Nov. 19, 2011
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Head Coach Paul Pasqualoni
“Louisville made more plays than we did, to their credit. We gave them a second life on the roughing the kicker, which they turned into seven points. We had some opportunities but we couldn’t capitalize. We just didn’t produce, and they did—that’s the bottom line.”
On the influence of having a week off between games:
“There’s always the unknown coming out of a bye week. Nobody has a secret formula. You always do what you think is best and you hope you come back with the momentum you had before the week off. Obviously, that didn’t happen.”
On missed opportunities:
“There were plays out there that we could have made. A lot of it didn’t have to be extraordinary; it just had to be a play, a pass, or a tackle here or there. The special teams were the same way, so it wasn’t only isolated to one area. We’ve made those plays and that’s what hurts. This is a team that’s probably averaging 18 points per game and we gave them seven to start the game. It was not a good day of execution.”
On the multiple dropped passes:
“It’s hard to talk about. You saw it. Why? I can’t tell you that. We caught the ball well all week in practice. It was very difficult for us today. Some of those drops were key plays.”
On the meaning of this loss:
“It’s very disappointing. At this point in the season, they’re all disappointing. With our conference the way it is, it’s very disappointing. Where this win would have put us would have been a lot of fun.”
UCONN PLAYER QUOTES
Johnny McEntee, RS-Jr., Quarterback
Looks like there were a lot of plays you guys left on the field. There were a lot of drops, did you see that too?
“I think we missed a lot of big plays. Part of that is on me. The other guys know too. Sometimes they get a little excited and try to run after the catch. It’s understandable but we can’t leave those plays on the field.”
Do you guys realize what a golden opportunity this game was, given the standings in the BIG EAST?
“Yeah this game would have kept us in it had we won. That’s our main goal, to win the conference. Unfortunately, we couldn’t do that.”
On dropped passes, does that stuff accumulate and wind up being contagious out there?
“I mean, it seemed like it out there a little bit. Isiah (Moore) had a couple in the first quarter, he came back and made some big plays. Kashif (Moore) had one and came back to make a big play. I think if you can just bounce back from it…. I guess we had a little more than usual. All those receivers and tight ends work really hard. They are always catching after practice. I know it was a one-game bloop thing because they are always working hard.”
Did that kickoff return for a touchdown by Louisville to start the game put you guys in a deep hole?
“I mean, not too big. That happens sometimes. That’s happened to us before here. You just have to come back from it and not let that affect us as an offense. You just have to play smart.”
Where do you go from here?
“We still have to take it one game at a time. Rutgers is a big game for us. It’s senior day. We’d like to come out and get a win.”
Blidi Wreh-Wilson, RS-Jr., Cornerback
What are your thoughts on returning after being out?
“It was nice to be back out there playing with all my teammates. It was unfortunate that we lost but it was good to be back out there.”
Can you talk about the dropped interception? It looked like you had it, then they went and scored. How big of a play was that?
“It was a big play. It’s a routine play if have to make. We practice ball drills. I saw it come out high and two guys went up for it. By the time it got to me, it’s just a play I have to make.”
There were some tackling issues early that Louisville was able to take advantage of. Can you talk about that? It’s uncharacteristic for this team.
“When we play, we have to tackle well. But if we miss one, we need to gang-tackle. We have to have guys covering each other up.”
They only come in averaging 18-19 points, I know 14 points were on freak plays, but do you feel that you did a good enough job stopping them?
“When we go out there, every time we are trying to stop everything. We gave up 14 points and the first drive we had bad tackling and let them get in. But we are always trying to give up as little points as possible.”
Louisville Head Coach Charlie Strong
On quick start
“It started last week when we lost the game. They got locked in and focused and on Sunday practiced well, watched video on Monday, and then got ready to go practice on Tuesday. We could say we don’t have a lot of leaders, but that’s no reason for us to not do what we need to do. Even with the lack of seniors, we’ve played 10 games. Ok, you guys no how to go get prepared now. So it’s all about not stopping the effort to be the best you can be and do what you need to do.”
On players making big plays
“The thing about Andrell making that play is that that was the play we needed to go make. Teddy laid the ball out there for him, and your right the ran into our kicker and we got the penalty. Then there was the third down play and Andrell makes the big play. You look at it later on we throw the same route and he made the play and we scored. On offense we kind of stepped up for a while and got the 95 yard drive and got us a score. We established ourselves when it looked like we weren’t moving the ball, and defensively we were just holding on. We have to make plays and playmakers need to step up.”
Andrell Smith, Louisville Junior WR
On his 39-yard reception to set up TD run by Bridgewater:
“That play was actually my first of the game. I wasn’t the primary [receiver on that play]. I didn’t think [Teddy Bridgewater] was going to throw me the ball because I wasn’t warmed up, but I was ready when it came.”
On the receiving corps ability to make big plays to spark the offense“We know we needed a big play to keep us going. I guess the coaches think it will be worth it to take the risk downfield.”
Victor Anderson, Louisville Senior RB
On the team’s preparation for Connecticut
“The coaches do a great job putting together the game plan and the team comes out every week, day-in-and-day-out, Monday through Friday. The coaches do a great job putting together the game plan and the players do a great job executing it.”
On possibility of playing for a BIG EAST title:
“[The thought of playing for a BIG EEAST title] is floating in the air, but like I said before the game to my team and to the coaching staff, we were going to treat today like our bowl game. We came out, worked hard, and we played well. We came out a little shaky in the first half, but we came out and regrouped in the second half and played well. Going into next week, we’ve got to treat that like our bowl game.”
Adrian Bushell, Louisville Junior CB
On running back the opening kick-off 100 yards for a TD:
“I just felt like I let the team down last week, not being able to play, so I had to come back and make some plays. Everybody has been telling me all week to follow their block and it’s going to be there.”
On confidence running the ball back:
“Every game we’ve just been one block, two blocks away from popping one, but this time we finally got it all together and I was able to beat the kicker and take it to the house.”