August 26, 2002
CONNECTICUT HEAD COACH RANDY EDSALL
Randy Edsall has compiled a 9-24 career record as he enters his fourth season at UConn and a 0-1 record against Boston College. A veteran of 19 years of major college coaching with three years in the NFL, Edsall has tackled the challenge of bringing former NCAA Division I-AA team up to par with the BIG EAST in a six year span head on. Immediately prior to becoming UConns 27th head coach on December 21, 1998, Edsall served as defensive coordinator at Georgia Tech in 1998 under George OLeary. Edsall began his coaching career at his alma mater, Syracuse, from 1980-1990, working under Frank Maloney and Dick McPherson in a variety of capacities. Amongst his highlights at Syracuse was being a part of the 1987 team that went undefeated at 11-0-1, tying Auburn, 16-16, in the Sugar Bowl. Edsall moved on to Boston College where he coached defensive backs under Tom Coughlin from 1991-93 before following Coughlin to the NFLs Jacksonville Jaguars, staying on the First Coast through the 1997 season. Edsall is a native of Glen Rock, Pa., and graduated from Susquehannock High School.
BOSTON COLLEGE HEAD COACH TOM OBRIEN
Tom OBrien is 31-27 in his first five years at Boston College, 1-0 vs. UConn, leading the Eagles to bowl berths in each of the last three seasons including a 2001 Music City Bowl upset victory over Georgia. OBrien came to BC after 15 seasons at Virginia, the last six spent as the offensive coordinator. The Cavaliers played in nine bowls during OBriens tenure there. Prior to UVa, OBrien was the tackles and tight ends coach at Navy, his alma mater, from 1975-81, helping the Midshipmen to three bowl games and a 6-1 mark against Army. OBrien, a Cincinnati native, played at Navy from 1968-70 before being commissioned into the Marine Corps.
RADIO/TV COVERAGE NOTES
For the 11th consecutive season, WTIC 1080-AM in Hartford will serve as the flagship station for the UConn Radio Network. WTIC is the states only 50,000 watt clear channel signal and can be heard in 23 states and parts of Canada. Veteran UConn announcers Joe DAmbrosio (play-by-play) and Wayne Norman (color commentary) return to call the action with Bob Joyce on the sidelines. Pregame coverage for the Boston College game begins at 11:00 am. The UConn Radio Network is comprised of: WILI 1400-AM in Willimantic, WLIS-1420 AM in Old Saybrook, WMRD 1150-AM in Middletown, WICC 600-AM in Bridgeport and WSUB 980-AM in Groton. UConn football games are also broadcast over the internet, with assistance from Yahoo!, at www.UConnHuskies.com.
THIS WEEKS TV
ESPN Regional Television will produce the Boston College game live from Chestnut Hill, the first of eight televised games in 2002 for UConn. The New England Sports Network and New Yorks Madison Square Garden Network will pick up the feed. Joe Tessitore will handle the play-by-play with Don McPherson providing color commentary.
THE UCONN HUSKIES: MUST SEE TV
The Boston College game is the first of eight UConn games that will be broadcast on live television this year. The BC game will air locally on NESN with MSG also picking up the feed. The YES Network will carry UConns next two games, coming against Georgia Tech and Buffalo. WFSB-TV 3, Hartfords CBS affiliate, will carry five games as they Huskies battle Ohio Univ., Temple, Vanderbilt, Florida Atlantic and Navy. With eight total TV games, it is by far the most football games that UConn has ever had televised in a single season.
EDSALL ON THE AIR
Head Coach Randy Edsall will hold weekly television and radio shows this year. The television show will air on Sunday nights at 11:45 pm on WFSB TV 3 in Hartford with Eric Clemons and Joe Tessitore. There will be no show after the BC game due to the annual Muscular Dystrophy Telethon, but the station will air a half hour season preview show on Friday, Aug. 30. Edsall, along with a selected player each week, will also be featured on an hour-long radio call-in show Thursday nights from 6:00 to 7:00 pm on WTIC 1080-AM with Joe DAmbrosio and Arnold Dean.
