QB Dan Orlovsky

2003 Statistics

Coach: Randy Edsall
24-33, 5 years
2003 Record: 9-3
at Army WON 48-21
at Buffalo WON 38-7
at Virginia Tech LOST 13-47
at North Carolina State LOST 24-31
at Kent State WON 34-31
at Wake Forest WON 51-17

2003 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2004 Outlook

These are good times for UConn football. The Huskies enter Big East competition winners of 13 of their last 16 games and closed 2002 with a four-game win streak, to finish 9-3. They were hoping for a bowl bid but it was a longshot, and the fact that they only beat one Division I-A team with a winning record (Akron) didn't help.

This is a young I-A program with a sparkling, year-old off-campus stadium and an indoor practice facility in the works. It is apparent that the Huskies want to be a 'player' in this top level. They have players - like quarterback Dan Orlovsky, tailback Terry Caulley, linebacker Maurice Lloyd and strong safety John Fletcher - who can play at a much higher level. Now that the staff is surrounding the starters with quality depth at the skilled positions, there's no reason why the Huskies can't be solid and competitive for (at least a few) years to come. Six (of UConn's 27 signings) are from Florida, long considered and proven to be a fruitful recruiting territory with plenty left over after Florida, Florida State, Miami, and others are finished.

A 5-1 non-conference record is probable, meaning the Huskies only have to win two league games for a winning season. Based on the returning talent, that won't be a problem.

The staff has to bring together a defensive line, so expect the Huskies to finish in the middle of pack in this watered down, interim version of the Big East. As UConn's upswing continues, there's no reason why the Huskies can't compete for a league title in the near future. This team will prove that their recent genesis and emergence hasn't been either lucky or due to being non-conference…UConn has something new now to prove, and you can feel comfortable knowing they won't disappoint.

Projected 2004 record: 7-4
DB Justin Perkins
QB - 4 DL - 2
RB - 3.5 LB - 3.5
WR - 2.5 DB - 3
OL - 3 ..

Passing: Dan Orlovsky, 475-279-14, 3485 yds., 33 TD

Rushing: Cornell Brockington, 131 att., 643 yds., 10 TD

Receiving: Keron Henry, 39 rec., 662 yds., 4 TD

Scoring: Matt Nuzie, 11-21 FG, 47-49 PAT, 80 pts.

Punting: none

Kicking: Matt Nuzie, 11-21 FG, 47-49 PAT

Tackles: Maurice Lloyd, 121 tot., 94 solo

Sacks: Tyler King, 9 sacks

Interceptions: Justin Perkins, 6 for 90 yds.

Kickoff returns: Jason Williams, 10 ret., 23.9 avg., 0 TD

Punt returns: David Sanchez, 34 ret., 4.3 avg., 0 TD


OFFENSE: Shaun Feldeisen-WR, O'Neil Wilson-WR, LeAndre Dupree-OG, Terry McClowry-TE
DEFENSE: Uyi Osunde-DE, Ryan Bushey-DT, Sean Mulcahy-DT, Hakeem Kashama-DE, Terrance Smith-RS, Adam Coles-P

Once the Huskies decided to scrap their two-quarterback system prior to last season, Dan Orlovsky detonated. Now he has to prove that he can take his game to the national level. He had five 300-yard passing games, yet each game was against marginal teams. Adjusting to the Big East should be a challenge, but he is up to it. When Orlovsky duplicates his impressive junior season, the Huskies will surprise in their new league. Backup Jermell Williams is a threat to run and offers a different element than Orlovsky. However, a knee injury kept him out of practice this spring and gave Matt Bonislawski the opportunity to shine. The heir apparent is true freshman D.J. Hernandez, a Connecticut 'Gatorade Player of the Year'. Head coach Randy Edsall believes he has the arm strength and work ethic to be enough, such that he will get some face time this campaign.

