As a redshirt freshman in 2011, Lyle McCombs gave Husky fans reason to believe he might be the program’s next great running back. Since joining the BIG EAST in 2004, Connecticut has consistently turned out prolific runners including all-Americans Donald Brown and Jordan Todman.
McCombs, 5-8 back from Staten Island, N.Y., rushed for 1,151 yards and eight touchdowns last year. His 275 rushes were good for the fourth-highest workload in program history. Expectations are high as McCombs was named to the Maxwell and Walker Award watch lists this preseason.
But the focus for McCombs is helping the Huskies bounce back from last year’s 5-7 season.
“Individual awards come with team success,” McCombs said at BIG EAST Media Day. “That’s what I’m focusing on first. We need to get these wins, get to a bowl game.”
The Huskies have not had back-to-back losing seasons since 2005 and 2006, but played in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, the school’s first ever BCS appearance, just two years ago.
Connecticut opens its season on September 30 with a 7:00 p.m. game against Massachusetts. The Huskies’ first BIG East game is October 6 when they visit Rutgers.