The UConn Huskies will try for just their second win of the season on Saturday when they travel to Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium in Greenville, North Carolina for an AAC battle against the East Carolina Pirates.
Something has to give in this game, as both teams enter the week winless in conference play. East Carolina is just 2-7 on the season with a 0-6 record in the American Athletic Conference, while the Huskies own a 1-9 overall record with a winless 0-6 mark in AAC play as well.
Huskies lost high-scoring game vs. SMU
UConn’s comeback effort fell short last week, as the Huskies lost their seventh straight game at home to SMU 62-50. Trailing 45-21 at the end of the third quarter, UConn narrowed the gap in the fourth quarter behind a big day from quarterback David Pindell. Pindell finished 25 of 38 passing for 215 yards with four touchdowns and one interception on the day, while adding 184 rush yards and two scores on the ground as well. Sophomore running back Kevin Mensah matched him with a career-best 184 rushing yards and two scores. In the loss, Pindell became the first Huskies quarterback ever to rush for 1,000 yards in a season and the fist UConn player to accomplish the feat since Lyle McCombs in 2011.
Former UConn Football offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee made his return to East Hartford- with a new team. His SMU Mustangs offense put up points in bunches, outlasting the Huskies, 62-50. Check out the full recap here: https://t.co/pp6OF18pso pic.twitter.com/ghrMzYgCzf
— UCTV Sports (@UCTVSports) November 11, 2018
Pindell has accounted for 25 touchdowns this season. He has thrown for 1,717 yards, 15 touchdowns and nine interceptions, while running for 1,118 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground. Despite his best efforts, UConn is scoring just 23.8 points per game and allowing 49.3 points per game through 10 games this season. The Huskies are averaging 404 yards of total offense per game — 53.7 percent of which has come on the ground. Speaking of running the football, opposing teams have gashed the Huskies defense for 331 rush yards per game this year.
Pirates short on options at quarterback
East Carolina lost its fifth straight game last week, falling on the road in a tight game against Tulane. East Carolina cut the deficit to just three in the fourth quarter on Holton Ahlers 31-yard pass to Tevon Brown, but the Pirates couldn’t complete the comeback to snap their current losing streak. Ahlers completed just 21 of 67 passes for 360 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception on the day, while adding 67 rush yards in a losing effort for the Pirates.
The Pirates come into the week scoring 23.2 points per game, while allowing 34.8 points per game on defense. They average 434.3 total yards and 320.2 pass yards per game on offense and are outgaining their opponents by 22 yards per contest.
— ECU Football (@ECUPiratesFB) November 13, 2018
East Carolina has been playing without its most experience quarterback, Reid Herring, who was involved in a wreck and suffered a concussion. Ahlers has struggled to be efficient in his place, but redshirt freshman Kingsley Ifedi is the only other scholarship quarterback on the roster and walk-on Caiden Norman is currently serving as the emergency third-string signal caller.
- Pirates are 2-8-1 ATS in their last 11 games in November.
- Pirates are 2-9-1 ATS in their last 12 games after accumulating less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game.
- Over is 4-1 in Pirates last 5 vs. a team with a losing record.
- Over is 4-1 in Huskies last 5 games in November.
- Over is 6-2 in Huskies last 8 games on grass.
- Over is 5-2 in Huskies last 7 games after accumulating more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I’m not crazy about this pick, but 17 points is a little too high a number to give to a team that is just 2-7 on the season. It’s true. UConn has been awful this year, but they are allowing more than half of their total yards on the ground and East Carolina isn’t exactly fond of running the football. They threw the ball 67 times last week, despite playing with with their backup quarterback and UConn is coming off its second-highest scoring output of the year. Give me the Huskies and the points in this battle between winless AAC teams on Saturday afternoon.
Prediction: Pick: UConn Huskies +17
Full-Game Total Pick
Neither of these defenses have been able to stop anyone during the conference season. Pindell has six combined touchdowns last week and he’s rushed for over 100 yards in four straight games. East Carolina is allowing 162.8 rush yards per game so far this year, so the Huskies should be able to move the ball on the ground once again in this game. That has me leaning towards the over in this AAC matchup at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium on Saturday.
Prediction: Over 68.5