5-6 overall, 2-5 conference, 6th Big East
Against the spread
6-4 (5-0 home, 1-4 away, 5-2 grass)
3-7 (1-4 home, 2-3 away, 1-6 grass)
+.36 per game
2005 Season Summary
Head coach Randy Edsall had done an outstanding job after leading the Connecticut Huskies through their first five years as a division 1-A football program.
A virtual expansion program
In essence, UConn was a virtual expansion program in college football and, in 2004, the building and planning of Edsall resulted in a superb 8-4 season that was capped off with a 39-10 Motor City Bowl victory over Toledo . UConn football was not firmly established and on the map as they headed into a new era as a respected college football program.
Plenty of holes to fill entering 2005
Edsall and UConn had little time to rest on their laurels from 2004, however, as they had plenty of holes to fill entering 2005 due to graduation. The Big East also promised to be tougher and improved with the editions of Conference USA powerhouse Louisville , along with Cincinnati who was a 2004 bowl team as well. South Florida was another Conference USA defector that looked to be a contender for the conference title.
Board value was decreasing
Edsall also faced increased expectations from his fans, and college football bettors were aware of UConn’s presence and would no longer be taken by surprise, thus depleting much of the Huskies’ value. In fact, UConn’s board value was decreasing after outstanding pointspread records of 7-3 in 2001, and 9-2 in 2002. The Huskies were becoming a favorite play of more and more gamblers and this helped them fall down to 5-4-2 against the spread in 2003, and a losing 5-6 mark against the betting boards in 2004.
Bowling right along at the start
UConn kicked off 2005 with a nice 38-0 win over Buffalo as 18-point chalks. The win was important at the time because it maintained their credibility and also was a sign to gamblers that Edsall would not let his program slip. UConn did what they were supposed to do against one of college football’s worst programs. Next was a 59-0 pasting of 1-AA Liberty . UConn had an excellent barometer game at Georgia Tech the following week and was outclassed 13-28 as 14.5-point dogs. If this game discouraged fans and gamblers the next two games would do much to restore faith.
After a well-timed bye, UConn traveled to West Point where they pounded the Army 47-13 as 11-point chalks and followed that up with a strong 26-7 win over Syracuse as 5.5-point home chalks. UConn appeared to be bowling right along at the start with a mark of 4-1 straight up and 3-1 against the spread.
An alarming loss caused the season to unravel
Edsall took his young but confident team to Cincinnati for a game against the struggling Bearcats. UConn was made a 7-point road chalk but proved incapable of the task in an alarming 17-28 loss that was to begin the unraveling of their season and reputation.
The bottom fell out
Next was a tough home game against upstart Rutgers , who was on a quest for their first bowl berth in a generation. UConn was a 3-point dog and got the cash but not the game in a 24-26 loss. This was followed by a demoralizing 13-45 loss at West Virginia as 15.5-point dogs. The bottom fell out for UConn in their next game at Pitt, where they were embarrassed 0-24 as 10.5-point dogs.
Brief false hope
UConn was to close out their season with back-to-back home games starting with South Florida , who was receiving attention as a Big East title contender and surprise bowl team. This was an excellent spot for the Huskies who were 6.5-point dogs and unwanted by the masses, who jumped on the Bulls’ bandwagon. UConn got the cash and game 15-10 to provide brief false hope for a bowl berth, if only they could beat Louisville . UConn was a hefty 14.5-point puppy in that must win season finale on Senior Night but couldn’t overcome the superior Cardinals in a 20-30 defeat that ended their season with many “what if’s” to ponder.