aggies have met once before on the grid. The Aggies came to Memorial Stadium in Storrs in 2001 and beat the Huskies 38-31.
DEPTH CHART: UConn; state of utah
WEATHER FORECAST: Logan, UT
fun with numbers
1,037: Number of days between FBS wins (as of game day)
two: This is UConn’s second year of football as an independent in football after seven years in the American Athletic Conference.
120: Junior linebacker Jackson Mitchell’s tackles last season. Mitchell is on the preseason watch list for the Butkus Award, given to the best linebacker in college football.
4,534: Elevation of Logan, Utah above sea level
12: Number of consecutive home openers won by Utah State against non-conference opponents
36: Touchdowns thrown by Utah State QB Logan Bonner last season
57: Returning players for UConn from last season, including 12 starters (six on both sides of the ball)
what to watch
Who takes snapshots under the center?
Jim Mora named four starting quarterbacks with “OR” designations in his first depth chart post of the season. Taquan Roberson was listed first, followed by Cale Millen, Zion Turner and Tyler Phommachanh, who may still feel some lingering effects from last year’s season-ending injury.
Roberson is expected to start and take most of the snaps, but that’s not a guarantee. Someone else will likely see time under center, but will it be Phommachanh or freshman Zion Turner, who may be a legitimate contender for the starting job? Millen was a backup at FCS Northern Arizona and has never taken an FBS quarterback opportunity, so he seems like the depth type.
Will UConn show signs of progress?
Last year’s Week 0 opener on the road against a quality Mountain West opponent didn’t go well at all. The Huskies were excluded as the offense seemed completely incompetent and the defense allowed 45 points, with 31 in the first half.
With the additions made to the roster through transfers and the retention of many key contributors from last year’s team, we expect this year’s Week 0 performance to be better than last year’s Fresno State game. UConn should be able to get a few points on the board and make a few more stops than last year. If that happens, it will be a good first outing for Jim Mora’s Huskies.
defensive question marks
The Huskies no longer have a defensive coordinator, but the biggest question marks are on the field. The D lineup is replacing Travis Jones and Lwal Uguak, two disruptive figures who now play for the Baltimore Ravens and TCU, respectively. UConn’s forward seven appear to be reasonably solid and have a chance to at least keep Utah State’s running game under control. In the passing game, the secondary will be tested by an experienced, offensive quarterback. There are bound to be some big plays and breakdowns here, but if UConn can keep them to a minimum, that would be a good sign.
Hope is always eternal with the hiring of a new head coach, but many Husky fans are probably more excited about the change UConn made as offensive coordinator from last year. Out comes the guy who was a good offensive line coach and had never been an OC before, in comes Nick Charlton who has had some success at the FCS level with Maine and seems to understand the modern version of football that is required to be successful today. . He is not a superstar, but he should represent an improvement over 2021.
Of course, in the first game of the season, we won’t see the entire bag of tricks, but based on the formations, plays, and situational decisions, we’ll at least start to get a sense of what the style is. offensively.