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Mensah Stands Out in 37-20 Defeat

Nov. 4, 2017

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Date: November 4, 2017

Opponent: USF

Result: L, 37-20

Postgame Quotes

UConn Head Coach Randy Edsall

Opening Statement

Kind of like some of the same things that I’ve been saying the last few weeks. I think Yogi Berra said it, deja vu all over again but I saw some guys tonight play a little bit more aggressive than what they had been. I thought the kickoff return we did a nice job there. Did some good things but again it gets back to those things that have hurt us, big plays against our defense, not being able to get off on third downs and letting them convert, move the ball past the 50-yard line and not finishing drives off. That’s the thing, poor inconsistency in terms of punting but again I thought we competed for 60 minutes, give South Florida credit they’re a really good football team. Very athletic, they’re very fast and we just didn’t match up in some of the things athletically against them so what we’ve got to do is look at the film, continue to work like we have been to get better on those things that we didn’t do well and get back to work tomorrow and get ready again for the following week.

On the teams tackling

As I told the team afterwards. Tackling is a want to. That’s a want to. There were some guys, one of the guys [redshirt sophomore defensive back] Marshé Terry was much more aggressive tonight. He actually went and took a shot. One time he might have missed but other times he was aggressive and that’s what I want. I want guys to be aggressive. [freshman defensive back] Jordan Swann is not aggressive. He’s probably in a pretty big funk right now but tackling is just a want to, a desire to want to get there and then when you get there you want to punish a guy. I think some of these young guys have maybe hit the wall a little bit but it’s who we have, it’s what we’re going to go with and then again you can’t sit there during a week of practice and just bang them bang them bang them because then you won’t have bodies left for the game. I thought [freshman running back] Kevin Mensah played a really good game. Thought [junior quarterback] David [Pindell] went in and did a nice job in relief there. The one thing I really want to say though is this, we have a kid on this team number 48 [redshirt junior running back] Jason Thompson and during the second half of that game he got concussed, so did [redshirt senior quarterback] Bryant [Shirreffs] and I thought Bryant might have had it in the first half that’s why I called timeout in the first half for Bob Howard our trainer check him to see if he was okay when he took that one hit but the second half, I’m walking down the sideline and I see JT there and I just stopped to talk to him and I could see the tears in his eyes on the sideline and I know how much that hurt him from not being out there and I told our team in the locker room. This guy represents everything that’s right about UConn, UConn football and playing the game and what we need is we need more guys like that because he was hurt. It hurt him to be standing there watching and when you have guys like that and you get more guys like that and everything else then that’s when you become really really good. I had to bring that up because that was something that just, as a coach that touches you when you get a chance to be around young men like that and that’s the last time that he’s playing here at the Rent, from Shelton, Connecticut and you know how much that hurt him not to be out there.

On redshirt senior tight end Tommy Meyers

I thought that was good for Tommy. Tommy is another guy that works hard, bleeds UConn through and through. Mom and dad went here, mom works here, tremendous amount of pride in UConn. Kid came to camps here when I was here before. Just to see how much he’s grown and developed and everything else so for his last game I was happy for him to score that. Just not happy we didn’t win the game but again give South Florida credit. That’s a really good team. The quarterback can make things. I thought our matchups going into the game was a little bit better because they run the ball and then second half they come out and started throwing it which you know has been a little bit of a problem for us and then he bought some time back there but they’re a good football team, real good football team.


On the younger guys

Just get back up on the horse and ride, that’s all you do. You come in and show them what they did right and tell them what they did wrong, you go back out to work, that’s all you can do. Again, we’ll look at it and if there are things we can do to help ourselves then we’ll do that. We’ll play whoever we feel is going to give us that best opportunity to win.


Redshirt senior tight end Tommy Meyers

On the teams motivation

Absolutely. You set out to make a bowl game at the start of the year and it’s still a possibility and it’s something were going to come to UCF next week and were going to fight as hard as we can and see what happens.