UCONN-BOSTON COLLEGE HISTORY
This will be the 10th all-time meeting between the New England and future BIG EAST rivals. Boston College leads the series 7-0-2 all-time including a 55-3 win in Chestnut Hill on Oct. 7, 2000 against an undermanned UConn team in its first year of Division I-A transition. Prior to that game, the teams had not met since 1928, a 51-13 BC win in Chestnut Hill. UConn first faced BC in 1908, playing to a scoreless draw in Storrs. The teams also played to a scoreless draw in 1910. The Eagles have dominated the series, shutting out UConn in six of the first seven meetings. Aside from the two ties, the closest UConn has come to victory was a 7-6 loss in 1915. BC has outscored UConn 209-22 in the series history. The Eagles will travel to face UConn in 2003 at the new Rentschler Field in East Hartford. UConn and BC currently play in most sports as members of the BIG EAST Conference and also in Hockey Easts new league for womens hockey.
HEY, DONT I KNOW YOU FROM SOMEWHERE?
Several connections exist between the only two Division I-A football schools in New England. UConn head coach Randy Edsall served as defensive backs coach at BC from 1991-93 under head coach Tom Coughlin before following Coughlin to the NFLs Jacksonville Jaguars...UConn defensive coordinator Hank Hughes and BC offensive line coach David Magazu were both on the University of Memphis staff in 1998 and teammates at Springfield College in the late 1970s...UConn wide receivers coach Vinny Marino and BC running backs coach Jason Swepson served together on the 1996 Holy Cross staff...Four Huskies are natives of Eastern Massachusetts (Shaun Feldeisen of Stow, Alfred Fincher of Norwood, Tyler King of North Attleboro and Dan Murray of Gloucester)...Two Eagles hail from the Nutmeg State (Horace Dodd of Hamden and David Kashetta of Westport) while Emerson Phillips prepped at Connecticuts Milford Academy just like UConns Ryan Bushey, Roy Hopkins and Terry McClowry. Kashetta was a teammate of UConn DT Sean Mulcahy at Staples HS...Each side has many players from New Jersey (32 combined) with three shared high schools in St. Joseph (BCs Vinny Ciurciu and Augie Hoffman and UConns James Hargrave), Wayne Hills (BCs Rob Leuffen and UConns Ziggy Goryn) and Pope John (BCs Frank Wilpert and UConns Chris Clarke)...BC OT Jeremy Simpson, UConn LB Shawn Mayne and WR Dan Desriveaux all played together last year at Vanier Prep in Montréal...Husky Associate AD for Communications Mike Enright served in a similar capacity at BC for the past two years...UConn head equipment manager Larry Hare is a 1996 Boston College graduate.
YOUTH IS SERVED
Five true freshmen appear in the Huskies depth chart for the season opener at Boston College. Deon Anderson has been tabbed as the starting fullback while Terry Caulley is the likely starter at tailback. Brandon Young will get a slot in the wide receiver rotation while also serving as UConns top punt returner and one of its top two kickoff returners. Ernest Cole battled hard to earn the second spot at right cornerback while James Hargrave did likewise at the husky linebacker post.
Frequent redshirting of players over the past couple of seasons and drastic expansion in the total number of available scholarships to 85, has enabled head coach Randy Edsall to put together a fairly young team. This is especially true on the offensive side of the ball. UConn has just three offensive scholarship seniors and 74% of scholarship players are sophomores or younger on offense.
2002 Scholarship Chart
Class Off. Def. Spec. Sr. (10) 3 6 1 Jr. (19) 8 10 1 So. (17) 10 7 0 RFr. (13) 10 3 0 TFr. (22) 11 10 1 Total (81)42 36 3
CONNECTICUT NAMES TRI-CAPTAINS
Senior tight end Tommy Collins, senior linebacker Jamal Lundy and senior defensive tackle Greg Smoot will serve as the Huskies three captains for the 2002 season. All three have been regular contributors since their true freshmen year in 1999 and eventually developed into regular starters and team leaders. Smoot has started 32 of his 33 career games as a Husky while Lundy has been the first or second leading tackler in each of the past two years. Showing their team-first mentalities, all three have had a position change during their UConn careers with Collins shifting from fullback to tight end, Lundy moving from safety to linebacker and Smoot pushing inward from defensive end to defensive tackle.
ORLOVSKY TO START AT QUARTERBACK
Sophomore Dan Orlovsky, a high school All-American and the Connecticut Player of the Year in 2000 at Shelton High School, will be the Huskies starting quarterback for the season opener. Orlovsky played in 10 games last year, making six starts after Henry suffered a hip pointer in UConns 20-19 win at Rutgers. Against Eastern Michigan the following week, Orlovsky became the first true freshman to start at quarterback for Connecticut since 1992 and did not disappoint, leading the Huskies to a 19-0 win. He later set a UConn freshman record (fourth overall) by throwing for 382 yards in a 45-28 loss at Cincinnati. Although more of a traditional pocket passer than Henry, Orlovsky has shown the ability to run the ball at times, including a 25-yard carry against Utah State last season.
