UConn defense wraps up historically bad season

UConn on Saturday secured a distinction it would rather ignore: the worst defense in FBS history.

The Huskies set FBS single-season records for points allowed (605) and yards allowed (7,409) during their game against visiting Temple. They entered Saturday’s finale 24 points shy of tying the previous single-season FBS record for most points allowed, set by East Carolina with 572 in 2010. Temple had 27 points midway through the second quarter and 40 in the first half, winning in a rout 57-7.

Kansas previously held the single-season FBS record for most yards per game allowed with 560.83 in 2015. The Huskies allowed 290 yards in the first half against Temple and 516 for the game, setting a new record of 617.4.

The Huskies also eclipsed the record of 50.27 points per game allowed by Louisiana-Lafayette in 1997, surrendering 50.42 per game during their 1-11 2018 season.

“All I know how to do is go find guys that want to be here, that want to give everything they’ve got,” a fired-up Randy Edsall said after Saturday’s game. “Because I ain’t putting up with that. … I ain’t putting up with that any more.”

“This game’s too hard to play if you don’t love it, and if you don’t love the grind, and if you don’t like to be in that weight room and you don’t like to be with teammates and you don’t like to not let a teammate down — you shouldn’t play this game. Shouldn’t play it,” the UConn coach continued. “And that’s what we’ve got to get. We’ve got to get guys that love the game, that want to pay the price each and every day in everything that they do, and get those guys that we had before that have a little chip on their shoulder, that haven’t enabled and entitled, and that want to work, and understand what team is all about.

“That’s what we’ve got to find. … Because this game ain’t for the weak of heart. It isn’t. And we’ll go find those guys.”

UConn’s defense has been scrutinized all season. In late September, Edsall ended a news conference early when asked about the status of defensive coordinator Bill Crocker.

The Huskies entered Saturday’s season finale ranked last (129th) in the FBS in rush yards allowed (338.8 ypg), net yards per pass attempt (10.31) and average yards margin (minus-234).

“You definitely have to take it with you,” UConn defensive tackle Caleb Thomas said of carrying the pain of this season into 2019. “You’ve got to keep it moving, but you’ve got to keep this in the back of your mind. You don’t want to feel this again.”

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