UCONN FOOTBALL GAMEDAY
When: Saturday, noon
Where: Rentschler Field, East Hartford
Records: SMU 4-5 (3-2 American Athletic Conference), UConn 1-8 (0-5)
Radio: 97.9 ESPN, WICC-600, WINE-940, WXLM-980, WAVZ-1300; WILI-1400 (simulcast on 95.3 FM), WATR-1490
THINGS TO WATCH
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.