YOUTH REIGNS IN CONNECTICUT BACKFIELD
In all likelihood, UConn will start true freshmen at both fullback and tailback in the season opener at Boston College in Deon Anderson and Terry Caulley, respectively. The diminutive, 5-7 Caulley dazzled in the fall camp, demonstrating the solid instincts that led him to be named last years Maryland offensive player of the year. In the teams main scrimmage, he unofficially rushed for 93 yards on nine carries. Caulley slightly sprained a toe during the teams August 20 practice but returned to practice and is expected to be ready for the Eagles. Anderson has taken charge early on at the fullback spot. The three sport (football, wrestling and track) standout at Providences Hope High School and Avon Old Farms Prep picked up the Husky offense quickly and has won a starting nod. In addition to the young running backs, both of the teams top two quarterbacks, Orlovsky and Henry, are true sophomores.
PROMISING RECEIVER ROTATION
The Huskies enter the 2002 season with few clear cut favorites at the wide receiver position and while senior Wes Timko, junior Shaun Feldeisen and sophomore Matt Cutaia are listed as the starters, they probably will not be the only names appearing in the final stat book. Junior Cliff Hill led the team in receptions last year with 40 while fellow junior ONeil Wilson had a breakthrough spring and will see plenty of action this fall. Redshirt freshman Jason Williams and true freshman Brandon Young will also factor into the rotation. Young was one of the better performers during UConns fall camp and earned a spot as the teams top punt returner. In addition, senior tri-captain tight end Tommy Collins will get to run his fair share of pass routes in 2002.
THE BOYS ARE BACK IN TOWN
UConn welcomed back 10 of its 11 defensive starters from the 2001 season and each of its top eight tacklers. Amongst the returnees is strong safety and 2001 team MVP Chris Meyer who led UConn with 94 tackles and four interceptions last year. Senior Jamal Lundy will lead the defense from his husky (strongside) linebacker post. Lundy topped all Huskies with his 102 tackles as a sophomore in 2000 and last year claimed the team lead in solo tackles (66) and tackles for loss (eight) while making three sacks and adding six pass breakups. UConn also has a good measure of experience in its defensive front four, led by senior tri-captain Greg Smoot at defensive tackle alongside junior Sean Mulcahy. Junior Uyi Osunde will start at the "Bandit" defensive end slot ahead of senior Frank Quagliano while sophomore Tyler King and junior Hakeem Kashama will rotate on the left side.
DEFENSIVE LINE LOADED WITH EXPERIENCE
UConns defensive line will draw on plenty of experience to help anchor the defensive charge. The unit is led by senior tri-captain Greg Smoot, a stalwart at defensive tackle. Junior Sean Mulcahy offers a lot of game experience at the other tackle position alongside Smoot. Neither has missed a game in their UConn careers with Smoot working on an active streak of 32 consecutive starts. Two athletic defensive ends return to both boost the pass rush and occasionally aide in coverages. Junior Uyi Osunde will start at the "Bandit" defensive end slot ahead of senior Frank Quagliano. Sophomore Tyler King and junior Hakeem Kashama, a native of Brampton, Ontario, will rotate on the left side with both seeing significant game action. Osunde missed the 2001 season after shoulder surgery in early September, while Kashama was lost after two games last year with a knee injury. Both had strong falls and are ready to go.
SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES
CONNECTICUT KICKERS READY FOR ACTION
The Huskies have a matter of continuity in their kicking game as UConn returns both its starting punter and place kicker from a year ago. Senior Marc Hickok returns to handle placement kicks after going 18-of-19 on PAT tries last year and 12-of-17 on field goal tries, including a 4-for-5 mark from between 40 and 49 yards. His career-long 47 yarder with 3:04 to play at Rutgers gave UConn its first ever win over a BIG EAST team, 20-19. Junior Adam Coles returns to punt for UConn this year, the tall, 6-5, former Australian Rules Football player from Gladesville kicked for a 39.2 average on 81 punts last year. Coles booted a 71-yarder against Middle Tennessee (sixth longest in school history) and placed 32 balls inside the 20 yard line. Coles appears on several seasonal and career punting record charts at UConn.
