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Huskies Open Division Play At UCF

Running back Akreel Newsome

Oct. 6, 2015

STORRS, Conn. - The University of Connecticut football team hits the road for the third time in the past four weeks as it takes on UCF on Saturday at 3:45 p.m. on ESPNU and the UConn IMG Sports Network.

The Huskies bring a 2-3 record into the game, an 0-1 mark in American Athletic Conference play and the game is the Eastern Division opener for the Huskies. UCF is 0-5 on the season and is 0-1 in American play with a loss to Tulane last week.

For a copy of the UConn media notes, CLICK HERE.

Tuesday was Media Day in Storrs - here are quotes, videos and a Twitter recap of the day. UConn

Head Coach Bob Diaco

"Thank you everyone for coming and showing interest in the season and the Huskies. We're excited to be in game week here. The players yesterday were as on fire as they've been. Fire has never been an issue. They've been passionate and animated and excited for the work and it was no different yesterday. Although the loss was a tough loss, painful, just like all three have been particularly hard, because of the investment and because of the way the games went and how hard everybody strains for four quarters. We gave it its appropriate time. We did finally have an opportunity to get on a normal schedule, and grade the tape, and talk about it, and where one side of the ball wasn't wasting any time to get it corrected, and move forward with those corrections. That's kind of the mentality. It's use the information that we've collected, both the good and bad, to improve our team and be stronger moving forward than we were even at the beginning of the year. There's no reason why that shouldn't happen. I can say confidently that it will happen, because it makes sense. At this point, we have a healthy team, and I believe, we've worked on it, talked about it, and we're an honest group, and we believe that we have mentally healthy team too. They have appropriate perspective of where we're at, what we can be, and what we need to do to get there."

On grading the defense after BYU: "We're a keep the points down outfit. That's what we do, and we've created a plan to eliminate the things that they did to produce points, and it worked. It worked for a long time, but it didn't work for four quarters. As you look at the opponent, you look at what does this team do to win? What does this team do to produce points? We had a good handle on what BYU did to produce points, and we created a plan to eliminate that, and it actually happened until we just had that moment that lapse moment. Plays 1-87 look nothing like the next 10 plays. So the guys defended 98 plays, but the last 10 plays looked nothing like the 88 or 87 did before that."

On the CoFLliCT rivalry: "We changed the name. I say `we' I'm not sure it's a one man show or if there's more than one man. I don't know, but it's all good either way. We changed the named to Conflict so as to not offend anyone, and I don't mean that facetiously. I'm trying to do the right thing, so that it's taken as it's intended to be taken, which is quintessential college football. In fact, we put both scores on there, and we can peel them both off but whatever there's not one score on there, they're both on there. We tried to take the information and do the best we could without flat out buying a new trophy. We made the appropriate changes to it so that everybody, well not everybody is going to be happy, but as many people as we could. They were well thought out points and we didn't want to dismiss them. Again, just quintessential college football, just trying to add some positive, fun energy to a football game, and a conference, and a half of a conference. It's just cool. I think it's cool. I hope other people do. It's not intended to be anything other than that, something to energize the players and staffs on both sides, hopefully energize the fan bases on both sides so that we can have a great energetic game that is classy and high character, that's clean and with fairness. That's the idea."

On UCF's two freshmen quarterbacks (freshman & r-freshman) compare/contrast playing styles: "They're very similar. They're very similar players. Nine, Bo (Schneider) is a little more elusive, a little bit more escape ability, a little bit better runner. He has a strong arm. Eight (Tyler Harris) is a really good passer. When he has come in, he has moved the ball. He's produced first downs. He's been a very accurate passer. Both freshmen are big, strong, smart, and tough. We expect to see Justin (Holman). We're expecting to see all the guys. We hope that we can. Who doesn't want that? You want college football players to be healthy, and participate, and play in the games. If you don't want that, then you need to check yourself as to what you're doing here in the first place."

RS-Senior, Linebacker, Graham Stewart
On their thoughts going into Saturday's game:
"The team is super excited, of course. It's an extra benefit that it's league play, and we're just ready to get after it."

On matching up with Central Florida:
"They've proven to be the best team in our conference for a while. It's a tremendous honor to be able to go out there and compete against these guys and show what we're worth. I'm sure we're going to see a lot of great things from them as well."

On what they did against BYU to keep the points down:
"It wasn't anything crazy. We just stuck to the defense that was called, focused in on our key, and executed our assignment."

RS-Senior, Safety, Andrew Adams
On what he needs to do to benefit the team:
"I just need to be that leader. Everybody's confidence is still high, but I just need to make sure that everybody's confidence stays high. On the field, I need to be a dominant player myself. If I'm playing great football, then I'm pretty sure the rest of the youth is going to be playing great football. My communication is key. I've always been a big communicator, so as long as I get the defense lined-up, and I make the proper calls, everybody is going to be in the right position to make a bunch of plays."

On how he has fit into his role in the first five games:
"We've seen different offenses, triple option, conventional offense, pro-style, spread. I think I played well, but I still need to improve on a bunch of things. I'm working here in practice on that every day so I'll keep improving as the season goes on."

RS-Sophomore, Tight End, Tommy Myers
On the blocking vs. the receiving role:
"When I have to stand and block that's what I'm going to do to the best of my ability, and when the ball comes my way I'm obviously going to try and take advantage of it. I've been doing that and it's been good."

On if he believes the offense will start clicking:
"Absolutely. We just have to execute just a little better. We're right there. We just have to work a little harder in practice, and I think we're going to be very good."

On if league play rejuvenates the team, a new excitement for the guys:
"Every game, you go out and you fight your best, but now that league play is coming up, it's always good to look at it as we have to win these games. These are the ones. We can still go to the playoffs and we can still win the conference. Absolutely I think we put a little more emphasis on it."

The Last Meeting
UCF (Homecoming)29
November 1, 2014
Rentschler Field, East Hartford, Conn.
UConn Upsets First Place UCF, 37-29
Deshon Foxx ran for 102 yards and a score and Noel Thomas caught two touchdown passes and UConn upset first-place UCF 37-29 on Saturday.