While Connecticut is still looking for its first Big East win of the year, the Huskies' defense hardly can be blamed.
Even after allowing 40 points to Syracuse, UConn boasts the Big East's top defense, allowing only 291.1 yards per game, 17 fewer than second-place Rutgers. The strength of the Huskies' defense is pass coverage, where UConn is the only Big East team allowing fewer than 175 yards per game.
Compounding this issue for USF is a lack of available wide receivers. Andre Davis, who missed practice early this week, returned to practice Thursday and is expected to be available Saturday night, but the rest of the receiving corps is decimated. USF will be without Derrick Hopkins, D'Vario Montgomery and TE Evan Landi.
Along with Davis, expect QB B.J. Daniels to lean heavily on WRs Terrence Mitchell, Deonte Welch and Victor Marc, as well as TE Sean Price.
"Deonte Welch has had a really good two days of practice," coach Skip Holtz said. "You've got Terrence Mitchell and Victor Marc, so you've got three or four guys that have played a lot of football, but once you get past those, there's some names that maybe aren't household names when you talk about South Florida football."
Holtz also mentioned David Aristil, Jordan Duval and Clinton Jones as potential options.
SECOND-HALF STRUGGLES: After repeated second-half failures, the USF defense may have better luck this week against a Huskies offense that struggles severely in the second half.
Overall, the Huskies' offense is second-worst in the conference, and they have failed to score in the second half of their past three games. Additionally, the Huskies were held to minus-6 total rushing yards by a Syracuse defense that allowed 369 rushing yards to USF a week later.