WHO ARE YOU? WHO? WHO? WHO? WHO?
As a part of their move to Division I-A status the Huskies will face a revamped schedule in 2002, one which features six first time opponents for UConn. The Huskies will oppose Georgia Tech, Ohio Univ., Miami (Fla.), Vanderbilt, Florida Atlantic and Iowa State for the first time ever on the gridiron this season. In fact, fellow-Division I-A neophyte Buffalo is the only 2002 opponent that UConn has faced more than 10 times with the Huskies and Bulls playing a total of 12 all-time contests. A total of just 36 games have been played all-time between UConn and its 2002 opponents combined, fewer than its series with six individual schools, a list led by Rhode Island with 92 meetings. In addition to its new opponents, UConn will face its first ever member of the Big 12 Conference (Iowa State) and only its second ever foe from the Southeastern Conference (Vanderbilt). UConn travelled to SEC member Kentucky in 1999. The Georgia Tech game will mark UConns second ever game against an active Atlantic Coast Conference opponent with the Huskies having faced North Carolina in 1990. UConn also played then-Southern Conference member Maryland in 1942 prior to the ACCs formation in 1953.
HUSKIES PLAYING THE BCS FIELD
UConn will face opponents from four different conferences this season that are amongst the six members of the Bowl Championship Series as the Huskies face foes from the ACC (Georgia Tech), BIG EAST (Boston College, Miami, Temple), Big 12 (Iowa State) and SEC (Vanderbilt). Facing four different BCS conferences ties UConn for the most of any school in the nation in the 2002 season joining Florida State, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Texas Tech, Virginia and Virginia Tech. The one common denominator is that all seven schools play at least one ACC team while all but the Red Raiders face a BIG EAST squad.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
With the decrease in regional scheduling brought about by UConns independent status, the Huskies will make some historic road trips in the programs lineage which dates back to 1896. UConns game at Miami will mark the furthest south the team has ever travelled for a game, eclipsing its trip to Statesboro, Georgia to face Georgia Southern in the 1998 NCAA I-AA Quarterfinals. This mark should hold forever as the Orange Bowl is the southernmost stadium in the continental United States for a I-A school although it is a couple of miles north of the actual UM campus in Coral Gables. UConns game at Iowa State in Ames just narrowly misses being its furthest ever western destination, a nod that goes to Dallas, Texas where the Huskies faced SMU in 1989.
SET YOUR WATCHES
The teams games at Vanderbilt (Nashville, Tenn.) and Iowa State (Ames, Iowa) are significant as they mark just the third and fourth times, respectively, that UConn will ever play outside of the Eastern time zone. Both are located in the Central time zone. The Huskies have twice previously played an hour behind Storrs, losing at SMU in Dallas in 1989 and at Middle Tennessee in Murfreesboro in 2001. UConn has never played in either the Mountain or Pacific time zones.
MEMORIAL STADIUM SOON A MEMORY
The 2002 season will be the Huskies final at Memorial Stadium after a 50 year run. UConn has posted a 128-99-4 (.563) record all-time in the 16,200 seat facility that opened on October 10, 1953 with a 26-6 win over St. Lawrence. The team will wear a patch on its jerseys commemorating the 50th and final season in the stadium. Following the season, Memorial Stadium will be torn down to make room for the Burton Family Football Complex which will house coaches offices, meeting rooms, locker rooms and other football-related facilities. To help recognize the 50th and final season at Memorial Stadium, UConn will wear commemorative patches (pictured) on the right chest of their 2002 game uniforms.
MOVIN ON UP TO THE EAST SIDE
The Huskies will move into brand new Rentschler Field in East Hartford for the 2003 season with the stadium set up open its doors on August 30 for a game against the Big Tens Indiana Hoosiers. Conveniently located within miles of Interstates 91, 84 and 384, Adriaens Landing and downtown Hartford, the new home of the Huskies lies on 75 acres of land donated to the State of Connecticut from the historic Pratt & Whitney Airfield by company founder Frederick Rentschler. The new stadium will hold approximately 40,000 seats and 40 luxury suites in a massive press box tower which will help enclose the natural grass field. The $91 million construction project, part of Governor John Rowlands economic development program for the Hartford metro-area, is currently past the half way mark and on schedule.
