When the Detroit Lions take their first offensive snap at the Metrodome this afternoon against the Minnesota Vikings, there will be a familiar face for UConn Huskies fans behind center in Dan Orlovsky. The former UConn quarterback makes his first NFL start today due to a back injury to Lions starter Jon Kitna.
Orlovsky’s last start at UConn came at Ford Field, home of the Lions, back in 2004 when he led the Huskies to a 39-10 win over Toledo in the Motor City Bowl. In that game, he was 20-of-41 for 2 touchdowns with 1 interception and earned MVP honors for the game.
Orlovsky, a 5th round pick of the Lions in 2005, saw action in two games back in 2005. He was 7-of-17 for 63 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. He has played in 3 games this season for the Lions and is 15-of-29 for 103 yards with 2 interceptions thrown. He took over last week when Kitna got hurt and was 13-of-23 for 97 yards and an interception in the 34-7 loss to the Chicago Bears.
He has the UConn school record for most pass completions (916), attempts (1,567), yards passing (10,706) touchdown passes (84), interceptions thrown (51), total yards (10,401), yards per game (232.7) and plays (1,710).
Orlovsky took most of the repetitions this week at the QB1 spot and should be well prepared for today’s game. He has spent his NFL career as either the backup or third QB in Detroit.
“I don’t have any superstitions. Saturday morning, I look at every play versus every defense. I do this every day. This won’t be anything out of the ordinary.
“I just go into every game like I’m going to play. I’ve done that all my life.”
Orlovsky is a free agent after this season and with Drew Stanton kicking at his heels for playing time as well, he will need a good outing this afternoon. Plus a good game today and a few others down the line could help him garner another NFL contract at the end of the season.
And who knows, maybe he’ll lead the Lions to their first win of the 2008 season.