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Football Meets Stony Brook On Saturday At Rentschler

Casey Cochran and the Huskies take on Stony Brook on Saturday.
Sept. 2, 2014

STORRS, Conn. - The University of Connecticut football team returns to action on Saturday when it takes on Stony Brook of the Colonial Athletic Association and the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision. The game will take place at Rentschler Field with a noon kickoff and be televised by SNY and heard on the UConn IMG Sports Network.

UConn is coming off a 35-10 loss last Friday night to BYU. The Stony Brook game is the second of three-straight home games that the Huskies have to open the 2014 season.

For the UConn Game Notes, please CLICK HERE.

To purchase tickets for the game, please CLICK HERE.

Stony Brook brings an 0-1 record into the game after a 13-7 loss at home to Bryant on August 28. Stony Brook head coach Chuck Priore is in his ninth season at the school and previously was the head coach at Trinity in Hartford from 200-05, where he led the Bantams to four league titles. He also led Stony Brook to the NCAA FCS playoffs in both 2011 and '12.

Here are quotes from UConn head coach Bob Diaco on Monday's American Athletic Conference teleconference and video from Tuesday's teleconference followed by a social media recap.

On wrapping up BYU game and looking towards Stony Brook: "The team improved. The team got better. The only way the players are going to get better right now is to play. We played 50 players on offense and defense, 25 on offense and 25 on defense, in the first half. It wasn't like the game was in doubt, it was meaningful snaps. We stayed on that plan the whole game and didn't change. So, the players got better. A lot of guys played in the game and that's not including special teams, I want to say about 20 freshmen played in the game in the first half. It was a very positive night by that piece. The team got better as the game went on, that's another positive piece to build on. The second half looked much different than the first half. We were pleased with the strain and the grit and the effort and the perseverance. We've got a lot to work on as a team, but we're getting better.

"Stony Brook comes into The Rent this weekend and it's going to be a great contest. They're an outstanding program. Coach (Chuck Priore) has them rolling and they've achieved great things here with recent success. They've joined one of the top conferences in the country, if not the top FCS conference in the country."

On what he saw from Stony Brook's offense in game one vs. Bryant and how his defense will face it: "We have to get a lot better, I'll tell you that. We have to get a lot better on defense, especially after our first game, a very challenging offense to defend in BYU. You need to know your assignments inside and out, you have to have great eye discipline, and that's even before you get started with block destruction and tackling. We have a long way to go and a lot of work to do with ourselves and have to make sure the focus is on ourselves and getting better, not necessarily on systematically what Stony Brook."

On Stony Brook's defense: "I have very high marks from what I've seen on Stony Brook in all three phases. Their defense flies around, they're high contact, they're aggressive, they run downhill, they're fast, they're athletic. They've got enough size and they're sound, well-coached. And the same thing on offense. It's going to be a great challenge for the beginning of our program here."

On the quarterback situation and if both Casey Cochran and Chandler Whitmer will play vs. SBU: "Absolutely. We're in our preparation phase, we need to get better as a team each week. To get better as a team all the players need to play."

On the injury situation: "Everyboy's good. There's no change. It was a hard-fought game but no major injuries and nothing real significant as it relates to the game."

On the team's discipline vs. BYU: "I was very pleased with the discipline and the mechanics and how the game was conducted and how the players responded to in-game adjustments and moving forward as the game unfolded. I was very, very pleased. I thought they looked great, I thought they operated in a great way. This really wasn't what prevented winning, there wasn't a lot of losing elements in those areas. It was during the play stuff that we need to get a lot better on. We're just at the very beginning of our development in that area."

On the play of true freshman Arkeel Newsome vs. BYU: "He's explosive, he possesses both long and short speed, he's a hard runner. He can run through tackles, had a nice catch and has good soft hands. He's got a good handle on the assignments so I was pleased with him. I was pleased with all the backs, I was pleased with (freshman) Ron Johnson also."

On the choice to use Chandler Whitmer in the red zone: "I think he's got a little more capacity to keep plays alive with his legs. It opens up some more offensive plays for us which we typically shorten when you get into that shorter tighter field space, but we can still open it up a little bit more with him in there. He's got a real high aptitude right now and a maturity to decision-making down there in that very complex situation. But again, it's the flip of a coin honestly. Casey is getting much better down there also. We had a plan for last Friday night and we wanted to be sure we executed that plan."