No one knows if Bryant Shirreffs will play for against Temple for UConn tonight (7 p.m., Lincoln Financial Field), but the general consensus is that Shirreffs is the more athletic of the two Huskies’ quarterbacks.
It should not surprise former Temple head coach Wayne Hardin. Shirreffs’ grandfather, Jack, was a star two-way end some of Hardin’s great Navy teams in the late 1950s and will no doubt be in attendance on Saturday night. Shirreffs is organizing a golf outing with Hardin’s ex-Temple and ex-Navy players for the coach’s 90th birthday.
The Temple-Shirreffs’ connection doesn’t end there as Bryant has a brother, Evan, who was recruited by former Temple head coach Al Golden and is at Miami.
Whatever happens, the Shirreffs and UConn will be there for the final home chapter of Temple’s #LeaveNoDoubt season. A year ago, a senior halfback who should have been fullback named Kenny Harper told his teammates to Leave No Doubt next season and that became this season’s battle cry. Temple has never worried about what the opposition does, only what it will do, and it will take that mantra into tonight.
Right now, UConn head coach Bob Diaco is using the old “day-to-day” designation regarding Shirreffs and it could be an important one because there is a significant dropoff between No. 1 and No. 2. Shirreffs, a sophomore, has started all 11 games for the 6-5 Huskies but took a blow to the head on the second series of the 20-17 win over Houston. He has completed 158 of 262 passes for nine touchdowns and seven interceptions, amassing 1,992 yards. Boyle went 12 for 22 for 110 yards.
Another injury that might be just as important is UConn tight end Tommy Myers, who will not play on Saturday. The Huskies like to utilize two tight ends almost as much as Temple and they might have to scale back an already limited package.
Fun fact: UConn beat Villanova, 20-15, but not as bad as Ivy League co-champion Penn did (24-13).