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Football Returns Home To Face Temple

Max DeLorenzo and the Huskies look to get back to their winning ways.

Oct. 8, 2012

STORRS, Conn. - The University of Connecticut football teams return to action on Sat., October 13 at 1:00 p.m. when it plays hosts to Temple at Rentschler Field in the BIG EAST Conference home opener for the Huskies. Connecticut is 3-3 on the season with an 0-1 BIG EAST record while Temple is 2-2 overall and 1-0 in the league.

The game will be available on ESPN3 and on the UConn IMG Sports Radio Network - including flagship station WTIC New Talk 1080. Other affiliates for UConn football on the UConn IMG Sports Network include WILI 1400-AM in Willimantic and WAVZ-1300 AM in New Haven. The UConn vs. Temple game will also be available on satellite radio on Ch. 93 on Sirius and 194 on XM.

To purchase tickets for the game, PLEASE CLICK HERE

For the UConn game notes, PLEASE CLICK HERE

The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee will conduct a "Winter Wear Drive" at the Temple game. The "Winter Wear Drive" has become an annual tradition of the SAAC at a UConn home football game. Patrons are asked to bring gently-used coats, hats, scarves, mittens, gloves, etc. to the game and they will be collected as they enter the stadium. The items will be donated to the Cornerstone Foundation in Rockville, Conn.; the Windham Area Interfaith Ministries of Willimantic, Conn., and the Salvation Army of Willimantic, Conn.

The game will also be "Breast Cancer Awareness Day" as part of the NCAA's initiative to promote this worthy cause. UConn players will wear pink ribbon decals on their helmets along with other pink team accessories, including ribbons for coaches and staff. There will be a pregame recognition of breast cancer survivors and there will also be a breast cancer survivor participate in the coin toss. will once again host the official live chat of the game and for information on it, please see below.

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


Head Coach Paul Pasqualoni
Opening Statement:
“We’re excited to have a good week of practice.  We’ve got another big game in the conference.  Temple is obviously coming off a pretty exciting, and I’m sure for them a pretty emotional, win over South Florida.  They’ll come in with a 1-0 conference record.  It will be a hard-fought game.”

What is your coaching relationship with Steve Addazio going back to your days at WCSU?
“We had a bunch of young coaches [at Western Connecticut].  Steve [Addazio] was there.  He was the offensive line coach and offensive coordinator.  Frank Leonard was there.  He is now the tight ends coach at Temple.  We had a lot of guys.  We did everything ourselves.  It was a great way to develop and to learn.  I think all of the guys that were there appreciate being in I-A football because they don’t have to water the grass, paint the field, do the laundry, pass out the towels and do everything that you have to do when you’re in a small college environment.  We won a lot of games and we had a lot of fun.  It was a good way to get started in college football.”

Did you have a sense that Addazio had what it took to be a head coach?
“Steve was an excellent player at Central Connecticut and had a tour of duty at pre-season camps in the NFL and that was a great experience for him.  Then when he came with me up to Western, it was very clear to me that he had a lot of energy; he was a high energy guy and good motivator.  His guys always played hard.  You didn’t have to worry about his position not knowing what to do or not playing hard or not acting the right way.  He took great pride in that and you could see that certainly at every stop he’s made.  It was clear the Steve was going to be a very good coach.”

Can you talk about the Temple running game?
“Montel Harris, the transfer from Boston College, is really a very good downhill tough runner.  I would say that he’s going to run their power game very well.  Matt Brown is just an explosive, dynamic guy in the perimeter.  He’s very dynamic and very good catching the ball and has speed to get around the corner.  [Spencer] Reid is a good back as well.”

What can be done to get more production out of the offensive line?
“We’re working really hard at the run game.  Sometimes there are more people involved than the offensive line.  It’s the tight ends; it’s the wide receivers making the blocks on the safeties and the corners.  I think it would be unfair to say that the issue of us not being able to run the ball as well as we’d like is solely on the offensive line.”

Do you sense a level of frustration right now with the players?
“I will say this, we’ve played six games and I would say that we’ve played some good teams.  In that bunch of six, there are probably five teams that are pretty good teams.  I think we’ve battled.  Every one of those games was a winnable game.  I’m not frustrated with it.  We’re coaching and teaching.  I like the way the kids are working.  We’ve got half of the season to go.”

Despite how well the defense has played, can they cause more turnovers?
“It’s something that we’re working on.  On Saturday, I think you saw a good execution of the ‘strip-drill’ on the kick-off return.  Marquise Vann I thought did an excellent job of really giving a great effort to get to the ball and try and get the ball out.  Those are thing we work on one day a week because during the season we can’t work on everything everyday.  We’re trying for those plays.  We’re trying for interceptions.  We’re not getting as many as we’d like, but sometimes all of a sudden two or three will fall into your lap.  So you just keep going hard.”

Sophomore Quarterback Chandler Whitmer
Is there a sense of urgency going into the Temple game?
“Absolutely. BIG EAST play is always tough no matter who you play. We are going to take it one game at a time.”

How was the bus ride home from Rutgers?
“It was good. I watched the film to see what we can improve on. We were anxious to get back and start working on the things we did wrong. As disappointing as it was there are still a lot of things we can take from the loss and work on.”

Are you a vocal team leader?
“When I need to be. I try to bring energy to the offense. For me it’s trying to do the right things, work hard and show my teammates we need to buy into what coach is trying to do with the team.”

On watching game film: 
“You have to swallow your pride. You are going to make mistakes. You need to man-up and accept those mistakes and learn from them.”

Senior Cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson
Are you frustrated at this point?
“I am not really frustrated. There are a lot of things we need to work on. At 3-3 we are at a crossroads. This is a test to our leadership. The upperclassmen have all been here before and we need to make sure the entire team plays with a sense of urgency from now on.”

On moving forward?
“There are some things we need to do. Coach has touched on them and we are working hard in practice to correct things. We need to play for 60 minutes. We need to execute every play call. We are really looking forward to Temple.”

On being a leader:
“When it comes to leadership there are so many different ways to approach it. As leaders we need to make sure we don’t feel sorry for ourselves and come out strong every day.”

Sophomore Running Back Lyle McCombs
Is there more of a sense of urgency this week compared to the past few weeks?  Do you need a win?
“Yea, absolutely.  We’re losing games, but guys are hungry.  We have the right attitude still, but guys just have to put it all together.”

How do you stay positive in these situations and not let it get away from you?
“You just have to stay positive.  It’s a test of our character at this point.  We don’t give up.  We’re gonna keep pushing through it, keep pushing through it, and see where it gets us in the end.”

Is sticking to the game plan critical at this time of year?
“We stick to the game plan that the coaches lay out for us and we try to execute it as best we can.”

On being 3-3 and possibly having a much better record than that:
“I think we all know that we’re better than that.  We’re better than what our record shows.  We know last year and this year.  We have some figuring out to do and some more work to do this week.  We’re looking to have this win give us some momentum during the rest of the season.”

On scoring just three points last week against Rutgers:
“It’s disappointing because we have such a great defense that fights and claws to give us opportunities to win and we’re not capitalizing on them.  It’s frustrating but we have to keep pushing through to stay positive and hold up our end.”