STORRS, Conn. -
The University of Connecticut football team returns to action on Saturday, Sept. 27 when its plays host to Temple at 4:00 p.m. for Military Appreciation Day. The game will kickoff at 4:00 p.m. and be seen on ESPNews and heard on the UConn IMG Sports Radio Network.
To purchase tickets for the game, CLICK HERE.
For the UConn media notes for the game, CLICK HERE.
UConn brings a 1-3 record into the game and an 0-1 mark in American Athletic Conference action. Temple is 2-1 on the season with wins over Vanderbilt and Delaware State and a loss to Navy.
Tuesday was media day in Storrs. Here are quote and video from head coach Bob Diaco plus a social media wrapup of the day.
Opening Statement: "To recap the USF game, not entirely different than when we met after. I was told when I was a player by (former Iowa defensive coordinator) Bill Brazier, he'd say `it's never as good as you think it is, and it's never as bad as you think it is.' And that was definitely the case for me and the staff on Sunday. So you walk out of the stadium and you could draw some very damning opinions of why we lost and exactly what happened, it's not the complete tale of the tape. An early turnover hurt, absolutely. Definitely what continued to be an issue was the penalties. Those penalties stopped drives. There were some focal points during the week, one was turnovers. All but a blind hit on the quarterback, the players protected the ball well in the two phases of ball security; special teams and offense. The runners held the ball high and tight, a very wet ball in sloppy conditions, it was a main focus during the week and that focus paid off during the week. The other focus was negative plays, and for the first time all season we were a wash in turnover margin which hadn't happened. We actually produced more negative plays than the opponent, which was the first time. There was some positive components there that was I encouraged by at the end of the game."
On the run game improving: "The offensive line, the work that they did all week paid off. It looked a lot cleaner. In fact if there was anything to coach, it was the backs sticking with the point of attack on the run. In the previous three weeks prior, they were just trying to make chicken salad. And we have backs that can do that, can improvise. But now, hey, there's a crease here at the point of attack. I know it hasn't been there in the past few weeks but it's there now. So let's operate on the fact that it's going to be there and stick to the play as drawn. So that's the next step. But the offensive line improved and they were pushing. Footwork was better, assignments were better, strain was better, fundamental body position was better and there was a push."
On Temple: "They're another go fast, four and five open offense that has a downhill running attack but perimeter controls. Another triple option style, attack the dive, attack the alley, attack the perimeter, which is an eye progression problem. They try to put your second level defenders in run/pass conflict son almost every play. So it becomes a schematic challenge and a fundamental challenge for the players and a young team and defense. That's a big issue, they're doing well moving the ball and producing points on offense, have a few explosive players. The quarterback (P.J. Walker) is a problem in that he's got a very strong arm and can make all the throws, and also is a big, athletic guy that can run. So that's another piece to the preparation this week. And they play hard on defense and special teams. They have a couple guys you really like watching play, you'd like to be teammates with. A guy like Avery Williams, I put the tape on him and I end up just becoming a fan. He plays the game like it should be played. They have some hard-nosed guys that like playing football and are well-coached."
On Tim Boyle: "Tim has no injury. He didn't have an injury, he has some manageable pain that goes away, it's not persistent. It was inflamed on Wednesday in a drill, but I'm anticipating him being fine today and participating on Saturday."
On Angelo Pruitt: "Angelo wanted me to clarify, he's going to be ready to try to participate this spring again in football. He's just made a decision that his season is over, he should be healthy by the end of winter beginning of spring to pursue whatever he's interested in pursuing."
On Junior Lee's play on special teams: "He's got a nose for the ball, he's very aggressive, he's confident. He studies the game, he runs full speed and believes he's going to make the tackle and then goes and tackles the guy. Even the guy that can run full speed and fundamentally make the tackle, the main thing you need is intent to make the tackle. So you see a lot of guys that creatively miss because they never intended to make it. He's not one of those guys. He runs full speed, he intends to make the tackle, and then he fundamentally is a good tackler. So he's got all the elements. He's been a big help for the special teams."
On the defense: "They're working at it, it's probably fair to say from a moving parts it's easier to move faster on defense than it is on offense at the beginning of the development phase. They're working hard, Coach Poindexter and company are doing a great job putting realistic plans together for them that gives them a chance to execute, keeps it simple. They're operating at much less than full speed from a book standpoint, from an installation standpoint. There's a lot of things that we would like to be doing that we can't yet. He and his staff are doing a nice job with installation and call patterns to those guys can execute to their full talent."
On young defensive players: "I'm so excited about those guys. Foley (Fatukasi) played his best game on Friday night, I'm looking forward to him participating more. Kenton Adeyemi, Cole Ormsby, these guys are going to be around here for a long time. Those three, plus Mikal Myers, Julian Campenni, Vontae Diggs played a bunch, Luke Carrezola played a bunch. Junior Joseph made a big impact on the game from inside linebacker. So it's exciting. "
On running backs: "I think if one starts carrying the ball and it's hard to tackle we'll just keep giving them the ball, but it hasn't been the case. SO far after the games it's one guy one week and one guy the next week and one guy the next weeks. We've got three talented freshman backs and Max DeLorenzo is doing a great job in leading the team and leading the offense and being a tough guy for us, no doubt. When you think of Josh Marriner, Arkeel Newsome and Ron Johnson for the next three-plus years, it's pretty awesome."
Diaco Says Focus Is On Correcting Mistakes For UConn Football http://t.co/hCiAD8kPAe— Desmond Conner (@desmondconner) September 23, 2014
Diaco says the run game on the offensive line were better Friday night than they had been.— Ed Daigneault (@EdDaigneault) September 23, 2014
"Rome wasn't built in a day and this won't be either," #UConn's Diaco says of offense.— Ken Davis (@Kendavis55) September 23, 2014
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