Bob Diaco thinks (or at least he says) that Stony Brook will be a tough opponent for UConn this Saturday, but right now his team is looking inwards.
"This week is about us, getting better and doing what we need to do," he said, "We're a process organization. The process was a success". Even though his film review identified a multitude of mistakes against BYU, Diaco is enthusiastic about the progress the Huskies showed, noting week over week improvement as the primary goal for now. He believes they were successful in this endeavor.
Most will be disappointed to hear that the two-quarterback system is here to stay. In fact, we will continue to see a lot of substitutions across the board these next two weeks in what Diaco is calling a "preparation phase". At quarterback, Casey Cochran took 47 snaps and Chandler Whitmer took 36. Diaco considers Whitmer to be more of a threat in the red zone, which explains why he subbed the redshirt senior in for Cochran eight plays and 64 yards into the promising first drive of the second half.
As for the rest of the team, Bob actually liked what he saw out of the offensive line. Or more accurately, he thought they exceeded his expectations. Diaco hopes to find more and better ways to get the ball into the hands of his playmakers. He said he would like to add 10 plays each to the freshman running backs' participation, specifically mentioning that Arkeel Newsome was an impressive runner who "needs to get the ball more." He also said that Geremy Davis should be getting double-digit receptions every week.
Diaco's assessment of the defensive line was positive even though they weren't able to generate much of a pass rush on Friday night, "We're not going to have any problems rushing the passer" he said, confidently. The linebackers received perhaps the worst grade on the week, with a performance Diaco described as "below average to poor."
While Husky fans may not be pleased to hear Diaco basically say that his team was not playing to win on Friday, the unfortunate truth is that these assembled players weren't ready to compete with BYU. Diaco claims they are not even specifically game-planning for the opponent in this phase of the season.
Bob Diaco and his staff are preparing this team for the start of the American slate with hopes of finishing as high as possible in the conference standings at the end of the year. It's hard to disagree with this stance given the state of the program and the strength of the two FBS non-conference opponents but I'm not sure this approach will sit well with fans, especially against a Boise State team that many believe is ripe for an upset. The words of the great Herm Edwards ring loudly here, "Hello! YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME".
So I guess it's two more weeks of the Bob Diaco experiment, and as long as we thump Temple in the conference opener on September 27th, all will be forgotten.
- Offensive tackle Andreas Knappe, who was listed as the starting right tackle before getting injured, has been working out and is closer to getting back on the field.
- There were no changes to the depth chart from last week's going into the Stony Brook game.
- Diaco was pleased to share that the Huskies came out of the game with no major injuries.
- An astounding 50 players saw action on offense and defense against BYU-- 25 on offense, and 25 on defense.
- UConn received another commitment for the Class of 2015 last night, 6-foot-6 wide receiver Frank Battle, a highly-rated player from the Miami-Dade area.