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Football Takes on Buffalo This Saturday

Lyle McCombs rushed for 120 yards vs. Western Michigan.

Sept. 24, 2012

STORRS, Conn. - The University of Connecticut football team returns to action on Saturday as it takes on Buffalo at 12:00 p.m. at Rentschler Field. The Huskies bring a 2-2 record into the contest while Buffalo is 1-2. It will be "Connecticut Day" at the Rent with a number of in-state groups being honored. Head coach Paul Pasqualoni and the UConn team had its weekly media day on Tuesday and there are quotes from that event below.

The game is being televised live by as the BIG EAST Network Game of the Week by ESPN Regional TV. The game is seen live in Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and northeast Pennsylvania by SNY. In addition to SNY, the game will be seen on 40 other outlets, including: WPVI-ABC in Philadelphia, WCIU in Chicago, KTXD in Dallas-Ft. Worth, MASN in Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, WFTS-ABC in Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla., Brighthouse Networks in Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne, Fla., WTAE-ABC in Pittsburgh, Time Warner Cable in Milwaukee, WKRC-CBS in Cincinnati, WHAS in Louisville, Cox New England and Cox New Orleans,

The game will also be replayed on SNY in a condensed mode on the "Husky Power Hour" on Sunday, Sept. 30 at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m., on Monday, Oct. 1 at 8 a.m. (Connecticut only), and Wednesday, Oct. 3 at 7 a.m. The game will be replayed it is entirety on Monday, Oct. 1 at 8 a.m. and Wednesday, Oct 3 at 11:00 a.m. (Connecticut only).

The game will be on the UConn IMG Sports Radio Network and its flagship stations WTIC NewsTalk 1080. Other affiliates for UConn football on the UConn IMG Sports Network in¬clude WILI 1400-AM in Willimantic and WAVZ-1300 AM in New Haven. The UConn vs. Buffalo game will also be available on satellite radio on Ch. 137 on Sirius and 193 on XM.

Click HERE for the UConn media notes for the game.

Click HERE to purchase tickets for the game.

Once again, will host a live chat during the game. Information on the live chat is below.


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

Paul Pasqualoni, Head Coach
Opening Statement:
“We obviously had a very disappointing defeat out at Western MichiganWestern Michigan is a good team.  Alex Carder is one heck of a quarterback.  We had a hard time getting to him.  He got [the ball] out quick.  He throws it into tight places and competes and competes.  He made some plays on us before we could really get going.  Four possessions had gone by and it was 17-0 and then it got to the point where it was 24-7.  So we were in a pretty deep hole.  Awfully proud of the way the kids fought back.  That’s old news.  We’re really looking forward to this week.  I think our players will have the right approach and right attitude going about this.  We’re 2-2 and this is a very important game. We had a hard fight with Buffalo last year at their place.  It was a 10-3 football game for a long time.  We eventually got one in [the end zone] to make it 17-3, but this is a team that is extremely well coached.  They run the ball very well.  They’re awfully good in protections.”

Did you feel the offense took a step forward, while the defense stepped back last week?
“I would say the offense did certainly take a step forward.  I thought from a defensive standpoint was the problem that we had was we gave up a few big pass plays.  There were like four plays in that game where we might like to have one or two of them back.  It might be a different game.  Up front, I thought the guys played pretty good against the run.  I thought that Ryan Wirth played a pretty solid game.  I thought that Shamar Stephen came back and played a little bit more as he’s getting back into full go-mode.”

In what areas has Chandler Whitmer most notably improved?
“I think he’s doing a real good job of being though and sitting in the pocket, throwing the ball, going through his progressions.  You guys see him in the pocket and he’s looking one way and then he’s turning and keeping his feet alive and getting the ball to the second or third read in the progression.  He’s doing a really good job with the concepts and getting more and more comfortable everyday.”

What has Geremy Davis shown to have you rely on him more in the offense?
“Three or four weeks ago, Geremy moved into the starting position because we saw a little bit of what you guys saw on Saturday.  The conditions were right [on Saturday] to get him the ball.  Some of those throws were excellent throws and some of those catches were pretty good catches.  I think it was a product of both him practicing and the opportunity being there to get him the ball.”

What did you think of Angelo Pruitt’s first start at defensive end?
“I thought that Angelo did a good job as a defensive end.  He’s a big strong guy and makes it very difficult on the tight ends over there on the off-tackle play.  We put him over there to make sure that we were shored up against the run.”

