Interim coach T.J. Weist took the red shirt off highly touted freshman Tim Boyle Tuesday and announced that Boyle would start over Chandler Whitmer when the Huskies next play on Oct. 12 against South Florida (0-4).
Weist had said Monday that was a possibility.
"We’re open to playing him," he said. "We know we have an off week. We’re honestly open to playing any freshman."
Whitmer, a junior, has completed 71 of 129 passes for 896 yards, with five touchdowns and six interceptions. But he has led an offense that ranks 119th out of 123 bowl subdivision programs and, more importantly, is 0-4.
Calls for a change began before this week’s firing of Paul Pasqualoni. And the former coach, speaking to reporters on Monday night, said the switch to Boyle already was in the works.
"We made that decision last week that that would be the direction to go in," he said. "We tried to give Timmy some time to develop, give him an opportunity to be on the road and experience the whole thing, get as much practice in under his belt before we threw him in there."
The 6-foot-4 Boyle, who originally committed to Boston College before switching to UConn, passed for almost 2,500 yards as a senior at Xavier High in Middletown.
UConn is off this week. Weist says he’ll use that time to evaluate all his personnel and determine what other changes may be needed. He said whatever moves he makes will be designed to show that UConn is planning to win this year.
That is something athletic director Warde Manuel said is a must, if the interim coach wants to be a candidate for the job on a permanent basis.
The Huskies are expected to simplify some of their blocking schemes in an effort to kick start a running game that ranks dead last in the FBS, averaging just under 46 yards.
Weist said the Huskies will continue to run a no-huddle offense, but stressed it won’t be a spread. He said it will be more of a multiple-formation, multiple-set unit.
"I’d like to be a little bit more up-tempo team, if I could," Weist said. "If we had a little more depth, I probably would be. It’s hard to be a good no-huddle team unless you have some tempo to move the football."
Wide receiver Geremy Davis said the team is ready for anything.
"We can’t look back. We can only move forward," he said. "We’ve got eight more games. That was just the first quarter of the season."