UConn sets their sites on Edsall, Maryland.
STORRS: There were a few questions on Tuesday at the UConn weekly football press conference on the return of former head coach Randy Edsall to the place and program he helped build in his dozen years at the school.
More over though the questions that current head Coach Paul Pasqualoni fielded were about his team will rebound from a disappointing opening game loss to Towson, 33-18.
“We are looking at where we are going, not where we have been,” Pasqualoni said, “We need to focus on Maryland and what we need to do against a very good team that is coming here playing very good.”
It’s not exactly the way the new coach wanted to face the old coach, what with Maryland fresh off two lopsided wins in the first two games (43-10 over FIU and 47-10 over Old Dominion) and the Huskies looking to brush off a bad loss in week one.
“I’m sure the players wanted to get back on the field the next day and play again, just to get the bad taste out of their mouth,” the third year head coach said.
For all that was wrong in game one against the Tigers, it was just a one score game late in the fourth quarter when UConn was down 26-18 and getting the ball back.
A muffed punt may have sealed the deal but it needs to be said that the Huskies had a chance in a game they played terribly in at times.
While Towson running back Terrence West may have run for 156 yards, he did it on 36 carries, an average of just over four yards per carry.
Take out a couple of runs that got away from UConn at the line and the average is less and that and doesn’t look as bad.
“We have to do a better job of not letting plays get away from us on the defensive end,” Pasqualoni said, “We hope we have the self-inflicted stuff taken care of.”
What will the reaction to Edsall be when he steps out of the tunnel for the first time?
The Terrapins head man expects to hear it from the Huskie faithful.
“Anytime you go on the road, you’re the enemy,” Edsall said during his speaker phone conversation with reporters on Tuesday. “While I’m excited to be back, I know it’s a tough environment to play in. There may be boos and cheers but I will always be thankful for the way the fans supported the program.
Maryland is off to a hot start off an 8-18 year a season ago, the heat is on Edsall much like it is on Pasqualoni.
Their offense racked up over 500 yards in each of their first two games, it will take an extreme effort by the Huskie “D” to hold down the Terps on Saturday night.
NOTES: Quarterback: Freshman Tim Boyle (Middlefield, Xavier) is now taking more snaps in practice than fellow freshman Casey Cochran (Monroe, Masuk) as the number two quarterback behind starter Chandler Whitmer.
At 6’3”, the coaching staff seems to like his ability to see over the defense a little better than Cochran (6’1”) can but the head coached warned about putting young players into a big situation too early.
“I need to give them a reasonable amount of time to get used to our systems,” Pasqualoni said. “You don’t want to play a young quarterback until you think they are ready.”
The pressure is on Whitmer to perform and these next two weeks could be key for the red shirt junior against some very stiff competition in Maryland and the week after against Michigan.
Fellow Scribes: Running into some of the guys who have been covering UConn football for a long time is part of the fun of being on this beat.
Both Ed Daigneault (Republican-American) and Desmond Conner (Hartford Courant) have been roaming the sidelines and the press box since football started to matter in CT.
Conner was covering both Edsall and Pasqualoni during his days as a reporter back in Syracuse, New York when both were part of the Orange’s staff a quarter century ago. Sorry, Desmond that makes us sound old.
Obstacle Course: Okay, so this was my first time on the Storrs Campus and I think I passed because I didn’t run over and students that come from every angle to and from classes at every crosswalk.
Trying to find the football complex (magnificent) without becoming the story was more than a bit amazing to me.
UConn is in a funny place.
Drive almost as far as Massachusetts, make a right, pass by a thousand cows and farmland and boom!
A small city.
Lunch: Okay, these guys and on Tuesday’s, we eat pretty well. A nice spread for the scribes and the players. Not the best thing as I try and drop the pounds but I think I’ll go for the salad next week instead of the hot roast beef and rice. Thanks to Mike Enright for extending the courtesy to us.