STORRS, Conn. -
The University of Connecticut football team plays its final home game of the 20-15 season when it takes on nationally-ranked and undefeated Houston on Saturday at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. and the game will be televised nationally by ESPNU and heard on the UConn IMG Sports Radio Network.
The Huskies bring a 5-5 record into the game with a 3-3 mark in American Athletic Conference play. With a win in either of its last two games, UConn will be bowl eligible for the first time since the 2010 season.
UConn is tied for seventh in the country in interceptions with 15 and is tied for first in the American. The Huskies are also 18th nationally and third in the American in turnover margin. Sophomore cornerback Jamar Summers (East Orange, N.J.) leads the American in and is tied for third nationally in interceptions. Summers is also tied for fourth nationally in interceptions per game at 0.6. Houston has a 10-0 record and is 6-0 in the American.
The Cougars are ranked 13th in the latest Associated Press poll and are the highest-ranked team to play at Rentschler Field since UConn beat No. 11 USF on October 27, 2007.
There are a number of great options for Husky fans to buy tickets - which as low as $35 by CLICKING HERE.
In addition, season tickets holders have the ability to purchase additional discounted tickets using a special code that was emailed to them. Senior UConn students can receive free game tickets and all other UConn students, who don't have season tickets, can purchase them for $10 for themselves and friends.
Patrons attending the UConn vs. Furman men's basketball (noon at Gampel Pavilion) can buy football tickets for just $15 buy showing their hoops ticket stub. Tickets can be purchased either at the Gampel Ticket Office (North Entrance) or at the Pratt & Whitney Stadium box office, which is located at Gate B.
For the UConn media notes, CLICK HERE.
Tuesday was media day in Storrs and here is a wrapup with quotes, video and and Twitter entries.
UConn Head Coach Bob Diaco: "Thanks for coming everyone. It's good to get back to game week, although it was a much needed week for the players and the coaches and the rest of the staff that serves the team. After a little bit over three weeks of camp, which was an intense camp, and then into ten solid weeks of football games that were highly competitive, down to the wire, fourth quarter games. Every single one was a physical game and an emotionally taxing game. That bye week came right at the right time. It was much needed. So we took that. We took our time, and the players had a chance to recharge their batteries, mind, body and soul. We tried to approach it that way, not a lot of talk about the next opponent. It was more about us, ourselves and our healing. It was also about getting ahead academically, trying to stay on top of that work and taking the time to get that done. We also wanted to return to game week with a real fire, energy and excitement for being back together and for the work to be done. It's just so great for our football family to be at this point in November, talking about meaningful games, not that any particular football game wouldn't be meaningful, but to be in November and have a real relevance to achievement, goals, post-season play, and all things like that. We've definitely, just that piece, we've taken the next step in our program, which is exciting. You really couldn't write the script any better than to have Houston coming here on the road for our last home game, their last road game with all their accolades coming here to play our football team in a meaningful game. That's very exciting."
On the possibility of being bowl eligible with a win this weekend: "It's a big deal for that reason. It's a big deal because it's Senior Day. It's a big deal because there are a bunch of seniors who have poured so much into their experience here to work to change the circumstances and excel to win that home game in front of their family, friends and classmates to then also become bowl eligible. That feeling for me for them is what I'm drawn to. I think the rest of their brothers are drawn to the same cause."
On if he's actually talked with the team about the opportunity to be bowl eligible: "It's on everyone's mind. To not address it at all, you're avoiding the elephant in the room, but we haven't spent a lot of time talking about it. Any one thing should have the lights on full blast: playing at home, last home game, Senior Day, or that this is a meaningful game to become bowl eligible. You don't need them all. Any one of the things should be enough to drive you to all you have. Then you bring it back home about who we are and our DNA and you bring it back to full blast today. Do the best job that we can today. Do things that cause winning today. The emotions of that are useful in preparation. They are not really useful on game day."
On what it is about Houston that makes this such a tough challenge this weekend: "Tactically, it's a challenge that they have some complex systems, particularly on offense. It's basically triple option football where they are attacking dive, ally and force on every down. They have a couple of really talented quarterbacks to do those jobs, former wide receivers. They are athletic, hard to tackle. They can really punish you and they can also make the throws. It's not a wildcat style offense, it's a legitimate passing style attack. They have some real talent in all three phases. They like to give the ball to a very talented number ten, who is an excellent player, and he can also victimize you in the kicking games. He has changed games doing those jobs. The defense is loaded with good veteran players from a maturity stand point that play hard, fast and aggressive. They make a lot plays on the football. They take it away a bunch. The offense producing points at the clip that they produce points at, including special teams, and then the defense creating all of those opportunities creates a challenge for us."
R-So., Offensive Lineman, Tommy Hopkins
On Saturday's match-up against Houston: "It is a big opportunity to face an undefeated team. If we win, we get to be bowl eligible so it's important that we prepare and play hard. It's a huge game."
On what last week was like to clear his head for this week: "Last week we just focused on ourselves. We focused on what we need to improve, little things like technique, eyes in the right place to be ready for Houston."
On if this game comes at a good time for them: "I feel we are definitely ready. We've been working hard these last few weeks and the whole season. I think we're the best we've been right now."
On what they need to do to be better offensively: "I think we just really need to drill down our assignments and just fix the little things. That'll create more points and opportunities."
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