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It's UConn-West Virginia Game Week

Oct. 25, 2010

STORRS, Conn. - The eyes of the college football world will come to Rentschler Field on Friday night at the Husky football team hosts West Virginia. Kickoff is at 8:00 p.m. and the game will be televised nationally by ESPN2.

For a look at the UConn Media Notes, CLICK HERE.

There will also be a live chat during the UConn vs. West Virginia game -- the official live chat of UConn football. Check it out here!

Here are UConn player quotes from Tuesday's media luncheon...

Head Coach Randy Edsall:

Opening statement:

"We have a very tough opponent in West Virginia. They're a very skilled team with one of the top defenses in the country. Offensively they have very skilled people at running back in Noel Devine, and at receiver in Jock Sanders and Tavon Austin. They're a very skilled football team and a team that has given us issues over the years. We're going to have to play very well in order to have an opportunity to win."

"Will you try to replicate some of the things Syracuse did in their victory over West Virginia last week?"

"Syracuse got three turnovers which helped them a lot. They also hit three field goals and a touchdown. They did a lot of things with the running game that were advantageous to them. We're going to do things that we think we do well. Hopefully we'll be able to go out and execute."

"What did (redshirt freshman QB) Mike Box show you that you liked in the Louisville game?"



"I liked his demeanor. He didn't have any penalties. He didn't have any situations where he wasn't managing the game. He made the one bad throw where he didn't set his feet on the interception. He did well on his feet and running the ball. He added a dimension to our offense that we didn't have before. I think that Mike is just going to continue to get better with experience. He doesn't have to win a game for us, he just has to do his job to the best of his ability like the other ten guys on offense."

On the lack of a player who leads the team by example:

"We don't have a Ryan Krug or an Alfred Fincher who's going to go up and grab one guy by the tail and be the enforcer. I've talked to a couple of guys this week, but it has got to be natural. You can't be somebody that you're not. They're not seniors, and they have that ability, but they need to step out of their comfort zone and not worry about what the other guys think of them. Andre Dixon wasn't a captain last year, but he kept that team together. He was a leader because he went out there and did it. We don't have that one guy this year who will take the bull by the horns. I see the quality in some of the guys, but they need to step up and be the enforcer."

"Do you think (LB) Scott Lutrus has been more careful on the field since returning from his injury?"

"We've talked to him on that because we do. He just has to go out there and let it go. You'll see him on some special teams this week. I've never hit anybody hard enough in football to have a stinger. I don't know what it feels like, or what's going through his mind, because I've never had that. He's out there playing and trying to do everything he can, but I think he is being a bit tentative."

"Do you have a comment to the group of fans that are calling for you to be fired?"

"That's one of those questions that it doesn't matter how you answer it, so maybe I'm better off not answering at all. People can have opinions, but I need to be careful with the statements I make. If I was Geno (Auriemma), I could probably get away with the statement. People can have opinions and say what they want to say, but the people I need to care about are the players, the people at this university, and myself. I didn't get dumb overnight. Some years you have enough pieces for the puzzle and some years you don't. All I can do is work to make these kids all that they can be in every aspect of life."

#71 Mike Ryan (Tamaqua, Pa.) - RS Jr., Offensive Tackle

You are from the coal country of Pennsylvania, what made you want to attend UConn?

"This is a great place. My high school coach was friends with (UConn) Coach Edsall. He told him about me and we met when it was time for the recruiting process. When I came to visit, I liked a lot about this place. I liked the atmosphere, the academics and everything about UConn. I've grown to love it here."

How much pride do you guys on the offensive line take in having such a great running game that has become the standard at UConn?

"I think every offensive line is judged by pass protection and rushing yards. Every game that we have big rushing gains, we feel like we've accomplished something as a unit. So we take it seriously and try to help Jordan Todman and all the running backs run for as many yards as possible."

What does this offense need to do to get back on track against West Virginia?

"We need to go out and have fun. I feel the first couple of games after the loss at Michigan we weren't having enough fun out there. If we get back to that, get back to playing like we did as young kids, flying around on the field, we should be a better team overall."

You are an English major at UConn, beyond playing at the next level for football, what do you see yourself doing?

"I picked English because I wanted to teach. I had a great teacher in 5th grade and he meant a lot to me, I learned a lot from him. My high school coach was also a big influence in my life. I picture myself pursuing the teaching and coaching careers later in life."

#4 Mike Box (Suwanee, Ga.) - RS Fr., Quarterback

How was it getting your first start?

"I had so many emotions before the first snap. I just kept telling myself to get through the first snap and everything would be fine. The first snap was great and after that it was just another football game for me."

"The game speed was fine, it wasn't anything that I haven't trained for. It was just football, and I was ready."

How is the relationship with the receivers?

"I'm starting to grow a relationship with all of the receivers now. They all have different tendencies and I'm quickly learning them all. I have to get used to throwing to them, but that just takes practice and it's something that I need to focus on during the week before games."

On also being able to run the ball:

"I have no problem running if that's what I need to do. Would I rather throw it to guys that are faster than I am? Of course. But it the team needs me to run I can do that and I have no problem doing that to help the team."

#49 Anthony Sherman (North Attleboro, Mass.) - Sr., Fullback

On the week ahead:

"I think it's good that we had a short week this week. It forced us to focus on the next game and not dwell on the Louisville game last week. It will be a great game this weekend. We always want to win every game, but to get a win against West Virginia would be great."

On leadership:

"As captains we need to be more vocal and step up as leaders. That is what the team needs at this moment and that's our job to step up and take the lead."

#32 Scott Lutrus (Brookfield, Conn.) - RS Sr., Linebacker On leadership:

"Everyone can step up and lead it doesn't necessarily have to be the captains. Anything helps when it comes to leadership and it will be respected no matter who it comes from."

On the West Virginia game:

"West Virginia is a game we haven't won yet and we want and need the win this week. We are happy to be back on the field after last week and we will be ready for Friday despite having the short week of practice."