The University of Connecticut football team went 3-9 last season, prompting the team to make some coaching changes. One of the changes the team made was bringing in Billy Crocker as their defensive coordinator. If you want to bet on the Huskies this fall, our sportsbook that offers odds for all UCONN’s games.
Croker came to UConn with a lot of experience, and spent the last 12 years coaching at Villanova. Last season, he led the Wildcats to the number one defense in the country as their defensive coordinator, and the Huskies are hoping he can do the same for them.
Croker will be using his 3-3-5 defense, which means the Huskies are expected to be very aggressive defensively this season.
Huskies head coach Randy Edsall told reporters that when he was putting his coaching staff together, he was looking for coaches that would fit his philosophy and knew what he wanted to do. After doing some research, he determined that Crocker was the right fit for the Huskies. Edsall added that he was impressed by what he saw of Crocker’s 3-3-5 defense.
Edsall isn’t the only one singing Crocker’s praise. The players have also been impressed with what they have seen so far.
Junior Joseph, a senior linebacker said he could tell from his first meeting that Crocker was a very aggressive coach. Joseph said he has watched game tape from Crocker’s time in Villanova expects his new coach to call a lot of blitzes.
Last season, the Huskies used a 3-4 defense, but the switch to a 3-3-5 defense isn’t going to be too much of an adjustment because there’s going to be one less linebacker and one more defensive back. The formation is expected to provide challenges for opposing offenses.
According to Edsall, the biggest difference from the 3-4 to the 3-3-5 defense is where the defensive players line up. The new system will cause problems for offenses because even though they will be expecting a blitz, they won’t be sure where it is going to come from.
After watching their defense five up 28.1 points per game last year, confused offenses will be a welcome sight for UConn fans. The Huskies pass defense was the second worst in the AAC last season, allowing 264 passing yards per game. Opposing quarterbacks had a 141 pass efficiency rating against the Huskies as well.
The team’s pass rush was also inept, and UConn finished the year with 17 sacks and 7 interceptions, which were also second worst in the AAC last year.
In comparison, Crocker’s Wildcats allowed only 15 points per game last season, which was the best mark in the country. The team allowed 259.8 yards per game, which was also the best in the country, and led the nation with 32 sacks and 17 interceptions.
Luke Carrezola, a senior defensive lineman, said he thinks the new aggressive defense will lead to a lot of explosive plays that can help the team win some more games this season.
The Huskies are primed to have a good year defensively because their front seven are all seniors and have a lot of experience. With Crocker running things, they might be one of the best defensive units in the country by the time the season is over.