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UConn football: Why Beaudry won QB competition; silence on the specialists; no injury talk

The Huskies’ head coach hit on a handful of topics ahead of the team’s season opener.

Ian Bethune

UConn football head coach Randy Edsall met with the media for his weekly press conference ahead of the Huskies’ home opener against Wagner on Thursday.

Beaudry wins quarterback competition

After naming West Florida transfer Mike Beaudry the starting quarterback on Tuesday, Randy Edsall broke down his decision to the media.

“When you look at the overall statistics of everything we did through the preseason, it was really a tough decision but Michael ended up doing more things that we wanted to see than Steven [Krajewski] — and Steven did a lot of good things. But Michael just did a few more things that were a little bit better,” he said.

The coach later continued that the decision went beyond the stats as well.

“There’s a lot of other factors you consider into it as well in terms of stuff people don’t see in terms of how they command the huddle, how they command the operation of the offense,” Edsall said. “It’s not just completion percentage, it’s not just the number of interceptions thrown or how many sacks they might take. It’s a lot of things, a lot of elements that went into making the decision.”

So what did Edsall see in Beaudry when he recruited him from a Division II school?

“What I want in a quarterback is one that’s well-rounded, I don’t want one that’s one-dimensional,” he said. “He’s shown on film he’s capable of doing a lot of different things — in terms throwing the ball, throwing it from different positions on the field and doing different things. When you sit down and you talk to him, he’s mature, he understands the game.”

With Beaudry the starter, that means redshirt freshman Steven Krajewski will be the top backup. However, Edsall said the gap between the two quarterbacks wasn’t big, so he’ll still feel good if Krajewski needs to go in.

“Steven knows that he’s gotta be ready to go and if he needs to go in the game, I’m gonna be very confident he can go in and execute the things we need done,” Edsall said.

Silence on the specialists

With the season opener just four days away, Edsall still isn’t ready to name a starting place kicker. The competition is coming down between redshirt freshmen Noah Iden and Clayton Harris, with Harris holding a slight edge as of Sunday morning. However, Edsall did note that Iden will handle kickoffs.

In other specialist news, Edsall declined to say who the kick and punt returners will be, but did confirm that the team will indeed return punts and kickoffs this season.

“I’m not going to say yet,” Edsall said. “But we’ll have a guy back there on the first night.”

In a more serious tone, Edsall feels the team has a lot more options to pick from than in the past.

“We have more guys to choose from now than any time I’ve ever been here. We have a lot of guys who are capable of doing that job, we just need to see how that plays out all during the week. But I know who it’s going to be. We’re just going to wait and see until the end of the week.”

No injury talk

Edsall will not be discussing player injuries this season, unless a player will be out for the season, citing the legalization of gambling in different states around the US.

“I’m not talking about injuries. There’s too much gambling going on now. If you read what the NCAA says, we can’t put out injury reports,” he said. “I’m not going to talk about injuries all year long.”

“There’s gamblers now, you can bet on this in states,” Edsall later continued. “We got a thing from the AFCA (American Football Coaches Association) and it’s a big thing they’re thinking about: trying to put out the injury report every week. But as coaches they were against doing that with the ramifications with the legalized gambling and betting and all that stuff.”

While gambling issues are a concern, not putting out an injury report or discussing injuries puts opposing teams in the dark on who they need to game plan for. If a team spends the entire week scheming how to stop Beaudry — for example — only to have Krajewski start, that gives UConn a major advantage.

At the moment, there are no NCAA, conference or school rules that require teams to release an injury report.