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Randy Edsall blames phones, Fortnite for program-building struggles

Hear what Edsall had to say about kids these days, the Huskies being favored against UMass on the road, and more.

Ian Bethune/The UConn Blog

After a week where UConn had a chance to pull off an upset, Husky head coach Randy Edsall had another interesting series of conversations in his weekly press conference. The Huskies go into the week favored to beat UMass on the road.

Old man yells at cloud

Randy Edsall has gone into detail in the past about how building UConn football from the ground up has been difficult. So, in response to a question about how he’s “spending more time babysitting and less time coaching” at Tuesday’s press conference, he gave his most detailed answer yet.

“You’re supposed to be a full-time student, and a full-time athlete, and that’s all it is. Stop being on your phone all the time, stop playing Fortnite, go to bed at a reasonable time.”

Edsall went on to mention how he would be “hung” if he tried to take away his players’ phones, and how 21 players missed class this week and had to put in extra “opportunity workouts” during team meetings.

This, of course, ignores that every single college football team, including the ones that have whipped UConn up and down the field across the past two years, deals with this same generation of players.

Edsall continued: “I don’t have the Finchers, the Orlovskys, the Krugs, the Lorenzens, the Donald Browns. Those guys, they didn’t care what their teammates thought. Too many kids nowadays want to be liked, they don’t understand it’s about respect.”

Edsall’s comments come across as archaic and out of touch. Instead of the poignant social commentary he believes he’s delivering, he looks like a coach who can’t keep up with the times and is blaming the players for his problems. For someone who is leading the country in cowardly punts and hasn’t won an FBS game in two years, there are other reasons to believe this as well.

Good teams win, great teams cover

UConn is a road favorite by 9.5 points over UMass this weekend. In a vacuum, this shouldn’t surprise anybody. It’s certainly not an outlandish point spread, as multiple advanced metrics have UMass as the worst team in the nation. Bill Connelly’s SP+ ratings have them ranked worse than the UConn in all efficiency and explosiveness.

The Huskies bounced back after an incredibly demoralizing road loss to Tulane by taking a talented, if beaten up, Houston to the brink. The Huskies are in the top 100 in defensive SP+. Their second win of the season seems closer than ever, but they still have to execute.

“It sucks that we were so close, we were right there,” linebacker DJ Morgan said. “But it lets us know that we’re starting to hit on the right cylinders. We have to be all locked in on all three levels of the game.”

“I don’t think we’re feeling pressure, I just think it’s a matter of putting your head down and executing,” quarterback Jack Zergiotis said.

Krajewski recovery ahead of schedule

Just a few weeks after breaking his clavicle, quarterback Steven Krajewski took part in Tuesday’s practice. The sophomore is ahead of the usual 6-8 week recovery time, and it remains to be seen if he’ll feature at all later in the season — Edsall previously stated that he was out for the year.

Krajewski had solid numbers was the focal point of the offense against UCF, completing 22 of 33 passes for 273 yards and three touchdowns.