Connecticut Post - - SPORTS -

When: Satur­day, noon

Where: Rentschler Field, East Hartford

Records: SMU 4-5 (3-2 Amer­i­can Ath­letic Con­fer­ence), UConn 1-8 (0-5)

TV: none

In­ter­net: ESPN3

Ra­dio: 97.9 ESPN, WICC-600, WINE-940, WXLM-980, WAVZ-1300; WILI-1400 (simul­cast on 95.3 FM), WATR-1490


Depth to be tested: Dar­rian Beavers, Eli Thomas and Kevon Jones were listed as UConn’s start­ing lineback­ers when the sea­son be­gan. Beavers is the only one who will play on Satur­day, but he has been moved to de­fen­sive end. Thomas is back in Elmira, N.Y., re­cov­er­ing from a stroke while UConn coach Randy Ed­sall made the de­ci­sion not to play Jones for the fi­nal three games so he can fo­cus on aca­demics. Red­shirt fresh­man T.J. Gard­ner has seen ac­tion on spe­cial teams, but he has a chance to see some snaps at line­backer. It wouldn’t be sur­pris­ing if Husky backs Marshé Terry and Ian Swen­son help out there as well.

Mile­stones await: UConn quar­ter­back David Pin­dell needs 66 rush­ing yards to be­come the first UConn player with a 1,000-yard rush­ing sea­son since Lyle McCombs in 2011. He also needs 64 yards to be­come the ninth UConn player with at least 2,500 yards of to­tal of­fense in a sea­son. He came into the week lead­ing all FBS quar­ter­backs in rush­ing yards and is a ma­jor rea­son why UConn has rushed for more than 250 yards in each of the last three games, some­thing that hasn’t hap­pened at UConn in the last 40 sea­sons. The Huskies need 175 yards to crack the 2,000-yard rush­ing mark for the first time since 2010. Pin­dell fig­ures to make his 13th con­sec­u­tive start at quar­ter­back, the fourth long­est streak at UConn dur­ing the FBS era be­hind Dan Orlovsky (36 straight starts from 2002-04), Tyler Loren­zen (18 straight from 2007-08) and Chan­dler Whit­mer (16 straight from 2012-13).

Fa­mil­iar face re­turns: It’s not of­ten that an of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor moves from one team to an­other in­side the same con­fer­ence, but that is the case with SMU’s Rhett Lash­lee who headed to Dal­las af­ter one sea­son at UConn. Al­though SMU’s of­fen­sive num­bers are down from a sea­son ago, Lash­lee’s of­fense recorded 514 yards in last week’s win over Hous­ton, the most against a fel­low FBS pro­gram since putting up 581 yards in a 2017 win over Tulsa. Ke’Mon Free­man, who ran for 68 yards and a TD in last year’s win over UConn, came into the Hous­ton game with 48 rush­ing yards this sea­son but he ran for 107 yards and a pair of touch­downs while Reg­gie Rober­son posted his sec­ond straight 100-yard re­ceiv­ing game with 134 yards on nine catches.

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