UConn loses top receiver to academic ineligibility

Paul Pasqualoni isn't getting much of a break heading into his first season as the head coach of UConn.

On Thursday, Pasqualoni announced that senior wide receiver Mike Smith was academically ineligible for the upcoming season.

Smith is a 13-game starter who led the team with 46 catches for 615 yards and two touchdowns last year.

"Michael will be, obviously in the program," Pasqualoni told the Harford Courant. "He will be in practice each day. He just will not participate in games."

With Smith out for the season, Kashif Moore becomes the Huskies top target. He was second on the team last year with 36 catches for 452 yards and four scores.

Connecticut was actually the worst passing offense in the Big East last season and ranked 110th nationally.

Pasqualoni has been hush-hush about his offensive system and it probably doesn't help that he didn't name a starting quarterback coming out of spring camp. So while missing Smith is a huge blow to the team, it might not be so bad if Pasqualoni can find some new playmakers in both the rushing and passing aspects of the game.

Smith played as a true freshman so will likely use this season as a redshirt year and play his final year of eligibility in 2012.