Nov. 20, 2012
STORRS, Conn. - The University of Connecticut football team looks to remain in the running for bowl eligibility when it visits No. 18/19 Louisville at noon on Saturday. The game will be broadcast on SN Yand can be heard on the UConn IMG Sports Radio Network at 1080 WTIC-AM.
The Huskies are 4-6 on the season, having beaten Pittsburgh at home before the bye week 24-17, and 1-4 in the BIG EAST. The Cardinals enter at 9-1 overall and 4-1 in the league, following its first loss of the season coming to Syracuse, two weeks ago.
For a look at the UConn media notes CLICK HERE.
We will hold a live chat during the game here at UConnHuskies.com. Look below for deatils.
Head coach Paul Pasqualoni held his weekly press conference Monday morning. Below are quotes from coach Pasqualoni and select student-athletes.
Head Coach Paul Pasqualoni
"Today was our first full-day of preparation. We had great weather out there [today], which was great to be outside. We need to put together another good day tomorrow, good day on Thursday and a good review on Friday. Louisville is obviously an excellent team. They have one of the top quarterbacks in the country. It will be a hostile environment for sure; a tough place to play."
What makes Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater so special?
"I would say that, he doesn't get rattled under duress; he keeps his composure. I think he has a good sense for sliding into what I would call soft-spots in the pocket. He feels he doesn't necessarily have to see the space, but he feels where the space is; he's able to move around, slide up, slide laterally equally to his left. Some right-handed quarterbacks, when they have to move, they can only go to the right. This player, Teddy Bridgewater, he'll slide equally to his left, then to his right. Then when he comes out of the pocket, his eyes are still down field, which is really the impressive part."
Was it a good thing to have a second bye week during the second half of the season?
"I think it was a good thing in the fact that we did have some bumps and bruises that we got a chance to come down; get a couple more treatments. [Nearing] the end of the semester, the academic stuff gets pretty intense so we had a little bit more time in study hall during the off week. I think that it was okay. The other part of the reason I say that is we played two games in six days."
How is the progress in the run-game coming along?
"We're trying to build on what we did [against Pittsburgh]. I think that the guys are getting a little bit more comfortable and a little bit more confident. Gus Cruz has been [at right guard] for a little while and I think that they're working hard."
What kind of dynamic does Nick Williams add for this team in the return-game?
"He adds the element of being able to make an explosive play on special teams. If you can cover kicks well, that helps your team and if you have a chance when [the opponent] punts it or kicks it away to be able to make a play and gain field position it really helps you. If Nick can catch the ball, he's a threat to make a big play."
Are you seeing results from your first group of recruits or from players on the recruiting trail?
"I like a great deal the kids we brought into [the 2012] recruiting class. We redshirted nearly everybody. I like the way they work. We kept some of them in game-plan development. [Defensive lineman] Mykal Myers has been in every game-plan meeting. He takes reps in every practice; we haven't played him yet. [Quarterback] Casey Cochran is in every game-plan meeting. He doesn't get a bunch of reps, but he does other things well on the practice field. Our approach with those guys is that they're practicing, they're reading and they're running football just like everyone else. I'm also excited about the group coming in. I think we've got 18 as of the other day."
Redshirt-Sophomore Safety Ty-Meer Brown
On facing Teddy Bridgewater:
"It's going to be tough to be disciplined in coverage and make sure nobody gets behind us while he's scrambling around. Our scout team quarterback does a good job every week of playing how the other quarterback plays, so while he's scrambling in practice we stay deep."
On Bridgewater's ability to scramble and keep his eyes down field:
"All that means is we have to stay in coverage as long as we can and make sure we don't get undisciplined."
On trying to keep the team's bowl eligibility alive:
"We have these next two games ahead of us. We're looking forward to winning this game and coming home for Cincinnati and winning that game as well to become bowl eligible."
Redshirt-Sophomore Quarterback Chandler Whitmer
What did you guys see from the film that you can take advantage of on Saturday?
"Syracuse did a great job against [Louisville]. We're just going to play our game and attack the call that's made."
On the lack of offensive production in the second half against Pittsburgh:
"I guess we just got comfortable. That's something that we have to continue to work on is finishing off our quarters. We got a little conservative at the end and just tried to ride it out I think, but we need to stay aggressive."
On sustaining drives to keep the Louisville offense off the field:
"We don't really look at their side of the ball too much. We just focus on us. Every game, we want to sustain drives, stay on the field and give the offense a little bit of a break."