Poor, poor, UConn. What else is there to say about the Huskies' 33-18 season-opening loss to Towson?
Yes, you read that correctly.
The Huskies opened the season with a 15-point loss on their home turf to FCS member Towson, a team that finished 2012 7-4. But, hey, they went 6-2 in the Colonial Athletic Association, so that has to count for something, right?
Eric Crawford, a sports columnist for WDRB in Louisville, said it best when talking about the AAC's first loss in the conference's history:
Final: Towson 33, UConn 18. With The American is hitting reset on its record book, it's both the first and worst loss in league history.— Eric Crawford (@ericcrawford) August 30, 2013
If you listen very closely, you can hear the nails being hammered into the coffin of Paul Pasqualoni's head coaching career at UConn. Entering the season, he was already on extremely thin ice. The Huskies enjoyed the best years in the program's history prior to his arrival in 2011.
His 10-14 record in his first two seasons placed him in hot water, and by the looks of it, the pot is set to boil over. It's never a good thing when your team is trending on Twitter after a loss, and UConn is slowly making its way up the ranks.
In the four seasons before he took over, the Huskies averaged eight wins. That all seems like a distant memory after Thursday night's performance. The program has progressively gotten worse in those two years, going from 82nd in total offense to 118th in 2012.
Saying the Huskies offense has been anemic under Pasqualoni would be a vast understatement. The offense managed just 17.8 points per game (118th NCAA) last year. They had six games where they scored less than 20 points, four of which they couldn't manage more than 10.
The run game was non-existent at 87.9 yards per game (117th). With no threat on the ground, teams were able to lock in on quarterback Chandler Whitmer and the receivers. If you can't run the ball, you're going to have a bad time. They couldn't have run the ball if the other team was sitting on the sideline.
In desperation to get the ball moving, Pasqualoni brought in Cincinnati Bearcats wide receivers coach T.J. Weist as offensive coordinator. Though it's been just one game, the move appears to not have helped much. The Huskies managed just 290 yards of total offense against Towson and 18 points, not to mention only 84 rushing yards, which is right on par with their 2012 average.
Mediocre and boring is a bad combination, and the Huskies have become just that.
Fans are becoming disinterested, and as a result, attendance numbers have steadily declined since Pasqualoni took over in 2011. Average attendance was at 38,248 in former head coach Randy Edsall's last year in 2010 before he left for the Maryland job. That number fell to 36,668 in 2011, and then to 34,672 in 2012.
Pasqualoni tweeted a few hours before the game that his team was loading up on the bus to head to the stadium:
It appears they never got off.
This is not say he will be fired next week. Perhaps the Huskies turn around the season and finish with a respectable record. Maybe, just maybe, the offense finally begins to move the ball. But, a loss to Towson sure doesn't make that seem very likely. The program that was on the upward swing under Edsall is regressing and fan unrest grows by the day.
After the deflating loss Thursday night, the hourglass on Pasqualoni's tenure at Connecticut has been turned.