On head coach Randy Edsall

It tests you at times. You try to find a home but when I heard coach Edsall was going to be the coach this year I was really excited. I’ve said this 100 times, it brings back a tradition that I think the program has been lacking and coach Edsall has been straight with us since day one and we’ve given everything we’ve got to him and he’s given everything he’s got so it’s a good match for us.


On closing opportunities

The football takes funny bounces sometimes and unfortunately on that drive it just didn’t bounce our way and that’s the game. You just have to move on from it, go into half time and recoup and come out the second half and give it everything you’ve got.

Senior linebacker Vontae Diggs

On senior day

I mean for me personally, it’s my mom’s first time in Connecticut, my brother has been out here a couple times, I had a couple of my cousins out here, my girlfriends here so it’s just one of those things, it’s really my last time in the Rent and I love the Rent I really do. Ever since I was a freshman, I feel off the energy the crowd brings, I feel off all that and I don’t think there’s a place like the Rent, especially when we have a good amount of people here it’s amazing to me. It’s bittersweet because I’m excited to see what happens next but at the end of the day like you said I still have three games left so were going to make sure we get those three games done and play one game at a time obviously but were going to go get it done.


On his injured teammates

Things happen. Things definitely do happen and I hate to see that, my guys go down, I really do. You named [senior defensive back] Brice [McAllister], one of the tougher guys I know, [senior running back] Arkeel [Newsome] definitely I mean for how small you think he is he pays like he’s 200 and something pounds and he might be one of the toughest guys I know. Bryant, really one of the toughest dudes I know and you see some of the shots he was taking. JT he’s a do it all back to me. You tell him to do whatever he doesn’t say anything he gets his nose down and he just starts grinding and grinding so including [redshirt senior linebacker] E.J. [Levenberry] too, having those guys out it hurts but we have this thing called next man in mentality so the next guy in has to step up. Like I said I trust all the guys on this team to come in and make a play.


USF Head Coach Charlie Strong


Opening Statement: 

"Nice to see the team do a really good job of bouncing back after last week after that loss. Everyone knows one loss can lead to another and we couldn't let the game beat us twice. For us to come out and play the way we did tonight, this evening was really great. Just seeing some of our offense, you watched Q (Quinton Flowers) have 516 yards of total offense, you look at 385 yards passing and 131 yards rushing...It is just amazing to watch Quinton sometimes and how he gets out of trouble. We ran a quarterback draw that gets a holding call, come back and run the same play again, and my man (Flowers) goes back and gets the first down. If you look at defense Abraham had a good day, I think he had 10 tackles. We felt like up front we could control the line of scrimmage, Bruce Hector was really big, he had 4 tackles and a sack and a half, but just to watch him control the line of scrimmage... We get some time off now and then we have to get ready for the next one. We have two we have to go get and we have to play really well against the next two opponents. 

On mixing it up on first down:

"We were just taking advantage at what they gave us and with their corners, they were playing really far off, they didn't want to give us a home run ball so they were backed off of us. Q (Flowers) did a really good job for us throwing the ball tonight. You think about last week a lot of his passes were high or low, but tonight he put it on them and adjusted. I think we started off and had three catches in the first couple of series which could have led to big plays for us, but to just to watch him throw the football tonight was really good and an improvement from last week."

On addressing the dropped passes in order to prepare for this week:

"Well you have to, when you look at the drops, they kept us out of the drives and you do not want to see that happen. You know you drop a ball and it just stops the drive because we would have liked to continue to get that drive going. It is about that consistency and developing a rhythm in your offense."

On the way the team prepared for this week:

"Last week we gave one away and they felt really bad and it bothered them. I told my coaches this morning I said I don't care if you are coming with fake juice or fake energy, but you should never have fake anything because you are a coach, but we have to get our guys going. We have to match their energy, we have to match their emotion, we have to match their passion. It is senior night there, they are going to be ready to come and play, they are going to give us their best and we have to be ready to play also."