Aug 30, 2013
Last season, when Connecticut redshirt junior quarterback Chandler Whitmer threw the ball there was a good chance it was going to Geremy Davis.
The redshirt junior wide receiver, who led the Huskies in 2012 with 44 receptions for 613 yards, entered Thursday's season home opener against Towson with a lot of confidence.
UConn would lose to Towson 33-18, in a disappointing first game for the Huskies, who had trouble on both sides of the ball last night. Led by Whitmer, the offense struggled to move the ball consistently, though early on the UConn quarterback got into a rhythm with Davis, who finished the game with five catches for 100 yards.
"Chandler builds chemistry with all his receivers," Davis said. "We just had a connection tonight and it clicked this game."
Davis wasn't the only Connecticut receiver that looked poised for a big year in last night's game either. Redshirt junior wide receiver Shakim Phillips caught two touchdown passes in a game for the first time in his career, as he finished with five catches for 77 yards. His second touchdown reception came late in the fourth quarter and helped pull the Huskies to within eight points of Towson, though that was as close as Connecticut would get for the rest of the game.
Despite a strong first game, Davis remains focused on what he needs to improve on for Connecticut to be better in its next game.
"It's never a perfect game. There were things I could have done better," Davis said. "I don't care about personal stats, the most important stat obviously is to win."
When the Huskies were able to move the ball and get in the red zone they struggled to take advantage. Late in the second quarter UConn drove down the field to the Towson one-yard line, where Connecticut redshirt junior running back Lyle McCombs nearly punched it in, though he fell just short. UConn was then penalized for a substitution infraction, and the Huskies had to settle for a field goal.
"It's frustrating to take a nice drive down to the one-yard line and not be able to finish," Whitmer said. "That's something we harped on last year. We have to finish drives and we didn't get it done and it's disappointing."
UConn's run defense, which has been a strong point for the Huskies in the past few seasons under Connecticut head coach Paul Pasqualoni, was overmatched last night as Towson junior running back Terrance West ran for 156 yards on 36 carries. Unable to stop Towson's running backs early on in the game, the Huskies became vulnerable to the Tigers' passing attack in the second half.
"We overcommitted so much to the run that they were able to complete some passes on a couple of plays that we didn't make in the secondary," Pasqualoni said.
Following the game, Pasqualoni reiterated to his players that it was just one game, though after having a great offseason, Thursday's result was certainly disappointing for the Connecticut players.
"It's tough we've been working hard all offseason," Connecticut redshirt junior linebacker Yarwin Smallwood said. "It's just one game and we have to pick our heads up and continue to get better and play strong."
Connecticut returns to action Saturday September 14th when it hosts Maryland at Rentschler Field, with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m.