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Huskies look to sink Navy! UConn set to open conference play

(Photo via

(Photo via


Coach Bob Diaco’s UConn football team hits the road for the first time this season when it opens American Athletic Conference play on Sept. 10 at Navy. Both teams are 1-0 on the season having opened with a pair of non-conference wins last week.

UConn opened their 118th football season when they eked out a 24-21 win at home over surprising Maine on Sept. 1. The Midshipmen showed some explosive power on the offensive side of the ball when they breezed past the Fordham Rams 52-16.

The Huskies are aiming to open the season 2-0 in consecutive years for the first time since 2007 and 2008.

In the season-opening win over Maine, junior quarterback Bryant Shirreffs was a one man offensive machine. Sherriffs was the team’s leading passer and rusher – Passing for 162 yards (16 for 23) while rushing for another 95.

Wide receiver Noel Thomas was Shirreffs favorite target against the Black Bears catching nine passes for 70 yards. Ron Johnson was the Huskies second-leading rusher with 69 yards on 15 carries.

Bobby Puyol provided the game-winning heroics when he booted a 37-yard field goal with 11 seconds left in regulation that gave the Huskies the win.

On the other hand, the Navy ground game was in mid-season form as they amassed 550 yards of total offense (427 rushing) in the lopsided win over Fordham. Chris High led the Navy ground attack with 176 yards on just 10 carries.

The game will air on the UConn IMG Sports Radio Network (WTIC – Hartford, 1080 AM). It will also be televised across the country on the CBS Sports Network starting at 3:30 p.m.


Last year Navy QB Keenan Reynolds ran for 142 yards and scored three times to lead the Midshipmen to a 28-18 win in Hartford. Shirreffs had a big game for UConn as he threw for 219 yards and two touchdowns.

Shirreffs will need another big game but all eyes will be on the UConn defensive unit and their ability to stop the Navy ground game. Navy is not the same team as last year without the super talented Reynolds to run the offense.

It’s the Huskies in a nail-biter.

FINAL: UConn 24 Navy 21


What’s new?

The Navy game will be the ninth meeting between the two schools with the Midshipmen holding a decisive 7-1 lead in the series.

Shirreffs grandfather, John, Jr., was an end for Navy in the late 1950’s.

By the way, Shirreffs picked the season’s first Golden Helmut award for his performance in the win over Maine.

UConn cornerback and Orange, N.J. native Jamar Summers was named to three preseason Watch Lists – Jim Thorpe Award, Chuck Bednarik Award and the Bronco Nagurski Trophy – all three honor college football’s best defensive player. Summers had a terrific sophomore season when he was third nationally in interceptions and first in the AAC.

After Navy the Huskies will face a pair of ACC opponents – Virginia (Sept. 17) and Syracuse (Sept. 24).


Follow Bob for all the UConn football game highlights, features and more: @WhitneyBob

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Bob Whitney

Bob is a college basketball columnist here at He also covers Yale football and the Connecticut Sun of the WNBA.
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