STORRS, Conn. - The UConn football team hits the road on Thursday night for a prime time matchup against sixth-ranked Houston at TDEDU Stadium. The game kicks off at 8:00 p.m. Eastern and will be televised nationally by ESPN and heard on the UConn IMG Sports Radio Network.
Houston is 4-0 on the season with wins over Oklahoma, Lamar, Cincinnati and Texas State. The Cougars have only lost one game since the beginning of the 2016 season - and that was to UConn last season at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field. That 20-17 win propelled UConn to bowl eligibility. UConn is 2-2 this season and is coming off a 31-24 loss to Syracuse on Saturday.
CLICK HERE for the UConn media notes for the game.
With a short week, Monday was Media in Storrs. Here are quotes and video from head coach Bob Diaco and redshirt senior kicker Bobby Puyol (North Palm Beach, Fla.) and a Twitter recap of the day.
UConn Head Coach Bob Diaco
"The team is excited to be in game week. Today is working Wednesday of the next opponent. The game on Saturday was tough because we can see how close these games are and how good we've become. There's still been a few moments that have created losing and prevented winning. It's not a complacent attitude for sure. It's not an excited attitude either about where we're at. I don't want to be misinterpreted. The team has gotten better every week in all three phases. For some reason, in all four games, we have had a few explosive plays in the passing games. That's not a characteristic of how we play. Those plays have made the games harder than they need to be. We've had some turnovers that have resulted in uncontested touchdowns. That can't happen. If you're going to turn the football over, and it's going to have at certain times, they don't need to turn into scores. We've had three uncontested turnovers for scores. If it's an anomaly, it needs to end. If it's not an anomaly, it needs to be coached to end because when those things happen in a game you're not going to win, especially against fine and quality competition. We have bright spots in all three phases that we're excited about. We're getting better and we're excited to get back at it this week against a great, great challenge. It's an exciting challenge."
On if it is harder to play in a short week coming off a loss: "I honestly haven't found that with this team. I think every team is different year-to-year. They seem to come to work ready to learn every day. I'm so energized about this group of guys."
On improvements during the Syracuse game: "We ran a ton of plays so that was much improved. We had way more first downs and time of possession was almost at 39 minutes. We possessed the ball and managed the field. We had control of the game. We were playing the game we wanted to play. The coverage teams looked better. The kick and punt coverage team both improved in terms of guys getting out and being down there to have the returner corralled. I thought there were very few communication errors considering how fast they were going. It was a challenging circumstance but it didn't really pose that much of a challenge to our group, systematically. They were locked in and that's an improvement."
On the play of Tyler Davis: "He's coming on. He's still a liability blocking and that will be the final thing to come. He's a willing blocker. He just never really learned the fundamental techniques to striking. He's a talented player. He's got strong hands and he's a good size-speed guy. Those have all been traits that have always been present. He's got a deep understanding of the offense. He'll continue to be more and more productive. He needs to work on his blocking and I think the ball will continue to come to him more and more."
Diaco says he has seen improvement in all three phases of the game from the Huskies.
-- Ed Daigneault (@EdDaigneault) September 26, 2016
-- Jim Fuller (@NHRJimFuller) September 26, 2016
Diaco sticks with "day to day" on injured guards, added that Vechery, Hopkins and Rutherford are all cleared. Will have to see them practice
-- Mike Anthony (@ManthonyCourant) September 26, 2016