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Tidbits from a night at the Rent.

POSTED August 31, 2013
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

UCONN TIDBITS: While it may not have been the way the UConn Huskies wanted or needed to start their 2013 campaign in a brutal 33-18 loss to Towson, there was some positive, if only for us.

The Rent- Thursday marked my first time at the stadium and the whole experience was pretty cool.

The view from the fifth level press box is pretty remarkable. Three rows of reporters, TV, radio and UConn folks made for a pretty knowledgeable sports space.

Throw in some free food (dogs and buffalo style mac and cheese, Dunkin coffee and treats) and what scribe wouldn’t be pleased.

Add the end of quarter stats, the play by play in the box, a pile of info on both team and you never long for information.

Knowing I was a rookie, all I ran into were very helpful and I appreciate it.

On the Field- It’s fast, it’s busy and it’s a new field to boot. Years of rooming sidelines on the high school fields around the Northwest Corner made me feel right at home in front of an announced crowd of more than 30,000. Me thinks it was less and more than a few thousand did their best LA imitation by arriving late and leaving early.

After that though, it’s just football and all about position and anticipation when looking to get the shot.

Going to get a lot more crowded over the next two games, September 14 versus Maryland (Randy Edsall comes back) and against national powerhouse Michigan.

The Elevator Guys- A nice touch, having your own operator of the buttons, when I was in New York City last week, my eight year old granddaughter was in charge of the buttons so my streak of not pushing continues. Only bummer was the lock-down with five minutes left before the start of the game, just before the half and the end of game when coaches from both teams were taken up and down. Got to walk the five stories twice. Yeah, I still need to get the lungs in better shape. Great, friendly guys.

The UConn Band – Played outside to arriving crowd which was cool and was the largest remaining group after the third quarter. Great effort on Aretha Franklin at the half and lots of energy during the game and time-outs.

Interviews with Towson Players and head coach Rob Ambrose - Ambrose brought standout running back, Terrance West and lineman Jon Desir with him and all three were impressive. Ambrose spoke like a proud parent who had just seen his youngsters take their first steps earlier that evening. The Tigers came in ready, played their butts off and will certainly build off of this. West showed he had bought in completely to what his coaches had been teaching him and the results showed on the line. Desir described his second quarter momentum changing interception that ended up between his legs. At no point did he feel the play would be overturned on review.

The Play of Shakim Phillips – The red-shirt junior scored twice and showed a strong ability to get himself open. His first quarter score gave the Huskies their only lead of the night.

The Play of Geremy Davis – Another red-shirt junior who stood out with a 100-yard game on 5 catches. At times, the UConn passing game looked good but the Tigers took it away at critical times with five sacks of QB Chandler Whitner.

Gaffney Master Card Moment – Realizing at 12:30 a.m. that I didn’t have to get up in five hours to go to work. Priceless……

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