UConn football vs. FIU Panthers: How to watch, by the numbers, what to watch for



CLAIMERS: AJ Ricketts (Play-by-Play), Corey Brooks (Color Analyst)

RADIO: UConn IMG Radio Network; university network app; 97.9 ESPN Hartford, WGCH 1490 AM, WAVZ 1300 AM, WATR 1320 AM, WILI 1400 AM and 95.3 FM, WICH 1310 AM and 94.5 FM

CLAIMERS: Mike Crispino (play-by-play), Wayne Norman (color analyst), Adam Giardino (side hustle)

RECORDS: UConn (2-4), FIU (2-2)

LAST WEEK: UConn pulled the fuss over Fresno State, 19-14; The FIU went on to beat New Mexico State 21-7


ABOUT UNDER: 47.0 (odds via DraftKings)

SERIES HISTORY: The UConn Huskies and FIU Panthers have never met on the gridiron.


PRE-MATCH PRESS CONFERENCE: FIU head coach Mike MacIntyre; UConn head coach Jim Mora


fun with numbers

1,079: Number of days between FBS wins on the road for UConn

37: Days since the FIU played a home game

3: How many times UConn will play against FIU in the future (2023, 2025, 2027)

66: Overall tackles by Jackson Mitchell, second best in FBS

5: Average number of penalties committed by UConn per game (20th best in FBS)

31: Plays at FIU from UConn long snapper Tommy Zozus, who moved after the 2021 season

Table of Contents

What to look out for

When UConn has the ball

Against Fresno State, UConn’s offense looked much the same as it did against Syracuse, Michigan and NC State: A steady diet of football combined with screens and short passes. But two crucial drives at the end of each half were spurred on by downfield passing.

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The first came in the final drive of the second half when offensive coordinator Nick Charlton resorted to a double back pass to open UConn receivers on the field. To his credit, it worked like a dream. Zion Turner has to give Keven Clercius a deep ball and set up a field goal to put the Huskies on point at halftime.

The second was a deep ball on the left touchline, also caught by Clercius, giving UConn the go-ahead. With the team’s backs to the wall, they opened up the offensive a bit.

Against the FIU they will probably try to restore the run. But to pull off a convincing win, the Huskies probably need to throw a little more onto the field. The Panthers have one of the most leaky pass defenses in FBS, giving up more than 8 yards per pass attempt and have conceded over 450 yards in total offense in three of four games in 2022. Playing in front of a lot of family and friends in his home state, Zion Turner needs to bring his A-game. It would be great if Charlton was willing to air it.

When the FIU has the ball

The UConn defense dug in and put in a great performance on Saturday night. They held an FBS opponent under 200 yards of tackle for the first time since 2015. UConn was wild up front, causing Fresno State quarterback Logan Fife to feel uncomfortable in the pocket and making a lot of errors. Defenders were given turnover chances on a plate, but to their credit, executed their defensive covers well enough and were able to capitalize on them.

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The Huskies had six tackles for loss and two sacks, putting pressure on Fife with 14 dropbacks. Brandon Bouyer-Randle has taken a lead in the UConn defense with four running stops and six tackles on the day. The Huskies need to keep heating up FIU’s pass attack because that’s pretty much all they bring to the table.

The Panthers average less than 90 yards per game on the ground, and they’ve relied on quarterback Grayson James to blow up more than 37 times per game to create every type of offense. His primary target is junior collegiate transfer Tyrese Chambers, who came on the scene in 2021 and ranked second in the nation at 23.7 yards per catch and broke 1,000 yards on the season. He has been the offensive captain with 25 receptions for 247 yards. Running back Lexington Joseph is the second option, with 215 total attacking yards for the season.

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