UConn has moved past Towson
Before any questions were asked this afternoon, Pasqualoni took it upon himself to declare that the Huskies’ recent focus in practice has been to fix the self-inflicted damages that caused their defeat twelve days ago; namely, poor defensive run contain and fundamentals. As we detailed in our post-game breakdown of the defense, the Huskies largely did well in stopping FCS All-American Terrance West and the Tiger run offense. UConn’s problem came with the few plays West was allowed to break outside.
Pasqualoni continued on by sharing that the players have responded over the last week with a good attitude, and are currently looking forward to Maryland. When speaking with players afterward, they all echoed the same things. The Huskies are entirely done with Towson, believe they’ve made the corrections and are excited for Saturday night.
Tim Boyle moves up the depth chart to split the second-string spot
The rise of freshman quarterback Tim Boyle on the depth chart to back-up with Casey Cochran has been the team’s biggest news since last week. Pasqualoni remarked that Boyle gives the team a stronger guy and a stronger arm, but Chandler Whitmer is the starter. He later stressed that he never wants a younger player put into a game until they are comfortable and confident. Furthermore, Whitmer has put forth a very good week of practice.
From this view, it appears that Boyle is undoubtedly the quarterback of the future, and he’ll only see time in 2013 if Whitmer struggles severely (and rightfully so). Pasqualoni also praised Cochran in this same segment of the press conference, and mentioned a month ago he’d ideally like to redshirt Boyle. We’ll see how it all unfolds.
Offensive line grows healthier
Pasqualoni announced that right tackle Kevin Friend has not missed a single practice since the Towson game, which he missed due to a concussion. Meanwhile, last year’s starting center, Tyler Bullock, is very near 100 percent healthy. Pasqualoni is optimistic Bullock will be able to go on Saturday, but feels unsure as to how much he’ll play. Bullock replaced the team’s current starter at center, Alex Mateas, midway through the Huskies 2012 campaign.
First impressions of Maryland
“The big difference is C.J. Brown.”
The first few words of coach’s longest remark on the afternoon were the most important. By opening with the quoted sentence above, Pasqualoni is clearly most focused on stopping Brown—and rightfully so. Maryland’s returned starting quarterback from 2011 is as dangerous a passer as he is thrower. The senior signal caller missed last year’s meeting with the Huskies due to an ACL tear, but now has individually averaged over 345 yards per game in 2013. He’s led Maryland to a combined 90 points against Florida International and Old Dominion—almost all of which came in the first three quarters of each game.
Pasqualoni later touched upon the fact the Terrapins have four receivers “who can really go”. The group is highlighted by all-ACC sophomore wideout/returner Stefon Diggs, a top-ten recruit from 2012. Coach expressed that limiting big plays and matching up with those receivers is a big concern. He also lauded the Terp’s starting running back Brandon Ross and mostly returned offensive line.
Before declaring that his team has not discussed the return of their old coach Randy Edsall, Pasqualoni said he supposes Edsall will get a mixed reception from the crowd on hand Saturday. The Huskies’ current headman also believes that there are people in the state and community who will appreciate what his predecessor did here, despite their disagreements with how he left.
Running back Joe Williams is still suspended for violation of team rules.
The team wants to get the ball to slot receiver Deshon Foxx more often.
Pasqualoni likes the current rotation UConn has at defensive end with Jesse Joseph, Tim Willman and Angelo Pruitt. He feels strongly that it is a good thing.
Coach is also happy with the progress of starting tight end Sean McQuillan, who he says is nearly “back to the old Sean”.
During a very brief, open teleconference with UConn media, Edsall talked about looking forward to his return to UConn, recalling the many great memories at The Rent and the tough crowd on hand. He does expect to hear some boos and spoke to preparing his team for the loud road environment Husky fans produce.
Interestingly, his first comments concerning UConn’s last matchup against Towson mentioned how the Huskies allowed big plays in the passing game—not on the ground.
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