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Fiesta Bowl Preview: Game Planning The Connecticut Defense

Is UConn ready for this?  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Is UConn ready for this? (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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Any offensive coordinator will tell you that if he can be balanced in his offensive attack then he'll have the upper hand on his defensive counterpart. The reason why is because the defense can't pick up on tendencies and can't over commit to stopping one specific aspect of the offense. By all appearances that's the position that Josh Heupel is sitting in for his debut as Oklahoma's new offensive coordinator.


Blidi Wreh-Wilson

50 Tkls/4 INTS



Jesse Joseph

37 Tkls/8.5 Sks


Kendall Reyes

38 Tkls/2.5 Sks


Twyon Martin

28 Tkls/3 Sks


Trevardo Williams

27 Tkls/4.5 Sks



Dwayne Gratz

60 Tkls/ 1 INT


Scott Lutrus

50 Tkls/4 IMTs


Lawrence Wilson

115 Tkls/3.5 Sks


Sio Moore

104 Tkls/1.5 Sks


Jerome Junior

53 Tkls/4 Ints


Harris Agbor

34 Tkls


The UConn defense held opponents to a respectable average of 19.8 points per game but I believe there are some areas the Sooners can exploit on offense. I think this will be a game where the Sooners will use the pass to set up their rushing attack. The Huskies allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete 57.5% of their passes for an average of 206 yards per game. Landry Jones is completing 65.3 of his passes for an average of 330 yards per game. Look for OU to take what they can through the air with their typical game plan of bubble screens and quick passes to the flats.

If UConn responds by spreading out their linebackers to get to the edges quicker then Oklahoma will start feeding the ball to DeMarco Murray. If the Huskies respond by moving their safeties up then look for the Sooners to run their tight ends just behind them and also go vertical in the passing game to Ryan Broyles and Kenny Stills.

When the Sooners do run the football they'll be going up against the second worst rush defense in the Big East Conference. The Huskies finished just ahead of last place Rutgers in the conference with an average of 147.3 yards per game allowed on the ground. 

What Oklahoma has against the UConn defense is the opportunity to be balanced. The Huskies don't excel in one aspect or the other. If they try to play a balanced defense against Oklahoma then they're going to be in for a long night. So now they have to choose which aspect of the Sooner offense they want to try and take away. They have to pick their poison so to speak. What Oklahoma has to do is capitalize on that other aspect.