The Washington Football Team hosts the Baltimore Ravens in the final preseason game:The Fresno State Bulldogs host the University of Connecticut Huskies in both teams’ season opener on Saturday afternoon from Bulldog Stadium. Fresno State is coming off of a 3-3 season last fall that saw them play only Mountain West games and the tune-up against the Huskies will be the perfect opportunity for the Bulldogs to find their legs in the early going of the season. For the Huskies, last year saw them take the season off and spend the time gaining practice reps as opposed to game reps. UConn has been one of the worst teams in football over the last few years but fans really have no idea what to expect from the Huskies when they take the field for the first time in over 20 months. This will be the first time that two teams meet on the football field in their history and expect it to be an interesting opening affair.
Huskies Enter As Unknowns
It’s been almost two years since UConn fans were able to watch their Huskies play football after the school’s decision to only practice last fall. The last time the Huskies took the field, their surroundings were quite a bit different, as they were still members of the American Athletic Conference. Now as an independent, UConn looks to regain some of the allure lost off the program over the past decade. 2010 saw the Huskies make the Fiesta Bowl, only for Randy Edsall to skip town to Maryland the program to seemingly implode in the years after. Since 2010,
the Huskies are without a winning season and have combined to win only three games over the last two seasons played. The season off last year allowed everyone a chance to get after it in the weight room and expectations are higher than usual coming into the season. Fresno State won’t present an easy opponent for UConn in their first game back but for the youth that the team’s current movement is based on, it’s an opportunity on the road to quickly get some action.
Tomorrow’s tomorrow – it all begins again!
— UConn Football (@UConnFootball) August 26, 2021
UConn’s latest depth chart release provided quite a bit of clarity in all but one key position, quarterback. It was listed as Steven Krajewski OR Jack Zergiotis being the starter, though, with Krajewski listed as the holder, it makes sense that Zergiotis would have the upper hand at getting the first look on Saturday. Zergiotis was the leader of the pack as a true freshman in 2019, playing in ten games and throwing for 1782 yards and nine touchdowns. He lit up East Carolina to the tune of 418 yards and three touchdowns in the season finale and added days of at least 270 yards against Houston and Illinois. UConn’s offense is loaded at the other skill positions though, with Kevin Mensah the returner at running back, looking for his third straight 1000 yard rushing season. Add in Cam Ross at wide receiver and the offense could be clicking early. Ross was second nationally in 2019 among true freshmen in receptions per game and total receptions, and fifth in receiving yards. Add in an Honorable Mention All-American honor by Pro Football Focus, and it’s no surprise that Ross is expected to be UConn’s top offensive threat.
UConn’s defense has been historically bad over the last few seasons and 2019 was no different. They allowed 467 yards per game and 41 points per game and their inexperience was on the forefront in nearly every game. One key play to keep an eye on is Travis Jones, who after spending time in the weight room last season, has been building up traction in NFL draft circles. At 6-5 and 333 pounds, it’ll be tough for Fresno State to slow down. The team looks strong at linebacker as well, with Omar Fortt and former Notre Dame player, DJ Morgan, both back from the 2019 squad. Where UConn will continue to be susceptible, especially against Fresno State, will be through the air. As a team, they only had seven interceptions last season, and the depth chart reflects the unknown with a host of first or second-year players looking like they’re going t