STORRS, Conn. (August 16, 2007) -- The University of Connecticut football team had a two-a-day session on Thursday as the team continues to prepare for the 2007 season. The morning practice was held in Memorial Stadium to help save the grass on the practice fields from getting too beat up. The night practice was held under the lights on the regular practice fields.
The morning practice began bright and early at 8:10 a.m. with punting. After stretching and a half hour of individual positional group work, UConn practiced its field goals. The Huskies worked as a team on first-and-ten and second-and-long plays before doing the same thing for 15 minutes in a 7-on-7 pass skeleton. After an installation period, UConn was back to work again on first-and-ten plays and second-and-longs. Practice closed with work coming out of the end zone followed by the first "four minute drill" work of the fall. The four minute drill simulates the Huskies trying to kill the remainder of clock late in the game and with both the lead and the ball.
At night, the pre-practice special teams order of the day was kickoff coverage. The tail end of a two-a-day is generally a shorter session and this one started with 20 minutes of position drills. Third down plays were the order of the night and UConn started working on some with a half line pass skeleton. After an installation period, UConn was back for an extended period of full team work that primarily focused on third down plays of many different distances. The evening was capped by two minute drill practice featuring a first scenario that required a touchdown and a second one where the team only needed a field goal but had no time outs. The defense was rather impressive in stopping each drive cold.
UConn head coach Randy Edsall also announced after the night practice that the Hard Hats of the Day for this morning's session went to tailback Robbie Frey (Lehighton, Pa.) and linebacker Jarrell Miller (Richmond, Va.).
"Changing it up and going at night helped a little bit," Edsall said. "We had a good practice this morning and, coming up here a little bit later in just helmets and shoulder pads, made it very spirited. We've still got a lot of work to do. I'm not satisfied on where we're at yet. I think we're getting a little bit closer with each practice but we've got a little bit more to get done. We'll practice tomorrow and scrimmage on Saturday. We look forward to that and hopefully we can continue to stay healthy and have a good scrimmage on Saturday.
"Robbie Frey and Jarrell Miller are two people who have stood out all throughout camp in my opinion. Their passion, work ethic and productivity have been great and they are true freshmen at that in their first college camp. Robbie practices the game and approaches the game exactly the way you want. Jarrell, coming out here with the enthusiasm that he has every day knowing that he's ineligible to play this year (transfer from North Carolina) shows just how important the game is to him. Even though he is not going to be able to contribute in games this year, he's going to find a way to make his teammates better because of how he comes out here and practices each day. I know our defensive scout team will have someone in Jarrell making life tough for our starting offense all year long. I'm very happy with the progress and development of those two."
Additionally, Edsall announced that the Hard Hat of the Day winners for Wednesday's practice were wide receiver Alex Molina (Waterford, Conn.) and Rob Lunn (Penfield, N.Y.).
UConn wide receivers coach Matt Cersosimo was not at either of today's practices instead spending the day at the hospital with his wife, Megan, who is hoping to give birth to the couple's first child in the very near future. The former Megan Campbell is in her second year as UConn's head women's lacrosse coach and has been with the program as a player and coach ever since enrolling as a freshman in the fall of 1997. Matt is a native of West Hartford where he attended Conard High School and played football for his father, Rob, who has been the head football coach there since 1984.
UConn returns to practice on Friday afternoon with a mid-afternoon session that is open to members of the media.