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Huskies Heading To The Big Easy To Take On Tulane

UConn running back Arkeel Newsome

Nov. 3, 2015

STORRS, Conn. - The University of Connecticut football team travels to New Orleans on Saturday to take on Tulane at 4:00 p.m. Eastern time. The Huskies have a 4-5 record and are 2-3 in the American Athletic Conference while the Green Wave are 2-6 and 1-4.

The game will be televised by ESPNews and heard on the UConn IMG Sports Radio Network.

The Huskies are coming off a rousing 31-13 win at home against East Carolina last week as sophomore Arkeel Newsome (Ansonia, Conn.) is now 16th in the country in all-purpose yards while the Husky defense is third in the country in interceptions.

For a copy of the UConn media notes, CLICK HERE.

Tuesday was Media Day in Storrs. Here are quotes, videos and a Twitter wrapup of the day.

Head Coach Bob Diaco

"Thanks for coming everybody. We're excited about getting back to work on the team, especially after a win. There's a lot of high spirits, a lot of belief and a lot of confidence, which is great. Preparing with that 180 dynamic is an interesting conversation and a much welcomed conversation. We got back together and went right back to work. The guys are enjoying each other and enjoying the work. Bodies are sore, it's week ten, not counting camp and the time leading up to that. We've had ten in a row and everybody is feeling that a little bit, but not unlike any other team I wouldn't think. Every game has been a battle, but spirits are high, guys are excited and pleased. There's a lot to coach. That was another good conversation Monday. You're excited about where we're at, you're excited about what happened and here are still nine plays to get corrected. We always watch those as a full group, so that was very positive too, for them, a positive energizer taken the right way. We're excited to move forward, to go on the road and battle through that adversity and work to win. We have a great challenge this week, a lot of athletes on the field, a lot of play makers that we're going to compete against and create match-up issues that need care this week. Both systematic care and also just fundamental care by the players. November becomes a separator, based on lifestyle. The student-athletes that might not have otherwise stepped on the gas-pedal as students, and/or in strength and conditioning, and/or nutrition or sleep, it starts to catch them now. The semester starts to wrap-up, everything gets harder, the season is wearing on you and now it starts to accumulate and might start to show itself in the games. So I'm excited about watching the work and the investment done as it relates to playing in November."

On what a 90-yd play does for the energy of the team in a close game, such as the one vs. East Carolina: "It's a game-breaker. It's a game-changer. It's more than just a touchdown. It's an explosive play that creates great energy on the team and in the stadium and in the fans. It's also a crusher on the other side. Like a see-saw, as one side goes up, the other side doesn't stay in the same spot. As one side goes up, the other side goes down. It works on two levels. If there's anything that's been missing it's those explosive chunk plays. As you watch a Saturday of college football, and then a Sunday of NFL football, a lot of points are being produced off of explosive chunk plays. So it is critical that they happen for you, and it was nice to see."

On what coach saw as an improvement on offense in the last game: "I felt like Bryant (Shirreffs) did a better job of keeping his eyes down field and finding open receivers. Although accuracy wasn't great and needs to improve, at least the ball was going down field. When he tried to move his legs, he didn't take unnecessary shots. There was some coaching that went on there that was very positive. I thought the two offensive tackles took a step forward. I thought they played well. I was pleased with how they played. Another week of being impressed with both tight ends. Tommy (Myers) and Alec (Bloom) continue to show improvement outside of the ball security error. They really block well at the point of attack. That was a huge factor in the game. Just in general, the players triggering and activating down field to get a second block outside the scope of their responsibility allowed for some longer passes and some longer runs, which was very positive."

On what challenges Tulane's defense will pose: "Whether they're the most imposing four-down that we've seen yet is debatable. Missouri had a very strong defensive line, those four-down players were very strong, BYU's defensive line. Collectively, we saw some very talented players, but this Tulane front is as good, or potentially better than anyone we've played up to this point. We have a huge challenge for our offensive line and tight ends. It's not just the all-conference performers from a year ago, the interior run technique and three technique are absolutely dynamic players, big, fast, and physical. They're as good as any two interior players as I've seen. They wreak havoc on the opponent, talking about (Tanzel) Smart and (Corey) Redwine. They are excellent players to go along with (Royce) LaFrance. It's going to be a huge challenge."

R-So., Tight End, Tommy Myers

On if the emotion is different at the end of this season, because there is something to play for:
"Absolutely. When you're playing for something, it's a lot easier to have that emotion and to go out there and play the best you can. When you're playing for a bowl game or for a championship, when you can go to practice every day and know that that's there, it's a lot more fun. At the end of last season, you're just working to get better to become a better player. Now this season, you see what is ahead of you, and you just want it."

On if the offense needed the performance they had last week after a tough couple weeks: "Anytime your offense goes out there and can execute and score, it's a great confidence booster, especially for the rest of the season. We have a lot of good teams coming up, Tulane is one of them and we have to prepare for them, but it was definitely good." On if he expected the tight ends to have a bigger role coming into the season: "I don't think so. I think it's just great. I think the offense really is towards the tight ends and I love how we're playing this year and we just have to keep it rolling."

The Last Meeting
October 11, 2014
Yulman Stadium, New Orleans, La.
UConn Falls at Tulane, 12-3
Chandler Whitmer was 17 of 24 for 141 yards for UConn, but the Green Wave defeated Connecticut 12-3 on Saturday night.