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NCAA Football American Athletic ConferenceConnecticut Huskies

Connecticut Huskies Hope Experience Helps Steady Shaky Offensive Line in 2013

Mark Konezny – USA TODAY Sports

The Connecticut Huskies stumbled through the 2012 season and finished just 5-7, stuck near the bottom of the Big East standings. Head coach Paul Pasqualoni is looking to get the Huskies bowl eligible in 2013, but will have to get more out of his offense to get there. UConn is hopeful that their offensive line, returning as one of the most experienced units in the conference, can lead them there, but does a year older necessarily mean a year better?

Connecticut will bring back five players who started at least one game from the 2012 season. They will be led by their bookend tackles in Jimmy Bennett and Kevin Friend, along with guard Steve Greene. There is competition at the other two spots along with the line where Alex Mateas and Tyler Bullock compete at center while Gus Cruz and Tyler Samra fight for the other guard position with Bullock and Cruz starting games in 2012.

There will always be a benefit for a group of players continuing to grow and gel together like this group did last season. However, this group struggled for long stretches a year ago, and failed to keep the offense running. The Huskies were pushed around on the front line and ended up setting record lows in their rushing offense in 2012.

While it will be nice to get the experience of their line back in 2013, Connecticut has to hope that another year has made their linemen that much better. Without improvement, their experience will quickly get trumped by their lack of ability in the trenches. Does this group have what it takes to turn it around next fall?

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