STORRS, Conn. - The University of Connecticut football team, under the direction of first-year head coach Bob Diaco, makes it season debut on Friday as it takes on BYU at Rentschler Field. Kickoff time is 7:00 p.m. and the game will be televised nationally by ESPN and heard on the UConn IMG Sports Radio Network.
Tickets remain on sale for the game, to purchase please CLICK HERE.
Monday was the weekly media day in Storrs for the game. For a copy of the UConn game notes, please CLICK HERE.
Here's is a transcript of Bob Diaco's comments on the American Athletic Conference media call with video clips and social media highlights.
Opening Statement: "Training camp has been good. It's been like all training camps, a real challenge for everyone to get through and the players should consider themselves successful for having gone through it. That's a hallmark of a good camp. The team is fairly healthy. We have our bumps and bruises and what not, like anybody else would at this time. For the last nine months we have been working hard on our players' hearts, minds and bodies. They've come a long way in a short period of time and have made a great investment and camp was no different. They've worked hard to stay focus and we grew closer as a team. They have a deeper understanding of how we need to conduct our culture. Systematically, we are at a really base line level. Players know their assignments but it's a very baseline understanding. We're moving forward and moving along that way. They're improving fundamentally every day with some nuts-and-bolts things. We expect a nationally-branded BYU team. In the last 20 or 30 years, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better organization and university in the country in particular as it relates to football success than BYU. We are expecting to see that caliber team at Rentschler Field on Saturday night."
On what stood out against BYU in the past: "I recall that those match-ups were an absolute bitter dogfight and hard-nosed games to the very end. BYU has a massive amount of fight in them and they play with great effort. They are very sound and a really well-coached football team. They're going to be coming at us for four full quarters and on every play, the whole game, no matter what. They're situational alert and they have a lot of talented players back from a year ago."
On structuring football activities: "I've always done better with a plan. I feel more comfortable when I have a plan. I can't stop my brain from thinking about the next moment. I just feel better when there's detail in a plan." On how to change a culture at a new university: "We could sit down for a long weekend and go through that but you raise the level of respect for what they're a part of. You teach the players about each other and allow them to get to know each other and the coaches. We give them what they need and approach the day as if everyone if going to need something and it will be something different. We want to serve the players and the young men."
On developing players off the field: "Every young man at every university needs so much work, I just think back to my time in the same phase. It's a growing and maturing phase. There is something you can do and say every single day, every moment you can do something for one of these young men on the team and try to make an impact."
On the home field advantage at Rentschler Field: "I think playing at The Rent is a great. It's got a good size, it's got luxury boxes and easy accessibly. It's a loud venue and in the past it has been packed and rocking. We've practiced in there half a dozen times, whether they have been workouts or practices. It's been a great get acquainted with our home field. It's going to be a beautiful venue to play in."
Casey Cochran says he's not trying to draw attention to himself with the mullet...but "It's staying." #UConnfootball-- Patrick Eaton-Robb (@peatonrobb) August 25, 2014
BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall says the Cougars will fly to CT on Wednesday. Classes have not yet begun in Provo.-- Ed Daigneault (@EdDaigneault) August 25, 2014
Ansonia's Arkeel Newsome will see time doing kickoffs returns against BYU-- Chris Elsberry (@elsctpost) August 25, 2014
Diaco said Andreas Knappe day to day, doesn't believe he'll be able to play Friday night #UConnfootball-- Desmond Conner (@desmondconner) August 25, 2014
Diaco: "The offensive line is much improved. But this week is going to be a massive test."-- Chris Elsberry (@elsctpost) August 25, 2014