Running Back
This could be interesting. Do the Huskies go with the dauntless Terry Caulley, whose injuries, and not lack of production, have kept him from becoming a household name? Or do they go with sophomore Cornell Brockington, who filled in after Caulley went down with a season-ending knee injury and scored 10 touchdowns in 10 games? If Caulley is healthy, give the nod to him. If not, a running back by committee with Brockington in the lead would be just as effective. Chris Bellamy, who opened the season at wide receiver, and Matt Lawrence will give this unit a boost, as will fullback Deon Anderson. The up side to Caulley's injury has been in illuminating the Huskies' depth at this position. UConn had a 100-yard rusher in eight of its 12 games, so we see no reason this trend will not continue.

Wide Receiver
This group is even deeper than the running backs. Keron Henry and Brandon Young will start, but won't be Orlovsky's only weapons. Matt Cutaia, Jason Williams and David Sanchez return from a group in which eight Huskies hit double figures in receptions. A further testament to their ability to spread the ball around evenly is this - despite the fact that UConn has thrown for 6,246 yards over the past two seasons combined, the Huskies have had just four 100-yard receiving games during that span. Still, look for Young to have a breakout season. He's a burner who loves to stretch defenses down field. Henry, however, may be the best athlete of the unit. The former quarterback made a nice adjust to wideout and should be even better in '04.

Tight End
Tight Ends see more action blocking than they do receiving, but just in case, Orlovsky has a huge target in 6-5, 275 pound Tim Lassen. This in-state cat from Cheshire has soft hands, and would be an X-factor with his ability to garner a DB or two if utilized as a snarler more often.

Offensive Line
Tackles Ryan Krug and Grant Preston, guard Brian Markowski and center Billy Irwin have 55 starts combined. The line gelled late last season, allowing just two sacks on the Huskies' final 220 passing attempts, and only ten all season. Guards Lawrence Oliver and LeAndre Dupree are gone, but center Jeff Fox returns to a group that is thin in terms of depth. If Krug or Preston goes down, they've got problems with quality depth. Look for a slight drop-off early, but this crew will return to form with so many capable receivers and RBs to make them look good.

Head coach Randy Edsall usually preaches a balanced offense, but that should change slightly because of Orlovsky. "He's (Orlovsky) got all the things that we need and I wouldn't trade him for anyone else in college football", Edsall says. Sounds good to us, but prove it to the rest of the country! The only question appears to be depth on the offensive line, although it was an area of concern going into last season as well, and the Huskies were (more than) fine. Health on the line and in the backfield will only mean higher accomplishments for this offense. They have the depth in the backfield, but not enough on the line to withstand multiple injuries. The unpredictable nature of this offense makes us excited, as the wins will answer in many of these questions.


OT Ryan Krug


Returning Starters/
Key Players
QB Dan Orlovsky-Sr (6-5, 236) Matt Bonislawski-So (6-4, 208)
FB Deon Anderson-Jr (5-10, 245) Sam Dorvil-So (5-11, 236)
TB Terry Caulley-Jr (5-7, 187) Cornell Brockington-So (6-0, 195)
Chris Bellamy-Sr (6-1, 210)
WR Matt Cutaia-Sr (5-11, 184) Jason Williams-Jr (6-0, 178)
WR Keron Henry-Sr (6-2, 220) Brandon Young-Jr (6-0, 197)
TE Tim Lassen-Jr (6-5, 275) Dan Murray-So (6-5, 250)
OT Ryan Krug-Sr (6-4, 302) Chad Atwell-Fr (6-4, 280)
OG Brian Markowski-Sr (6-2, 288) T.J. Dlugbac-Jr (6-2, 308)
C Billy Irwin-Sr (6-2, 287) Jeff Fox-Sr (6-2, 296)
OG Craig Berry-So (6-5, 321) Brian Kersmanc-Fr (6-5, 306)
OT Grant Preston-Jr (6-5, 295) Michael Kodish-Jr (6-5, 294)
K Matt Nuzie-So (5-11, 195) Graig Vicidomino-So (6-2, 196)



Defensive Line
The losses here are plentiful and devastating. The replacements are young. Defensive end Tyler King returns after enjoying a breakout year. As defenses tried to clamp down on the now-departed Osunde, King was able to blossom. The depth overall is iffy at best. If he's as good as advertised, Dan Davis from Plainfield, N.J., will play. Davis was considered among the top 20 prospects in the state. Expect the first games for this crew to be porous, but for them to then adjust and accomplish soon after, by mid-season.

