The Huskies open the season Thursday night against Holy Cross at Pratt & Whitney Stadium (7:30 p.m., SNY) with at least seven, and perhaps as many as 10, freshmen poised to play roles.
Coach Randy Edsall says playing so many first-timers is no reason to think the Huskies won’t be successful against the Crusaders and going forward.
“We’re not going to use inexperience as any kind of excuse,” Edsall said Tuesday.
The coach went so far as to claim that “nobody is a freshman anymore” on his roster. He sees the experience even the true freshmen - who only arrived in late July - have gained as enough to become veterans of sorts.
That doesn’t mean Edsall is expecting perfection, of course.
“Of course there’s probably going to be some mistakes. But you want them to play through it, play as hard as they can,” Edsall said.
The Huskies’ freshman starters include cornerback Tyler Coyle from Windsor, wide receiver Quayvon Skanes, offensive guard Cam DeGeorge, and return specialist Jordan Swann. Among the others likely to contribute as backups and special teamers are running back Nate Hopkins, wide receiver Keyion Dixon, and defensive back Omar Fortt.
The Husky coaching staff still hasn’t decided on a starting punter, Edsall claimed Tuesday.
“No, we haven’t. And we just got out of the special teams staff meeting,” Edsall said Tuesday afternoon.
Luke Magliozzi and Brett Graham remained locked in competition, it seems.
There is a slim chance both players will get a chance to punt on Thursday, but it’s more likely the coaches decide just before kickoff.
As his team has no full-time captains, Edsall will be naming game captains each week to serve in the roles. For Thursday’s opener Edsall chose tight end Tommy Myers, linebacker Junior Joseph and running back Jason Thompson.