EAST HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Thursday was the day UConn football fans have been waiting for.

The Huskies took on NC State at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, later losing 24-14 to NC State.

It was the first chance for fans to see starting quarterback Joe Fagnano in action. Head coach Jim Mora said before the game that Fagnano was ready.

“Joe’s very poised,” Mora said. “He’s got a very calm demeanor. He’s a he’s a strong but quiet leader. I think that, you know, if things aren’t going well, he can keep his composure very well.
If things are going well, he stays steady. And so I’m excited to see him go out and play.”

Mora began his second season as head coach after leading the Huskies to a 6-7 record last year and the program’s first bowl appearance since the 2015 season.

Outside the stadium, it was all thrills and grills.

One fan, Norm Meyers, brought in 18 pounds of taco meat.

“A lot of people here the last few years — there were not as many people out here — and then I guess the sales today are really great, and you can see it by all of the people in the parking lot,” Meyers said. “It’s awesome.”

UConn sold about 40,000 tickets — the most since a 2013 game. It’s thanks to dedication of fans that it happened.

“My license plate says ‘Bleed blue,'” said Meg Myers, a fan.

Watch more of News 8’s Bob Wilson’s interviews with fans in the player below: