First football scrimmages KO’d because of heat
Huskies to play Saturday at Fresno State, where it is expected to be 105 degrees
According to the CIAC medical handbook, football teams can’t practice in pads if temperatures exceed 84 degrees. No sports can practice outside if it’s above 86 degrees.
Out of sight and essentially out of mind since November 2019, the UConn football team on Saturday will leave behind its 21month hibernation — and step into a furnace. The forecast for the 2021 season opener at Fresno State is 105 degrees.
It will be a dry heat, sure, with humidity only around 23 percent. Still, Jim Sweeney Field at Bulldog Stadium will bake under sunny skies and the sweltering environment could negate what UConn might have as an advantage in the element of surprise.
Fresno State has no way of knowing much about what it’s facing, regardless of whether the Huskies turn out to be the new and improved version coaches and players have predicted.
The only UConn film that exists for the Bulldogs to study is from 2019, and it is essentially useless. Many players on that film are elsewhere. Returning players have transformed their bodies. The entire Huskies operation is said to be completely different in a positive way, and everyone in Storrs is geeked up to head west and prove the rest of the college football world wrong.
Add that Fresno State plays Oregon in Week 2 and you have the perfect recipe for a classic “ambush game” — if it weren’t all coming together on a sizzling FieldTurf
frying pan about 200 miles west of Death Valley.
“I’m not concerned about it at all, because I can’t control it,” UConn coach Randy Edsall said. “To me, it’s no big deal. … I think our kids are in really good condition. It might be you have to play more guys and we’re ready for that. We might have mentioned the weather a couple times, but I’m not going to dwell on it because I can’t go out there or all of
the sudden have cloud cover or make it 70 or 80 degrees. So why should I put anything of a negative in these young men’s heads before we even step on the field Saturday?”
Fresno is used to the heat.
UConn’s only countermeasure? Hydrate, hydrate some more, keep hydrating — and closely monitor play