JUST FOR STARTERS
UConn is 43-57-2 in season openers dating back to 1896 and has lost three straight since a 1998 win at Colgate....The Huskies open on the road for the fifth straight year, the longest such streak since playing six straight road openers from 1979-84...UConn is just 7-27 when opening its season on the road dating back to 1947...The BC game marks the first time that UConn has ever opened its season in the month of August. The earliest previous start to a UConn football season was last year when the Huskies travelled to face Virginia Tech on September 1...Although UConn has played a combined 89 games all-time against schools from the city of Boston (Boston College, Boston University, Harvard, Northeastern, Tufts) the Huskies have never opened their season in Boston according to school records that go back to 1947. The sites of UConns openers in 1935 (Northeastern) and 1946 (Harvard) are unknown. UConn last faced a Boston team in its opener in 1997 when it hosted Northeastern for its first ever game in the Atlantic 10 Conference.
CONNECTICUTS NEW CLOTHES
The BC game marks the official debut of the Huskies new uniforms for the 2002 season. Blue and white with silver trim, the look was designed by new sponsor Aéropostale. The uniforms also bear a patch on the right chest commemorating the teams 50th and final season at Memorial Stadium before moving into Rentschler Field in East Hartford next season. Additionally, this seasons helmets will include a white interlocking "UC" logo on a blue background. The uniforms feature the players names on the back for the first time under head coach Randy Edsalls watch. The red accents commonly found on UConn uniforms have been replaced with gray accents on the 2002 football jerseys. Also, the front of the jerseys will say "Connecticut" instead of "UConn," a point that Edsall was especially passionate about. At the teams August 9th media day he said "Were Team Connecticut. From Greenwich to Torrington and Norwich to Danbury, we want everybody to know that were your team. We want people from all those areas to come up and experience the things that weve got going." UConn and Aéropostale recently announced a new corporate partnership that will see the company provide practice and sideline apparel for football and 18 other UConn sports. Aéropostale will also be involved in a number of campus activities.
UCONN HOSTS STATE EMPLOYEE APPRECIATION DAY
UConns game on Sept. 28 against Ball State is State Employee Appreciation Day. The Huskies will offer a buy one get one free special on tickets for the game (limit six) for state employees. A Fan Fest will also precede the game at 11:30 am, featuring family activities while prizes will also be awarded for the best tailgaters. All ticket orders must be postmarked by September 9. For more information, contact the UConn ticket office at (877) AT-UCONN.
HUSKIES TO HELP WITH CHILD IDENTIFICATION
The University of Connecticut and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in conjunction with a national partnership with the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA), will take part in the National Child Identification Program (NCIP) when the Huskies take on Georgia Tech on Sept. 7. The NCIP allows for children, beginning at age four to be fingerprinted with the identification information being maintained by parents. As patrons leave the Georgia Tech game, fingerprint kits will be given to all parents and guardians. Both the FBI and the AFCA have existing Community Outreach Programs that encourage parents and guardians to maintain fingerprints of their children in the event they are involved in a disaster or foul play. The AFCA has sponsored the National Child Identification Program (NCIP) for several years, distributing inkless fingerprint kits to enable parents and guardians to fingerprint their children for identification purposes. To date, 9,300,000 kits have been distributed in the United States, mostly at college football games. The FBI and other law enforcement agencies have operated similar programs for many years with standard fingerprint cards and ink. Many of the FBIs 56 Field Offices located throughout the United States, including the one in New Haven, Conn., will partner with college football coaches in their territories to facilitate the distribution of the inkless NCIP kits.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
UConn will bus to Chestnut Hill on Friday and have a closed walk-through at Alumni Stadium at 2 pm. The Huskies will stay at the Newton Marriott (617) 969-1000 and bus home after the game.
WHATS IN STORRS
The Huskies will play their home opener next Saturday when they welcome the Rambling Wreck of Georgia Tech to Memorial Stadium in Storrs for the facilitys 50th and final home opener. The Yellow Jackets, who open this week at home in Bobby Dodd Stadium against Vanderbilt, are coming off of an 8-5 season in 2001 with a 24-14 win over Stanford in the inaugural Seattle Bowl. GT is led by former Dallas Cowboys head coach Chan Gailey who will make his debut on Saturday against the Commodores. Georgia Tech will be the first and only school from a BCS conference other than the BIG EAST to ever play at Memorial Stadium.