Sean Chambers will be the starting quarterback against UConn and looking to build on a solid start to the season under first-year offensive coordinator Tim Polasek. But if the Chambers-led Cowboys take care of business early, this game should be an opportunity for head coach Craig Bohl to get Levi Williams some significant playing time. Through three games, Chambers has completed 58.3% of his passes for 601 yards with four touchdowns and one interception. Williams finished the Ball State game, his first action of the season, but did not attempt a pass. UW finally has two healthy quarterbacks with significant starting experience. Playing the Huskies is a chance for both of them to gain some confidence entering the Mountain West grind.
UConn’s offensive game plan will likely focus on doing whatever it takes to keep ball carriers and pass attempts away from Chad Muma. All the attention the star middle linebacker is drawing means more opportunities for weak-side linebacker Easton Gibbs to make plays. Last week against Ball State, Gibbs finished with eight tackles and a sack to complement Muma’s 12 tackles and 45-yard interception return for a touchdown. Look for Gibbs, who is second on the team with 22 tackles behind Muma (33 tackles), to have another productive Saturday playing alongside one of the nation's best players.
UConn quarterback Tyler Phommachanh finally provided the Huskies with a spark by scoring two rushing touchdowns, including a 38-yard scamper, during the second half of a 52-21 loss at Army. The freshman was 11-for-26 passing for 109 yards with no touchdowns and an interception in his first career start. The Huskies have already used three different quarterbacks this season but it appears interim coach Lou Spanos is turning the offense over to Phommachanh. The Cowboys, who racked up 6.0 sacks against Ball State, wants to contain the young dual-threat quarterback in the run game and force him to beat them with his arm.
UConn sophomore linebacker Jackson Mitchell leads the FBS in tackles with 45 through four games. That averages out to 11.25 tackles per game, which ranks fifth nationally, just ahead of Muma (sixth, 11.0 tackles per game). Mitchell will obviously have to play well to slow down UW running back Xazavian Valladay and his stable of capable backups. The Huskies have allowed 241.5 rushing yards per game this season. The Pokes' offensive line should be able to open up holes for the running backs, but they'll have to make Mitchell miss to get to the second level of UConn's defense.