Oct. 28, 2012
STORRS, Conn. - The University of Connecticut football teams returns to action on Saturday night as it travels to face USF at 7:00 p.m. Eastern. The game will be televised nationally on ESPNU from Raymond James Stadium and heard on the IMG Sports UConn Radio Network.
Both teams will be looking for their first BIG EAST win as the Huskies are 0-3 in the league with a 3-5 overall record while USF is 2-6 overall and 0-4 in the league.
For a look at the UConn media notes, CLICK HERE.
Head Coach Paul Pasqualoni held his weekly press conferernce via telephone Tuesday afternoon. Below the live chat box and quotes from the coach and select student-athletes.
We will be chatting live once again on UConnHuskies.com and see below for more information.
Head Coach Paul Pasqualoni
“We’re trying to get back on track. The guys got a few days off in this last week. They’ve been going hard since August and a little rest should do them some good. I thought we practiced pretty good today; knocking the rust off. South Florida is playing very hard. They’ve had a lot of disappointing losses where things just haven’t bounced their way. We’re sure they’re going to put together a great effort, so we’re going to have to put together a good game plan.”
On shifts in the offensive line:
On run game:
“Gus Cruz is working hard and fitting in [on the offensive line]. He’s communicating, getting the line calls, identifying the defenses and getting the pressure. I’m pleased with the focus and [the offensive line’s] effort to get ready for this game. We are going to have another tackle up, who would be Dalton Gifford, and another guard, who is Tyler Samra.”
“We’ve got so many runs in our offense. We’ve got power schemes and counter schemes and gap schemes. We have all those schemes and we’re just trying to work on the efficiency of getting those plays to produce and getting those blocks. That’s our focus.”
The threat that B.J. Daniels poses:
“Containment is a big part of it. He throws the ball really well. His completion percentage against us last year was pretty good. He certainly can hurt you throwing the ball, but when he drops back to throw the ball he can make as many yards running as he can passing. He poses all kinds of problems and that includes other quarterback runs like the draw. He presents multiple problems for the defense.”
On lack of turnovers forced:
“Unfortunately in the last game the ball was on the ground a couple times and we couldn’t get it. Sometimes you just have to get lucky and you get hot and collect a few. We need to put ourselves in situations where we can strip a few, get it out and get on top of it.”
Redshirt Sophomore Linebacker Yawin Smallwood
on lack of turnovers forced:
“I feel like [the lack of turnovers] has been based on how team’s have been playing against our defense. We’ve got to keep running to the football, try to make plays and the turnovers will come.”
On facing B.J. Daniels:
“It’s always difficult with a guy like B.J. Daniels. He’s a homerun type of player. We need to eliminate his big-play making as much as possible and make him go sideways instead of North.”
On run defense issues the last few weeks:
“We’ve faced a couple of good backs. Most games it has been just one or two plays that have sprung those backs to big days, but we can definitely do more to limit their runs. You still have to credit those backs.”
Redshirt Senior Linebacker Jory Johnson
On players buying in to the team’s concepts:
“We’re just focused on getting back on the right path. We had a bad month of October and we’re trying to put that behind us. We have to get back to working hard and show people that with four games left, this season isn’t lost just yet.”
On the potential to miss a bowl game for the second time:
“It’s been kind of tough. Last year we had a coaching change, but still finished just one win away [from a bowl]. As a part of the senior class, I feel like it’s on us to keep this team going. We still have a chance to make a bowl game, so we’re just trying to take it one week at a time.”
On BCS-clinching win in 2010:
“I remember us fighting. It was a defensive struggle. It was Lawrence Wilson that really kept us in it. Then we had a tie game and a big kick return. What I remember most was we played tough and won a defensive battle.”
Redshirt Sophomore Quarterback Chandler Whitmer
On time off:
“We just wanted to re-group. Personally, I worked on my fundamentals. During the season, when you get caught up in game-planning, it gets difficult to stay focused on the fundamentals and mechanics. I took the opportunity to work on my game.”
On running game:
“You’ve got to be balanced and be ready to do both things. If you’re not, you’re one dimensional and that makes it easy in the defense. It’s just a matter of putting it all together.”
On trying to become bowl-eligible:
“It has been a long season with eight games in a row. It’s nice to get the bye week and re-group and look at everything. I’m just trying to stay within myself and can’t get caught looking down the road. South Florida is the next opponent and we have to just look at the game in front of us and take it play-by-play.”