016Write-Up & Photos by Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb001

Heading into this weekend, the big question in Huskyland is – if what might be labelled a grudge match against former coach Randy Edsall will spur the University of Connecticut Football Team on to victory?

With UConn decked out in their new fierce face Husky uniforms and Rentschler Field spiffied up for the August 29, 2013 season opener, including a new scoreboard, the Huskies suffered a shocking 33-18 defeat to Division I-AA Towson.

The September 14 game against Edsall and his Maryland Terraphiins will take place on Connecticut’s home turf. Speculation has been rampant for the past couple of weeks about how UConn fans will greet Edsall when he leads Maryland onto the field at “The Rent” on Saturday.

Animosity against Edsall stems primarily from what some say was a declasse departure from UConn, bolting to Maryland immediately after the 2011 Fiesta Bowl loss in Arizona without telling his players in person that he taken the head coaching position there, boarding a plane to Maryland instead of returning to Storrs with the Huskies. (Of course, a bad taste may also have been left from those times when Edsall blamed his players for defeats only manning up and taking responsibility in the face of public backlash and his efforts to ‘educate’ Husky fans -the same folks who were paying his salary- on so-called big time football etiquette.)

Edsall is credited with having built up UConn football during his 2003-2010 tenure in accordance with higher aspirations for the program. He successfully recruited home state blue chip players such as quarterback Dan Orlovsky and took the team to bowl games. Nonetheless, what some may say was a lack of integrity displayed by Edsall did not go over well in the Constitution State. His former players who still wear the blue & white are wisely trying to downplay any left over ill-will towards Edsall, saying their focus is on executing a good game that garners UConn a win.

Saturday’s game could also be a deciding factor in whether UConn Head Coach Paul Pasqualoni is kept on. Pasqualoni brought solid credentials to the position, a sense of loyalty to the state and was said to have good relationships with high school coaches throughout Connecticut. Unfortunately, his record has been disappointing. He needs this win on Saturday as much as the players and Husky fans want it.