Date: August 29, 2014
Result: L, 35-10
UConn Head Coach Bob Diaco Quotes
The first thing I would like to do is give credit to BYU. They are a class outfit and hard-nosed excellent team. Coach Bronco Mendenhall is a class man and just coached in his 117th game tonight. They play football the way it should be played. We wish them safe travels, they are a class operation.
I would also like to thank the people of the state who came out to the opener. It was a beautiful night and I think there were, unofficially, maybe 37,000 people here. They stayed and cheered and the players recognized it and are so appreciative. So we want to thank the people from the state who came out to support. Keep it up please! Things are changing. I hope you saw it. Everybody is upset that we didn’t win, everybody wanted to win and everybody tried hard. But we are going to. This football team is getting better; it gets better every day and we got better tonight. So I just wanted to thank everyone for coming out, cheering hard and giving such great heart. We all recognized it and I wanted to say thank you for that.
Finally, I just wanted to give kudos to the players. There is so much to improve upon, as you saw. Can’t start a football game like that and think you’re going to win. But they fought hard. The deficit at the end of the first half was 21 points. And the only points of the second half was a touchdown; a disappointing touchdown nonetheless. But they responded, battled and fought hard. From where I was standing, it looked like they were locked in and nobody gave up. Everyone grinded to the bitter end and fought hard. They were excited and excitable and really worked on their games.
On Finishing Scoring Drives
That’s a great insight. It speaks to the things that cause losing. And that’s what we are talking about and working on. That’s where we need to go and we aren’t there yet. What you’re identifying are five red-zone penetrations of which we only produced points in two. So you need to have better statistical work down there. But what happens is it’s a critical situation. That’s another level of learning and understanding. We are working on those situations but it takes a little bit more volume to get really great in those moments. The field shortens and decreases, the windows become tighter, the throws need to have less arc on them. There are a lot of mechanics that go into that scoring zone that you need.
On the Play of the Quarterbacks
I was pleased with the quarterback play. They stayed positive they helped each other, they were looking forward to not only their work but also the work of the other guy. We had preset on Thursday everyone’s participation patterns. So you can go back and do the math, but 50 players on our team played on offense and defense. So I was pleased with the quarterbacks and how they cared about each other and rotated.
But there is a lot to clean up. Our program is like an infant. We have a long way to go but we have the right guys to go there, there isn’t any doubt about that. These assistant coaches are smart guys and they love these players.
On the Rotation Moving Forward
I don’t have a crystal ball about game No. 4 but I know right now that we need to get better as a team. And we have built a foundation, maybe you can’t see it by looking at the scoreboard but if you watched the game and saw the strain and grit and the toughness that the players displayed … you didn’t see 12 or 10 guys on the field you didn’t see delay of games, you didn’t see guys moving or jumping you didn’t see guys out of their stance or walk on or off the field. The foundation is built and it’s strong. And we have put a coat of paint on. The only way we put another coat of paint on is playing in the games. That’s the point that you’re at right now. For the players to get better, they have to play in the games.
Redshirt senior wide receiver Geremy Davis
On the first five minutes of the game when BYU went up 14-0
“We kept up our heads up throughout the game. . It was a too early in the game to put our heads down. We kept trying to fight and come back against a good BYU team. We have some things to work on for next week to eliminate those things from happening again. We have to make the corrections ourselves. It is nothing that the coaches have to do. It is something where we must execute what they coach us to do.
On the play of the two-quarterback system:
“I trust the coaches with what they are doing with both Casey and Chandler. They both had the opportunities and want to make plays to help us win. I believe both can help us win.”
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Casey Cochran
On splitting time with Chandler Whitmer:
“It was fun tonight to see each other get the opportunities that we get tonight. We both did some good things and we worked well together. Collectively it was good for us and we got used to it as the game went on. We knew what our roles where as we prepared for tonight’s game and it will only get better for us and for the team.”
On the comparison of first losses from last year to this year:
“This was way different than our first loss last year. We saw a lot of improvement in our first loss tonight especially in the second half. BYU is a good team. Give them credit. We will continue to work at it and things that we can definitely improve on, but we will get better as we prepare for the next game”
BYU Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall
“Always great to start out with a win. I was encouraged especially by our offensive production, performance and rhythm in the first half. I thought Taysom did a really nice job managing the game regardless of the number of miscues happening around him in terms of penalties, etc. He was very resilient and methodical and 28 points in the first half was ideal and that was something I was hoping to see.”
“I think we lost a little bit of our edge after halftime, coming out and missing the one field goal early on. I thought maybe added to our edge coming off. But there was that really nice drive that was reminiscent of the first half later which I really liked.”
On defensive effort:
“Defensively, managing the points was really good in terms of giving up just 10 and there were a few ‘blue zone’ stops, two on fourth down and getting a turnover that was really helpful.”
On importance of a fast start:
“I think it was critical. After you spend an entire offseason without playing football and an extra day here in Connecticut, starting fast was something I was hopeful for and we made an emphasis on it on both sides of the ball. That was one thing we targeted and it played it out well. It was a really critical start to the game in terms of establishing the precedent of what the outcome would be.”
“This is an excellent offensive system. I think you can see the potential and that is what is exciting to me. Not necessarily the execution today, but there was absolutely the flashes of what this could look like. We are much further ahead in the opener this season than a year ago. SO this is a great point to start from. The play especially the play at quarterback, not only running the football and managing the game but the way the ball was delivered.”
Junior Quarterback Taysom Hill
On opening drive touchdown:
“That was big for us. As an offense that was our goal and going into the first half, our goal was to score more than 12 points. Our mark this season is to score 24 points a game. We try to simplify us by half. And to score on that first drive gave us a ton of momentum.
On getting first win:
“It’s huge for us and gives us a lot of momentum heading into Texas, and that environment will be a little bit different. It is a challenge we are excited for and up for. Looking at tonight, we weren’t as clean as we wanted to be but we did a lot of really good things we can build off. Really encouraged. IF we continue to play and clean up the penalties, we can be a really good football team.”