The Formidable Foe segment gives Terrapin fans a chance to hear about their upcoming matchup from a beat writer or blogger of the opposing team. This week, we have Desmond Conner of the Hartford Courant, Huskies beat writer for America’s longest continuously running newspaper. He was kind enough to answer for us a few questions.
TS: Lyle McCombs has been the workhorse at tailback so far this season with over 43 carries in two games. Against what has shown itself to be a stout Maryland defensive front seven how will McCombs find running room for the Huskies offense?
Desmond Conner: I’d be surprised if it were better than what he just saw from N.C. State. If the offensive line cuts down on mistakes he’ll be OK but McCombs might not be the only back The Terps see. The Huskies have three more they could roll out on Saturday as well as some other offensive players.
TS: Chandler Whitmer has been an interception machine this season, but the Huskies have been able to overcome the turnovers. What’s up with the quarterback situation and what will it take for UConn to beat the Terps this week?
Conner: Whitmer is a good quarterback but he’s up from junior college and excited to be playing and starting at the Division I-A level. A little too excited. That’s what led to the picks. If he just settles down he’ll be allright but he can make all the throws. He’s been struggling but you have to figure at some point he’ll get it together. Maybe it will be Saturday.
Conner: None that I’ve seen. The touchdown came on a lunging one-hand grab against a reserve corner.
TS: Trevardo Williams: Great defensive end? Or greatest defensive end? (Really, though, how good is he?)
Conner: He’s good. He’s learns some tricks the past year to free himself and work against bigger bodies. The most important thing is, he’s doing it all with confidence.
TS: What would a win like this mean for UConn in terms of moving on after last year’s tough five-win season?
Conner: It’s one game and only counts as one game. If the team thinks about it anymore than that it will lose but as I recall Maryland only won two games last year so I’m not sure what “a win like this’ actually means. A win on their side, I’m sure, it would be good for the masses as well as the head coach down that way, too.
Big thanks to Desmond for the answers, and let’s hope for a good bout this week!