EDITOR'S NOTE - This is the third of eight team previews leading up to the 2011 football season. The previews will be released in reverse order of the preseason poll.
Paul Pasqualoni, who won a BIG EAST-record 62 conference games in 14 years at Syracuse, is the first head coach to serve at two BIG EAST schools since the formation of the conference in 1991.
The Huskies have shared the BIG EAST title twice in the last four seasons (2007, 2010).
Connecticut scored eight non-offensive touchdowns last season — by far the most in the BIG EAST.
Connecticut dropped its first two BIG EAST games of the 2010 season, but closed the regular season with five straight wins to take the league’s automatic appearance in the Bowl Championship Series.
The Huskies will feature new starters at quarterback, running back and at all three interior line positions in 2011.
Connecticut has just one quarterback on the roster who has started a college game. QB Mike Box is the early favorite to win the starting spot in 2011.
All-BIG EAST First Team OT Mike Ryan anchors an offensive line that will have to replace three starters from last year. C Moe Petrus returns after earning All-BIG EAST Second Team status last year.
RB D.J. Shoemate saw limited carries behind 2010 BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year Jordan Todman last year, but is expected to take over as the starting tailback in 2011.
Connecticut returns all four starters from its 2010 defensive line and all four from its secondary.
DT Kendall Reyes (All-BIG EAST First Team) and DE Jesse Joseph (8.5 sacks) anchor a defensive line that should rank among the nation’s best in 2011.
LB Sio Moore is the lone returning starter at linebacker. Moore ranked fifth in the BIG EAST with 110 tackles after stepping into a starting role last year.
Connecticut’s starting defensive backs accounted or 10 interceptions in 2010. S Jerome Junior and CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson had four interceptions each.
K Dave Teggart, who has established himself as one of the most reliable late-game kickers in the nation, returns after earning All-BIG EAST First Team honors last season. Teggart has a school-record 52 career field goals.
WR Nick Williams led the nation in kickoff return average last season (35.3 ypr) and scored two touchdowns.