Football: Huskies wrap up road trip in NC State

9/10/22 FB vs Syracuse by Erin Knapp The UConn Huskies face the Syracuse Orange in their second home game of the season at Rentschler Field in Pratt and Whitney Stadium on Saturday night. Syracuse defeated UConn 48-14 after leading the entire game. Photo by Erin Knapp/Daily Camps.

The road has not been easy so far for the UConn Huskies football team. They showed it in their 59-0 loss to No. 4 Michigan last Saturday. At least in the near future, it won’t get any easier either. This week, the Huskies will venture into the ACC to take over the 12th Wolfpack in North Carolina, where they will attempt to minimize damage in what seems like a near-impossible game to win.

The points difference is 39 in Wolfpack’s favour, eight points lower than last week’s game streak. NC State is currently 3-0, although they haven’t played like a big team. They opened the season with a lucky win over East Carolina, the team that barely ranks first in FBS. The match was about to go into overtime after the late Buccaneer touched down, but the show was stopped when their player hit the PAT. Their other win with FBS wasn’t much better – a 13-point win over Texas Tech. The Wolfpack’s defense was on its starting point, but their attack had trouble diverting, and only managed a pair of touchdowns.

According to ESPN’s FPI, NC State ranks 33rd, just one hole ahead of Syracuse, who blew UConn at Rentschler Field 48-14. Even if NC State is actually 20 points worse than their AP rating suggests, that still puts them dozens of points ahead of UConn.

Wolfpack’s impact player is QB Devin Leary, a Northeast Producer from New Jersey. So far this year, Leary has bowled for 570 yards with five touchdowns and only one pick. It’s important to note that his best game came in a 55-3 win over FCS Charleston Southern, where he scored four of his five and nearly half of his yards. At the same time, UConn will be nothing more than a challenge.

One of the most important facts and reasons why The Mummies would be an easier match is the absence of Nathan Carter. The star back was injured against Wolverine, and suffered a second-degree shoulder separation. It doesn’t sound too serious, but the idea is that pushing him through this injury isn’t worth it with a game expected to be very lopsided. CurrentlyAnd the Both Huskys are missing their starting quarterback, running back and topping two injury wide receivers, which is historically unlucky.

They will likely have to now rely on their younger players to keep progressing and growing earlier than scheduled. QB Zion Turner now has 3.5 games under his belt and continues to grow very clearly. His completion rate is north of 50% and he has more landings than his interceptions. Offensive coordinator Nick Charlton chose to keep him mainly throwing in screen passes, which proved to be of limited value when the opposing defenses knew they were coming.

Victor Rosa is another player who will need to step up, as is the obvious RB1 player with Carter out. The freshman and Connecticut Gatorade POTY rushed only 20 times over the course of the year, collecting a total of 38 yards at an average of 1.9 per carry. 11 yards like that came in his lone run, as he broke free and made his way into the end zone against central Connecticut. The offensive line will face another strong challenge this week against the strong North Carolina State front who has five sacks so far. The holes would be hard to get to, so Rosa would need to make the most of his opportunities as they came through. If he and Turner can’t make plays, it’s going to be a long day for the Huskies as they walk the hardest part of their schedule.

The game will be streamed on YES and can be streamed on ESPN3 and NESN+ at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

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