By Paul Sykes

One doesn’t normally consider a coach with a 3-2 record a reason for fan fire if one is calling the plays at a traditional football power like Alabama, Texas or Ohio State. However, the situation at the University of Connecticut has turned into mini tempest  for coach Randy Edsall.

UConn surrendered a big lead in the fourth quarter to Pittsburgh last weekend, losing 24-21 after jumping out to a 21-6 lead. This on top of a similar loss to North Carolina.

Many fans blame Edsall’s erratic play calling, challenging his conservative, defense-oriented tendencies, wondering out loud if he’s the right coach,

Face it. UConn isn’t exactly a football hotbed. Two big time basketball programs exist on campus, the state’s high school football isn’t exactly a feeder system, and the stadium is the second smallest in the Big East.
Television coverage is hard to come by and there’s not much for Edsall to work with.

UConn fans could have it a lot worse. After all, UConn went 8-5 last year. They went bowling. They have beer sales. Edsall is 60-61 after 10 years at the program.

The crying is premature. After Louisville this weekend, the Huskies face a nasty gauntlet, with road trips to West Virginia, Cincinnati and Notre Dame and a visit from Rutgers. Not for the faint hearted.  The whimpering could turn into a full-fledged tantrum by Thanksgiving.

A loss to Louisville at East Hartford on Saturday could be the precursor to a death watch of Kragthorpian proportions.

Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

10 thoughts on “UConn’s Edsall May Be Feeling The Heat

  • October 14, 2009 at 7:05 am
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    The Huskies replaced Donald Brown with two good running backs. At least the UofL defense won’t be torched by down the field passing. If the Edsall philosophy holds true, expect a low scoring game.

  • October 14, 2009 at 8:47 am
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    They would have won both of those games if they had run the fake fair catch play.

  • October 14, 2009 at 9:32 am
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    I don’t know all the ins and outs here, but I have bitter memories of that fake fair catch play you refer to, cbcard. We were there, in that miserably cold, rainy game, and I think Edsall needs to go, just for allowing a player on the field who would pull that.

    • October 14, 2009 at 3:57 pm
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      Actually what was worse was his after the game support of his player and his obvious unsportsmanly action, an action that was condemned by the BE which also publicly called out its officials, an action that rarely happens.

      Edsall just grinned. What trash!

  • October 14, 2009 at 11:46 am
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    what planet do you live on ? A death watch of “Kragthorpian” proportions ? Not even on any radar screens up here. As for being a hotbed for football talent; for a small state with very few large high schools,the number of college and pro players is pretty good,even better for coaches.

  • October 14, 2009 at 12:00 pm
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    You haven’t been around football fans very long have you Hank?

  • October 14, 2009 at 12:46 pm
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    Thanks for reading and your comments, Hank. Just as it is here in Louisville concerning Kragthorpe, there are different perceptions on Edsall up there. If the various Husky football sites and message boards are an indicator of famn sentiment, the two come from behind wins by UNC and Pitt, less than .500 record after ten years for Edsall and the perception of the UConn offensive as being less than exciting does have some people speculating if Edsall is the best choice to be head coach. It happens.

    Sure, you beat UofL down here last year 26-21, but UofL dominated the stats with 508 offense yards compared to 279 for you. That was without Lorenzen but with Donald Brown and without the late interception and several squandered scoring opportunities, Cards win this one.

    See you Saturday.

  • October 14, 2009 at 6:46 pm
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    Edsall took them from 1AA to the Big East in record time. I don’t think the expectation is as high at UConn as it is here. If they reach the Top Ten and then fall back as far as we have, then they might get frustrated with him. Until then, all he has to do is exploit U of L’s porous pass defense and get them back on the winning track.

  • October 14, 2009 at 7:12 pm
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    To borrow a well worn UofL phrase…it doesn’t matter, they’re a basketball school…

  • October 16, 2009 at 11:50 am
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    Peopel still talking about the fair catch, though you forget that in the fouth quater, a Uconn punt hit off a louisville players helmet and was ercovered in the endzone for a uconn TD, but the officials missed the call and gave louisville the ball plus a 15 yard unsportsman like penalty for playing unitl the whistle. Why do you focus on a call that the refs missed on a fair catch, buit completely forget about a td taken away by those same refs?

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