The University of Connecticut football team returns to action on Thursday when it travels to East Carolina for a 7:00 p.m. game that will be televised nationally on ESPNU and heard on the UConn IMG Sports Radio Network. East Carolina has a record of 5-1 entering the game is ranked No. 18 in the latest Associated Press poll. The Pirates are 2-0 in American Athletic Conference play and the game will be the first meeting between the schools.
CLICK HERE for the UConn media notes
Sunday was media day in Storrs for the game and here are quotes and video from head coach Bob Diaco plus a social media wrap up.
Bob Diaco Press Conference
Opening Statement "It's exciting to be in game week. Officially for us it started yesterday with a Monday focus, today is Sunday on the calendar but Tuesday for our program. That work is getting done as it relates to the opponent, which is not the biggest thing we have been doing. I've said this ad nauseum, we are focused on ourselves and the things that we need to do in getting better, each player and each coach getting better every day. If it doesn't necessarily fit into the opponent but if it needs to be done and coached and taught right now, then we are doing it. All three phases, academically and socially, with our physical fitness and nutrition and we drill them each day to get better. Outside of that, when there is an opportunity to fit our work into the opponent then we do, but it is not our top priority right now for our program. But it is fun and exciting to be in game week. What a great opportunity and a fun opportunity, you got to be looking forward to these moments. This is why you put your pads on and come to work to have these exciting chances."
Talking about positions that have shown most improvement over bye weeks. "I think that the D-Line, especially the young D-Line players, are getting better with their fundamental eye progression as it relates to foot action. Snaps firing, I think they have done a better job there. Faster, violent more heavy hands. So I've some improvements with those guys. They are moving along.
"On offense, overall, the offensive line keeps getting better and better. I watch them every day so it's easier for me to see. We haven't talked much since Tulane but I thought they did an admirable job there. We had no pre snap errors, zero. Which is a huge piece. From jumping offsides, to who's on the ball, who's off the ball, there was virtually none of that so that was exciting. We are able to do a little bit more with them because they got down some of the footwork and things that plagued this group. They keep getting better and better."
On East Carolina offense "They have a great quarterback, he is outstanding. He is one of the best, most productive players in the country. One of the most productive players in their history and he has some very talented players to get the ball to. Number 2, [Justin] Hardy, he's one of the best skill players in the country, you'll see that as the season comes to an end. He is a great player, no limitations, size and speed player, great hands and short space quickness. He is a complete player. There are also a couple other highly talented skill players, Number 7 [Lamar Ivey] and 9 [K'Hadree Hooker], the tailback, [Breon] Allen, very quick and very fast. You put that combination together of high level skill with a very talented quarterback and it becomes a potent powerful offenses."
On UConn Defense "We are always looking for more negative plays and turnovers but we are not a feast or famine outfit. You see a lot of teams play like that and you may see a lot of sacks, TFL's and maybe a pick or a ball disruption here or there but also see a lot of points. So our objective, and we are built, because we want to keep the points down. So nothing is going to compromise that charge."
#UConn DT Folorunso Fatukasi remains upbeat despite his family being displaced from home during Hurricane Sandy http://t.co/BUGS52uV0Z-- Jim Fuller (@NHRJimFuller) October 19, 2014
Sunday presser: UConn's football R&Dproject http://t.co/9i0BCtgc33-- John Silver (@JohnFSilver) October 19, 2014
@UConnFootball HCBD: Marquise Vann will be a better leader. Has been a good run fit player, getting better in the pass game.-- Joe D'Ambrosio (@JoeDSports) October 19, 2014
@UConnFootball HCBD- Teaching core fundamentals are things that he enjoys.-- Joe D'Ambrosio (@JoeDSports) October 19, 2014