STORRS, Conn. -
The UConn football team hits the road for the first time this season when it opens American Athletic Conference play on Saturday at Navy. The game kicks off at 3:30 p.m. and will be televised nationally by the CBS Sports Network and heard on the UConn IMG Sports Radio Network.
Both teams are 1-0 on the season as UConn opened its year with a 24-21 win over Maine on Sept. 1 and two days later Navy topped Fordham by a 52-16 score.
For a look at the UConn media notes, please CLICK HERE.
Tuesday was Media Day in Storrs as usual and here are comments and video from head coach Bob Diaco, video from redshirt offensive lineman Andreas Knappe (Silkeborg, Denmark) and a Twttier wrapup of the day.
UConn Head Coach Bob Diaco
Opening Statement: "We were really pleased on a couple different levels. We were pleased to win but the best part was that we were pleased to have a lot of things to coach and to do it after a win. As I said after the game, credit to our first opponent and their staff and players. They represented well with class, pride, and integrity. As we moved back into the building to get the game corrected, what we saw we were really pleased with. We left a lot of chunks on the field. We left a lot of chunks on offense and a lot of chunks on defense. Where we definitely made great improvement was in our mantra of `finishing successfully'. Down the stretch, to execute a stop, block a field goal, have a two-minute drive, kick the game-winner, come back out and execute a snap, and win the game was great improvement. It was very exciting. At the same time, it didn't need to be that interesting. Those are things that need to be corrected and will be corrected. This week is a little different in some aspects but moving forward, we were able to get a lot of footage looked at and have a lot of conversations about improving. We want to connect on more explosive plays on offense and do a better job of limiting chunks on defense. We're excited to begin preparation against this storied program. It's an incredible challenge. It's a full-team challenge and that's exciting for us."
On the defensive philosophy against Navy: "The philosophy of being great against the run and eliminating explosive passing plays doesn't change. But systemically, we change You have to."
On his evaluation of Bryant Shirreffs' play vs. Maine: "I thought it was good at times. I felt like you can look back and look at plays where he could have slid or thrown the ball to very open players downfield. There is definitely concern in over-coaching a player and eliminating some of those great, intangible elements of his ability. It was the difference in the game in some aspects. We want to emphasize some of the throws he made and some of the throws he missed without taking away some of the great plays he made. He created extended plays, created some opportunities and extended drives with his legs and we don't want that to change. I thought he did pretty well and he started to get better at sliding and showing an early slide. It's a new fundamental and new rule this year. It's a great thing for the quarterback position. He was better but he can continue to get even better at that piece."
On if he felt the tight ends were under-utilized: "I didn't notice that they weren't involved enough. If you look at the statistics, it might not read in black and white but there were a bunch of tight ends in the game on all downs. We operated out of two tight-end and three tight-end on most of the downs. They were heavily involved. Tommy Myers and Alec Bloom played a ton of plays. Chris Lee, Tyler Davis and Teddy Allmendinger played a lot of plays."
On Tyler Davis' debut vs. Maine: "I think he did really well. He learns well. He's a guy that it's not going to persist. He's going to have to learn some things in-game and once he learns them, he'll do a good job of not having mistakes repeat."
On the play on Vontae Diggs: "I thought he set the edge well and he was on his coverage assignments. I loved how much energy and passion he played with. I thought he brought a great deal of energy and vocal energy to the overall team."
On the play of the American Athletic Conference as a whole on opening weekend: "I always follow the teams that we play. I feel bad for the guys that didn't win and I'm super excited for the ones that did. I would think most coaches root for teams in their conference when they play teams outside the league. At least speaking for myself, that's what I do."
Diaco says preparing for Navy means the football is irrelevant. Huskies will practice at times sans the football.
-- Ed Daigneault (@EdDaigneault) September 6, 2016
Diaco: Not sure I've ever come out of a game against Navy without one of best defensive players sustaining significant injury.
-- Mike Anthony (@ManthonyCourant) September 6, 2016
Disco admits "it didn't need to be that interesting" against Maine.
-- Neill Ostrout (@NeillOstrout) September 6, 2016