How important is it to play with more consistency heading into BIG EAST play?
“It’s awfully important.  Every week we’re striving to play a complimentary game; everybody doing their job, focused on their job.  There would be nothing greater that we could do this week than to go out and play a real good team game; offense, defense, special teams against a team that is going to come in there and play awfully hard.”

What makes Buffalo RB Branden Oliver a special runner?
“He is Maurice Jones-Drew.  He is Ray Rice.  He’s really a talented player.  He can make you miss. He can put his foot in the ground and go and accelerate.  He can run you over.  He’s pretty impressive.  The kids from Georgia struggled with him and they’ve got some pretty good players on that team.  This guy is legitimate.  He gave us all we could handle last year so we’re going to have to be ready.”

How concerned are you about fan support at Rentschler Field?
“You always want to have the maximum number of fans possible.  We’re always concerned about that.  All we can do is win and be a team that plays good football; exciting football, aggressive defense, good special teams and score points on offense.  Undoubtedly the most we can do is add to the great experience of coming to Rentschler Field, which is a great place to watch a game.”

Adam Masters, SR, Offensive Tackle
On being 2-2 instead of 4-0: 
“We could talk about it all day but the bottom line is that we are 2-2. That’s the fact. We need to do something about it immediately.”

On how to improve and win games:
“It’s back to the drawing board. Look at the film and learn from it, as we have been. We have to come out to practice and come out with a new fire.  We just need to keep working.”

How is the team doing mentally?
“Mentally we are doing alright. We know what we are capable of. We just haven’t proved it yet. We are eager to prove our talent and I think it is something this team needs to do.”

Geremy Davis, SO, Wide Receiver
On difference from attitude last year to this year:
“I came into the year with more confidence. I wanted to have a bigger role on the team. Hopefully my role can help this team bring home more wins.”  

What part of your game has improved the most?
“I think I have improved in every aspect. From a route-running standpoint, blocking and catching the ball with my body I think I have improved.

On taking any positives from Western Michigan loss:
“We want to win and we didn’t. You can take little things away but in the end you can’t be too happy because we didn’t come out with the win. It was a good starting point for us. We hope to build from that and continue to improve.”

Nick Williams, SR, Wide Receiver
On frustration from Western Michigan loss:
“It’s very frustrating. We enter every game as we can win. Personally, I didn’t play as well as I should have and as a team we didn’t play as well as we should have. It’s frustrating when you don’t put your best foot forward and it results in an early-season loss.”

On Chandler Whitmer:
“I think he more comfortable with the plays and the offense. We’re running a difficult offense and he’s got the most on his plate. He is starting to show he is capable of making those plays and making things happen. He is a great player and things are going to start happening for him.”

On Buffalo game:
“It’s a big game for us to get back on track. We need to start winning consistently and get two wins in a row. Going into this game I think everyone’s mind we be right and we’ll have a great game on Saturday.”

Chandler Whitmer, RS So., Quarterback
On the offense putting it together late in the game but starting slow last weekend?
“We just need to come out of the gate firing from the get go.  We can’t have slow starts and let the other team get ahead of us because then we are fighting it from the start.  So we need to work on coming out firing.”

Do you think the team is better offensively once you get behind?
“I don’t know.  I think we just got in a rhythm there at certain point.  We were feeling good on everything that we were doing.  We just kept it rolling, moving the chains and getting first downs and eventually getting the ball into the end zone.”

How much did it help you personally to get that first touchdown pass?
“It’s exciting.  Anytime you get a touchdown, and finally got that first elusive touchdown pass, but it was good.  We just continue to execute each play and that’s what came as the result.  It helps my confidence a little bit, but you just have to play each play.”

Are there things you can take from that game, especially the way you did move the ball one you were behind?
“There are definitely positives and negatives though as well.  You can always learn from each game whether it’s positive or negative.  We’ll continue to work.  We took a look at the film and we got what we needed to improve upon this week to get ready for Buffalo.”

Do you feel a little more relaxed out there?
“I do a little. I’m just trying to improve each week.  I think the more I improve on my game, the more comfortable I’ll be out there and the more of a rhythm we’ll be able to get into.”

Coach stresses balance with a combo of rushing and passing, can you say to him to implement more passing into the game when you are in a groove like that?
“Those guys do a great job with play calling and knowing what we need to do in a situation.  My job is just to execute the play.”