UConn head coach Paul Pasqualoni on his weekly teleconference.
STORRS: In his weekly teleconference, UConn head coach Paul Pasqualoni spoke about a tale of positives and disappointments in the Huskies 32-21 loss to Maryland.
“We missed a tackle on the quarterback (C.J. Brown) and he goes 41-yards for a touchdown and then let a running back slip through on the outside for a 48-yard gain. We keep them out of the end zone on that one but still give up 10-points on two plays,” Pasqualoni said.
UConn quarterback Chandler Whitmer passed for a career high 349 yards on the night but the Huskies running game gained but 34 yards on 33 carries.
“We have to do something to get the running game on track,” the head coach said, “Lyle (McCombs) ran the ball 28 times but averaged just 2.8 yards per carry. “We are going to work hard on that this week. We have to finish tackles and get our backs out into space more. The backs may not get free 10 or 11 times a game but we need them to have the chance to make something happen.”
Against the Terrapins, the defense did its job early, a bright spot after a tough week in the season opening loss to Towson but still gave up too many big plays.
“I think we did a great job in short yardage against them, stopping them twice on downs in the first half and forcing a fumble but we have to take advantage of that on the offensive side.”
After the first stop on fourth and one, the Huskies did take advantage with the games first score on a five-yard run by Lyle McCombs but after a Taylor Mack interception midway through the second quarter, went three and out.
The defense had both Brown and Stefon Diggs (5-110, TD) under control until the missed tackle on the Brown run changed the dynamics in this one.
Two special team mistakes led to long drive that resulted in 10 points for the visitors. On both plays, punter Cole Wagner did his job by dropping the punts inside the five but both were mishandled and ended up in the end zone for touchbacks.
“We have to do a better job at the little things again this week,” Pasqualoni said, “We had two self-inflicted wounds that game and they can’t happen.”
The UConn faithful showed up on Saturday night (over 38,000) and the coach took note.
“I thought the crowd was great. They were into it from the start. We need to do our part for them.”
With nationally ranked Michigan rolling into town this Saturday for an 8 p.m. start time, getting the little things fixed will be critical if the Huskies have any chance of not starting the 2013 campaign at 0-3.