The Connecticut Huskies are coming off a rough 2013 season where they finished just 3-9 and 3-5 in AAC play. Head coach Bob Diaco will try and get the Huskies off the ground in 2014 but will have to do so without one of the team’s leading offensive weapons. Running back Lyle McCombs has been dismissed from the team, leaving UConn without one of the most productive backs in program history. Can Max DeLorenzo pick up the slack next fall?
McCombs was unceremoniously dismissed from the team this offseason after a long, troubled career at Connecticut. He ends his tenure as the fourth-leading rusher in program history with 2,681 yards after leading the team in rushing each of the last three seasons. As a junior in 2013, he rushed for 670 yards with five touchdowns, averaging 4.21 yards per carry. Despite his efforts, however, UConn finished as the No. 119 ranked rushing attack in college football, averaging 84.4 yards per game.
Without McCombs in the mix, it will be up to DeLorenzo to lead the way next season. As a sophomore last year, he finished second on the team in rushing, gaining 349 yards on 99 carries with five touchdowns. The 6-foot, 207-pound junior is a bruising back between the tackles who will have to show a bit more playmaking ability if the Huskies hope to have a viable rushing attack in 2014. Last year, he averaged just 3.53 yards per rush.
If Connecticut hopes to make some headway in the AAC next season, they need to get more out of their running game in 2014. Without McCombs on the roster, the pressure falls on Max DeLorenzo to make it happen.