5* CFB Opening Night Blockbuster Top Play
Massachusetts vs. Connecticut,
08/30/2012 19:30 EDT,
Score: 0 - 37
Point Spread: -22½/-102 Connecticut
5* CFB Opening Night Blockbuster Top Play: Connecticut -22.5
I'm not worried about laying this many points on Connecticut against a very weak team in Massachusetts. I strongly believe the Huskies are going to be one of the most improved teams in the country.
Connecticut came into last season off an improbable Big East title that landed them in a BCS Bowl. They wouldn't come close to matching 2010's success, as the Huskies went just 5-7 in the first year under head coach Paul Pasqualoni.
With a much better understanding of the new systems that were installed last year, and I expect them to benefit from getting 8 starters back on each side of the ball. The Huskies have also made a huge upgrade at quarterback, bringing in one of the top junior college talents in Chandler Whitmer, who will take over the starting job right away.
A lot of people laughed at the fact that Connecticut made it to a BCS bowl, and even less respect was given to this team after their poor showing in 2011. I look for the Huskies to come out extremely motivated in from of their home crowd Thursday night.
You also have to take into consideration the talent they are playing. UMASS is making the huge jump up in competition, as they go officially join the FBS this season. To no surprise, the Minutemen are pegged to finish at the bottom of the MAC, which gives you a pretty good idea of just how bad they are going to be.
Massachusetts played ONE FBS opponent last year, and they got clobbered 45-17 by a Boston College team that finished the year with a 4-8 record (first time in 12 years the Eagles didn't make a bowl game).
Making matters even harder on the Minutemen, is the loss of starting quarterback Kellen Pagel. I have a hard time seeing Massachusetts put anything together offensively. We are talking about a team that averaged just 25.2 ppg and 360 total yards of offense against some pretty bad competition.
I wouldn't be surprised at all if Connecticut had this spread covered at halftime. BET THE HUSKIES!