Oct. 19, 2010
STORRS, Conn. -
Following an off week, the University of Connecticut football team returns to action this Saturday when it travels to Louisville for a 3:30 p.m. game. The game will be televised nationally on ESPNU.
To see UConn's media notes for the game, CLICK HERE.
The UConn Athletic Communications Office will once again hold a pregame live chat. This week's live chat will be Thursday, Oct. 12 at noon. Click below to register or join the chat.
Here are quotes from UConn's Tuesday press conference.
Head Coach Randy Edsall
"Louisville is a different team than we saw last year. We've been very impressed with Bilal Powell, if you had a chance to see that game the other night, you saw that he can run extremely well, he's powerful, he has speed, and I think he has three touchdowns over 75 yards this year. He's right behind Jordan (Todman) in yards per game. They're ranked number one in the BIG EAST in total offense. Defensively, they're very active. It's a tremendous challenge as we go down there and we need to get a win on the road."
How did the team take advantage of the week off?
"We had a chance to study ourselves and take a look at issues that we had, and work on those issues. It also gave us a chance to take a look at who we are after six games, and what direction we need to go in. The kids were able to see the things that we need to work on and we'll be able to do that going forward."
What types of things did you talk about improving?
"We need to work on moving the ball. We need to work on getting the ball down the field and putting us in position to score. That's the biggest thing. Also, taking advantage of opportunities and holding down our blocks. Defensively, we can't give up the big plays. We also need to get better on third downs--defensively and offensively."
On the team regaining the feeling that they need to earn victories:
"We've talked about it. They need to understand that they're not entitled to anything. They need to go out there and earn it. I said, 'Guys, I can tell you all of these things, but you're the ones who need to go out and get it done. I'm telling you the truth. What you have to do and go out and earn it. I've told you that every day since the spring.' I can show them things and tell them things, but ultimately it comes down to self motivation and what they want to go out and prove."
On TB D.J. Shoemate returning to the backup position on the depth chart:
"D.J. is a guy that has been put down a little bit, but then he went and worked his tail off. It's important to him to get on the field and contribute. He's a guy that I can use as an example as someone who's had some issues but has gone out and worked extremely hard to get himself back in the right position."
On sophomore OG Erik Kuraczea leaving the team:
"Erik Kuraczea has withdrawn from the university for persona reasons, and he's looking to go to another college in January. That's all I have to say on that situation. He is no longer with us."
#57 Moe Petrus (St. Laurent, Quebec) - RS Jr., Center
The team is running the ball really well and the quarterbacks certainly aren't being sacked too often. Are you satisfied with the blocking lately?
"I'm not really satisfied with it. While the quarterback hasn't been sacked all that much, we are still giving up too many hits. I always think there's room for improvement. Even though we are putting up a lot of yards on the ground, we can gain more and we can certainly give Cody (Starting quarterback Cody Endres) more time. Hopefully that's what we do this week against Louisville."
Have you seen more intensity lately in practice? Coach mentioned some complacency with the team having performed so well the last few years. Have you seen more of a sense of urgency these last few days and weeks?
"Yes I think it started out last week in the bye week. We had two practices last week and the guys were more focused. That's continuing to this week. It's hard to lose to Rutgers. That was one game we certainly had circled on our calendar that we wanted to win. That brought a reality check for us and guys are going to be more focused all week, continuing during the season even if we start rolling off wins."
Is that a problem for all teams, maintaining that intensity?
"I think so. We have a lot of young guys and it's hard to keep their focus, especially when things are going good. We had two wins a row. Guys thought that the ball was rolling at full speed and they didn't need to continue to work. We always need to put the work in every day in meetings, the weight room and practice. We always have to stretch to get better. We pride ourselves on our work ethic. "
#12 Cody Endres (Washington, Pa.) - RS Jr., Quarterback
On the season this far:
"We are a little frustrated at this point because we know we are better than this. It was good to get the week off and think about what we need to work on and what we need to do for the rest of the season."
On the game against Louisville:
"This is a huge BIG EAST game for us against Louisville. It is almost a must win and Louisville is a good team. We need to come together as a team and play well on the road and focus on what we need to do and play to our potential."
#99 Kendall Reyes (Nashua, N.H.) - RS Jr., Defensive Tackle
On road games and the season so far:
"We just need to finish games. We are making plays and we are in the games until the end, but we just have had trouble finishing on the road."
"No, you don't forget the first six games because we need to look back on those and see what went wrong and fix those things. That's what we did with the week off, we focused on fixing parts of our game that we have been having problems with."
On the game against Louisville:
"We need to stop the run. If you get a team to where they have to throw the ball it's easier for the defense to prepare and adjust on the field if we are focusing on the passing game."