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Huskies Hit The Road To Maryland On Saturday

Senior wide receiver Mike Smith and the Huskies travel to Maryland on Saturday.

STORRS, Conn. - The University of Connecticut football team returns to action on Saturday, Sept. 15 when it hits the road for the first time this season. UConn (1-1) travels to Maryland (2-0) to face the Terrapin of the ACC.

The game will be televised live in the Northeast on SNY and on the radio on the UConn IMG Sports Network. Kickoff is schedule for 12:30.

For a look at the UConn media notes for the game, CLICK HERE.

For a complete list of television stations carrying the game, CLICK HERE.

Once again, will host the Official Live Chat of the game. For more information on that, please see below.


Head coach Paul Pasqualoni held his weekly press conference Tuesday afternoon, below are quotes from the coach and selected student-athletes.

Head Coach Paul Pasqualoni
Where is the players’ focus heading into the Maryland game?
“Playing these games requires so much energy and so much focus.  I really believe that when you spend your time on other things, regardless of the outside factors, the more distracted you are the less competitive you become.”

What is your relationship with Randy Edsall and how did he leave the football culture at UConn?
“Randy [Edsall] and I were together at Syracuse for four years; coaching on the same side of the ball with coach [Dick] McPherson.  I know Randy.  Randy is a very good football coach and defensive coach, secondary coach, very detailed and exact.  He knows what he wants to do and I think he’s doing a very good job.  I thought Randy left the culture of the program very good.  He, from an off-the-field standpoint, understood the expectations academically.  I think the academic record here, prior to me getting here, speaks for itself.  When I came in here, the transition for the kids, in regards to the expectations in all areas, I don’t think was that much different.”

What does the scouting report on Maryland’s offense look like?
“I really think that the offense and the system that they’re in, really fits the personnel that they’ve put together.  They’re wide receivers fit the job description of what they’re being asked to do.  The backs are good backs.  [Wes] Brown was a highly recruited kid.  He’s getting some touches; he’s pretty athletic and big.  I think that Perry Hills, the freshman quarterback, fits into this system really well; the zone-read system.”

Is your offense set up to be a big play offense?
“We’d like it to be a big play offense.  In the game plan, there are certain plays that we fell can be big plays.  Last week we had 15 drives and on 14 of them there was some kind of self-inflicted wound that put us behind schedule.  Only one of the drives came out with big plays, the way we would like it to.  From an offensive standpoint, we’ve got to execute better.”

Do the problems on the offensive line come from a lack of ability or execution?
“My thoughts are that I like the players we have on the offensive line.  I like the way the work.  I like the way they prepare.  Unfortunately, last week we just didn’t execute quite as well as we needed to.  They’re working at [improving] very hard.  I think they’ll get better, we certainly have to get better and I’m confident we will.  We’ve got a new center in there and we’ve got some people that are in-and-out of the game for the first time.  We’re trying to use Gus Cruz a lot and move [Adam] Masters around.  It’s a work in progress.”

What do you say to Chandler Whitmer about his approach following a loss?
“At the end of the day, watching the film, I thought that Chandler [Whitmer] played a good game [on Saturday].  He hung in the pocket, took some whacks and got hit as he delivered the ball.  He had a very ill-advised throw on the fake-reverse pass.  I wanted the play, anticipating that we might be able to fool the safety, and I think Chandler was excited about the play and threw it.  I thought Chandler really showed some toughness last week; showed some poise and really hung in there.  I’m telling him to keep going.  I’m looking for him to get better again this week.”

#10 Chandler Whitmer, Redshirt Sophomore Quarterback
How do you cut down on the mistakes?
“You go back and you look at [the film] and as coach [George] DeLeone and coach [Pasqualoni] say, ‘it’s never as good as it looks and it’s never as bad as it looks’.  Those couple mistakes that I did make stood out to me.  That’s something I need to learn from and try to cut those out.”

As a unit, are you disappointed in how the offense has played?
“Absolutely.  We can only control what we can control.  We have confidence in our defense and we know that they’re going to keep us on the field and let us get opportunities.  We’ve just got to continue to work and straighten out what we’ve got going on.”

How important is it to make throws down field to free up Lyle McCombs in the run game?
“I think that pass and run go hand-in-hand.  I can’t get caught up in thinking about that because I’ll go and force something down field when it’s not there, but I’ve just got to stay within myself and play the play.”

#48 Trevardo Williams, Senior Defensive End
Is there pressure on the defense to come up with some big plays and create turnovers?
“Pressure is always there in football.  That’s something on defense we’ve come to realize and accept.”

Do you have to keep your emotions in check heading into Maryland?
“Coach Pasqualoni taught me that having control and keeping your state of mind is one of the best things to have when you’re confronted by adversity.  As a senior, I have to keep myself composed so that the other guys can see that someone here has control of the situation.”

How important is this game for you guys to turn things around?
“It really is an important game for our season, in order to get to a bowl game, but every game is important.”

How good is this UConn defense?
“I would say this defense is relentless.  We have the strongest defense [we’ve had] in a long time.  It may not be the heaviest, but these guys are relentless, they’re fast, they’re strong and have great endurance.”