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Huskies Head To East Carolina On Saturday

Oct. 25, 2016

STORRS, Conn. - The UConn football team travels to East Carolina this Saturday to play the Pirates in a noon game at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. The game will be televised on ESPNews and heard on the UConn IMG Sports Radio Network.

East Carolina brings a 2-5 record into the game and an 0-3 mark in the American Athletic Conference while the Huskies are 3-5 and 1-4. One of East Carolina's wins came against North Carolina State of the ACC earlier in the season.

The game features two of the top receivers in college football as East Carolina's Zay Jones leads the country in receptions per game with 13.6 and Husky senior Noel Thomas (Norwalk, Conn.) is fourth at 9.5

For a look at the UConn media notes, CLICK HERE

Tuesday was Media Day in Storrs. Here are quotes and video from UConn head coach Bob Diaco and redshirt senior cornerback John Green (Miami, Fla.) plus a Twitter recap of the day.

UConn Head Coach Bob Diaco

Opening Statement

"We are back to work against ECU. We need to do a lot of focus on ourselves, talk about correcting our own mistakes before we can really move on with conversation about our opponent. Obviously, we have to fit things into what they do and prepare for what they do but a lot of the focus is going to be on ourselves. That is what is creating the issue right now. The players are excited to learn why and to work to get it solved.

"The other piece is going on the road and getting the win. So make little different changes and little different mechanics moving forward to just add a little different energy and mindset to the week. Let's go on the road and be productive, consistent and play four quarters.

"Last week it wasn't the opponent, it was ourselves. Getting into the red zone, you talk about seven penetrations and having one touchdown, it's tough. There were a lot of improvements on the emphasis points, the things that we communicated to the players and prepared for the players, worked. Like I said last week, you put a finger in the crack and then another one springs. So obviously this week, the red zone becomes something that we worry about. We will do something about it each day.

"The team has done a nice job of when something gets corrected, it doesn't persist. They've focused on ball security, last week was a major focus on negative plays, they were cut in less than half. So now we have added red zone as our focus for this week.

"But that (red zone) didn't produce losing; it was the defense that was the issue. Up 16-0 to let them back in the game, based on the way we were operating that was unacceptable. That is not how we roll here and the process of getting that fixed has already begun.

"I'm excited about this week, the team is excited about this week and we have a great challenge."

How to overcome frustrations

"There is only one way to do it, with love, trust, respect, communication, care more deeply, find another way and maybe go a little bit less. It has been hard on the players, whether they are physically gassed or not, every game has been a battle. There has a moment where you can relax physically and that isn't even talking about the emotional taxing nature of what we have been through. Every moment is so intense for the last five weeks. I need to acknowledge as a head coach that we need to have a little bit more fun and be cognizant that we are near the end of a grueling part of our schedule."

Improving the pass defense

"I think part of it is being sure we are disciplined and detailed when facing a running quarterback, we need to do more drill work and working on fundamentals. Address it tactically, systematically and address with some practice work."

On offensive line

"They are getting better, I though Vesh (Vechery) did well. I thought Trey (Rutherford) once he settled into the game, he had a couple of early issues but once he settled in it worked out. Andreas (Knappe) had a really good game. He continues to get better and better. The offense as a whole is getting better and there are a lot more plays out there."

On getting tight ends involved

"We have tried to get them more involved. You saw a new package and new formation in the game, it wasn't overly productive, but there are passes off those plays to the tight ends and they were targeted a bit. They are good players, Tommy (Myers) made some plays and Alec (Bloom) made some plays and I thought the tight ends as a whole had a nice game. We need to continue to grow that."