The fans at Rentschler Field have never experienced a season like this before. Student tickets are sold out for every game this season, unprecedented at the University of Connecticut. Coming off an undefeated home season last year and a share of the Big East title, the Huskies are giving their fans hope for a BCS bid this year.
Led by Junior running back Donald Brown, the UConn Huskies' have started 4-0 with wins over Hofstra, Temple, Virginia, and Baylor. UConn is ranked just outside the top 25 by reeling in 29th on the USA Today Poll and 31st on the AP Top 25.
With Big East play set to begin for the Huskies' this Friday at Louisville, it is time to ask "Can UConn win the Big East?". The answer is yes. UConn, two years removed from a 4-8 season and ranked 6th this pre-season in the Coaches' Poll, is one of two teams that will win the Big East this season.
West Virginia, the perennial Big East winner, has faltered in their last two games scoring only 17 total points. Pittsburgh is on their way up again but this year will not be their year. Cincinnati and Louisville could also prove challengers to the throne this year; however Connecticut's excellent defense should halt them in their tracks.
So it all comes down to South Florida and UConn. Both teams have come a long way in a short amount of time with their programs, building them up from nothing. By the time they face off a lot could be different but expect a more balanced Huskies team then we have seen so far this season. By then, Lorenzen should be back on track and give UConn a huge boost if he relives his 2007 campaign of not turning the ball over.
Even if Lorenzen plays well, it will be up to UConn's two biggest assets to bring a BCS bid to Storrs. Donald Brown and the running game has been extraordinary so far. With fellow junior running back Andre Dixon on his way back to 100% and freshman Jordan Todman relieving the two, they should continue to put points on the board; which was their biggest weakness last season.
The Huskies' defense has allowed only 12.5 points per game thus far, mostly from the outstanding play of senior cornerback Darius Butler and sophomore linebackers Lawrence Wilson and Scott Lutrus. As long as the offense puts up points, this team will be in great shape to head into a BCS Bowl for the program's first time.
Obviously it will be a long, hard road for the Huskies' but they are on pace to make that November 23rd match-up with USF a Big East Championship game.