Hola Fiesta Bowl, Adios Edsall

By jimmywayne, Flickr Creative Commons.

Well, it was a fun ride while it lasted. On New Years Day, UConn fell to perennial powerhouse Oklahoma 48-20 at the Fiesta Bowl in Arizona. While the critics of the automatic qualifiers will contend that UConn didn’t even deserve to be playing in the prestigious game, UConn showed how to play with heart and guile.

Anyone with a working set of eyes could have told you that the Sooners were the more talented team. Their receivers were on a much higher level and quarterback Landry Jones was throwing lasers across the field. Jones was also hardly touched throughout out the contest, really showing how UConn had zero pass rush.

But when you’re playing a team that’s vastly more talented than you, the game UConn needed to played need to be their “A+” performance. Overall, they got about a “C+” and that grade will get you smoked like a Khalid El Amin blunt. Oklahoma returned two picks for touchdowns after the ball hit UConn wide outs in the hands. UConn DB’s seemed a step or two slow when trying to cover Oklahoma WR Ryan Broyles who hauled in catches for 170 yards (then again, he’s made a lot of good DB’s look that way…that boy is good!)

After Oklahoma’s first two possessions of the game, UConn was down 14-0. Watching the game at Buffalo Wild Wings in Windsor, there was a collective Oh Crap” vibe to the place thinking the score would be 42-0 by the half. Afterall, UConn was the biggest underdog in BCS game history for a reason.

To UConn’s credit, they fought like mad and made it a respectable game. UConn had a pick six of their own and back up running-back Robbie Frey returned a kick off 95 yards for a touchdown (which was crazy because he didn’t even look that fast…but he really is). The score at the half was 20-10 and you really got a sense that if the Huskies came out on fire in the second half, they could have a shot to win, which would have made for an incredible movie! And it would have caused Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops to get run out of Norman, OK on a rail.

Unfortunately, that did not happen. The Sooners had too much fire power and were able to take advantage of too many UConn mistakes. The better team won and there’s no shame in losing to the better team. It was an incredible rollercoaster of a season for the Huskies and it’s incredible that they got the opportunity to play in the Fiesta Bowl.

Who knows what the future of UConn football holds now that coach Randy Edsall has bolted for U of Maryland less than 24 hours after the game (that’s a little shady, to say the least.) But The CuT and all other state football fans should thank him for turning UConn into something very few thought it could be: a good team on the national level.