This is arguably the strongest unit on the team. Who's the best of the bunch? Take your pick. It could be Maurice Lloyd who makes plays all over the field. It might be Alfred Fincher who has improved his pass coverage. Or you could give the nod to James Hargrave, who missed almost two full games with a hand injury and still finished fifth in tackles. Weakside linebacker Taurien Sowell could start for most programs in the Big East. This unit will deliver in the pass rush until a fit defensive line develops.

Defensive Back
UConn has one of the more underrated groups in the East. The unit ranked fifth in the nation in pass defense in 2003 is led by corner Justin Perkins (missed all of 2002 season with a knee injury). Who plays alongside Perkins is the biggest question. Ernest Cole and Cathlyn Clarke have shown promise, but sophomore Allan Barnes emerged late. M.J. Estep leads a frail group at FS. SS fares better, but the way back is where opposing OCs will start in their passing aims. These guys will be tested early until another pass rusher materializes on the defensive line, but experience and athleticism at LB will help in protecting the air.

While the efforts here slipped somewhat (especially toward the end of the season), the Huskies still ranked 36th in total defense. Despite some questions up front, expect much of the same solid production. King is talented and should thrive in his role as a leader, which the line will require for its nucleus. What remains to be seen is how effectively the linemen will reach the quarterback; if it's anything like they've done in the recent past, defense will not be a liability. The linebackers are strong against the run. They will also be needed now (more than ever) to dip into the backfield and pressure the quarterback. The pass defense should be at the top in the Big East and will have to compensate until a pass rush ripens. The overall results get tested by mid-September, so each unit has to have competence by then, or else.


LB Maurice Lloyd


Returning Starters/
Key Players
DE Tyler King-Sr (6-6, 262) Harold Stanback-Fr (6-2, 219)
DT Deon McPhee-Jr (6-2, 284) Matt Applebaum-So (6-4, 278)
DT Rhema Fuller-So (6-3, 279) Ray Blagman-Sr (6-3, 332)
DE Shawn Mayne-So (6-3, 238) Jason Ward-So (6-3, 259)
SLB James Hargrave-Jr (5-11, 225) Kinnan Herriott-Sr (5-11, 219)
MLB Alfred Fincher-Sr (6-1, 240) Darius Leak-So (6-1, 256)
WLB Maurice Lloyd-Sr (5-11, 234) Taurien Sowell-Jr (6-1, 232)
CB Justin Perkins-Sr (5-11, 187) Cathlyn Clarke-Jr (5-11, 191)
CB Ernest Cole-So (5-10, 180) Allan Barnes-So (6-0, 179)
SS John Fletcher-Sr (5-9, 186) Donta Moore-So (6-1, 193)
FS M.J. Estep-So (6-0, 190) Donnell Ford-Fr (6-0, 184)
P Chris Pavasaris-Fr (6-3, 213) ..




It could be sophomore Matt Nuzie who, during one sad stretch, missed 10-of-12 field goal tries, or Graig Vicidomino. The staff signed Florida's Tony Ciaravino just in case.

It will be an open competition to replace Adam Coles, a native of Gladesville, Australia and a former Australian Rules Football player. Chris Pavasaris was impressive this spring, but freshman Shane Hussar will push him into and throughout the fall.

Return Game
Allan Barnes and Brandon Young are the top returners, but neither has breakaway speed. Sadly, David Sanchez finished '03 as the team's starting punt returner, yet only averaged 4.3 yards a pop. The staff kept making adjustments, and they may have to do such again this time, too. The Huskies' coverage is outstanding - they won't throw away field position chances.