Hardly anybody expected Connecticut to be 1-2 right now. Not with 16 returning starters off a team that finished 2009 so strong. Even those who might have seen a 1-2 start probably wouldn't have guessed that both Huskies losses would have come by at least two touchdowns, or that the team would look like it needs an energy infusion.
"The level of expectations we have for ourselves, we haven't met that yet," head coach Randy Edsall said.
Edsall isn't making a major shakeup or delivering any rah-rah speeches. He thinks that only causes the players to panic when they see big changes.
Instead, he's making a few small adjustments and hoping that breathes some life into a team that still has its main goal available: winning the Big East.
Start with the depth chart. Kendall Reyes is moving to defensive end, with redshirt freshman Shamar Stephen starting at defensive tackle. Jerome Junior is replacing Harris Agbor at safety. Dwayne Difton is now a starting receiver, supplanting Isiah Moore.
And then there's the return of Cody Endres from a suspension. Endres is still the No. 2 quarterback behind Zach Frazer, but now Frazer is under pressure to perform better with a veteran and former starter behind him. Frazer hasn't thrown an interception this season, but he's completing just 52 percent of his passes and averaging only 153 passing yards per game.
Edsall said Frazer's fundamentals are fine but that he's not making the right reads all the time.
"I just feel that there are throws that could have been made and could have been better," Edsall said. "Throws were there that could have moved the chains or got the ball down the field. I just told him to go out and throw the ball. Don't be so cautious about throwing interceptions.
"I don't want him to be John Wayne out there and just letting it fly, because we've seen when that happens. But there's got to be a happy medium."
The offense in general hasn't been efficient enough for Edsall's liking. UConn had 390 yards against Temple but managed just 16 points.
"We're moving the ball, but we're not scoring," he said.
Above all, the coach wants to see his team play with more emotion and enthusiasm and deal with adversity better. He did not like some of the quotes he saw from the players about how the team reacted once Temple stripped Jordan Todman of the ball and went in for a go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter.
"There's still time left on clock; go find a way to win," he said. "Don't say you were demoralized or it took the wind out of you. That's bull crap. It's a cop-out."
Edsall said he thinks there will be players who will step up and be more vocal this week in practice. He hopes that translates to a better performance at home this week against Buffalo. Like UConn, the Bulls are just 1-2, with blowout losses to Central Florida and Baylor. They scored 16 total points in those defeats.
The Huskies should take care of business this week. They hope that will lead to some positive change.
"There's a lot of season left to go," Edsall said.