STORRS, Conn. -
The UConn football team concludes its 2016 season on Saturday when it plays host to Tulane at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field at 4 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPNews and heard on the UConn IMG Sports Radio Network. Both teams bring a 3-8 record into the game.
For the UConn media notes for the game, CLICK HERE.
To purchase tickets for the game, CLICK HERE.
Tuesday was Media Day in Storrs. Here are quotes and video from UConn head coach Bob Diaco and senior safety Obi Melifonwu (South Grafton, Mass.) plus a Twitter recap of the day.
UConn Head Coach Bob Diaco
"It is not actually the reality of our program, you know, being in the program that everything is a mess. That's not true. It does seem like that though. Nothing seems like it is going well. On the outside looking in as a perception standpoint, but I'm here to tell you that isn't true. From the inside, it may not sound like honesty to you or real, but it is very real. Everyone is disappointed but like this team, they showed back up with the right attitude and energy, resolute to working and in particular to the seniors.
"It is Senior Week. It is their last week of service for the University as it relates to football. They will be at home, in their home stadium, for the final time on Senior Day on Saturday. So the charge, for me and the staff and all the players is to give everything that you have left in you, for those guys. And to a man, I say, everyone showed up that way. So everyone showed up resolute to working as hard as each person can possibly work for our seniors this week.
"I know I am excited about that task and I'm excited about the future, for sure. But even specifically for the next few days and not looking past today."
What needs to be fixed
"The offense, put together by me, I take full accountability of what I blended and meshed together, created the record as it sits right now. Because when you look at the special teams, you look at the defense and you look at the culture, mind, body and soul. It manifests itself into, do you get pushed around, are you physical enough, can you play hard for four quarters, how healthy is the team throughout the course of the year, do you have attrition on the team when it comes to academic problems, social problems. That is all part of our culture, so when I say culture it is an easy way to say a lot of different things, 20 different, 100 different things."
On quarterback Donovan Williams
"I'm super excited for Donovan, I'm so glad that he is experiencing everything that he is experiencing. He gets another opportunity against Tulane who is another great defense...very good defense. So he will have played a couple of the stronger defenses in the nation, one at home, one on the road and another at home. Two really exceptional defenses and one that is pretty darn good, at least statistically, nationally.
"I thought he had better ball security running, thought he had better vision in the pocket and a nice job of neutralizing the rush. Now some of the decision making and ball security, throwing, need progress. The ball came out of his hand well, at times. He made some really nice throws, it's hard to see how good or great he is going to be right now but he will. He is very special."
UConn Safety Obi Melifonwu
On being invited to the Senior Bowl
"It is definitely a blessing, I'm humbled, I wasn't expecting to get it and when I heard the news I was excited...called my family, called my friends back home, got a lot of congratulations. It definitely a big milestone, not a lot of players get honored to that game, I'm just grateful for the opportunity."
Learning from former Huskies now in the NFL Byron Jones and Andrew Adams
"They have both helped me, I just talked to Byron the other day. He obviously gave me congratulations but he has been helping me through the process. Just doing a great job of guiding me the right way. I've talked to Andrew too and told him he's been doing a great job and they are guys that I can keep talking to and feed off them and get information."
How he has seen his game progress
"I think this year, especially with the season we've had, I've learned to control what I can control and it has allowed me to play more loose. It definitely allowed me to make more plays and fly around, not really worrying about the score, opponent or what the offense is doing. Just focusing on my job and helping the defense out."
Kudos to Diaco for answering, or attempting to answer, some hard questions. Was likely a long 41 minutes for him.
— Ed Daigneault (@EdDaigneault) November 22, 2016
Diaco says playing for the seniors this week. He says the offense needs to be changed after the season.
— Patrick Eaton-Robb (@peatonrobb) November 22, 2016
Diaco: "Perception is reality. It is not the reality of our program that everything is a mess. Not true. It does seem like that though."
— Mike Anthony (@ManthonyCourant) November 22, 2016