Thursday, August 24, 2006

Mailbag Episode 33 1/3

I got a few emails wondering why I would bother answering questions from non-UConn fans or non-football related questions. The answer: if someone has a question, I'm going to do my best to answer it. I don't discriminate, and I want this blog to be fun as well as informative. Plus, I'll talk about anything in this forum as long it's in good taste. (I'll only answer the stuff that's in bad taste in person). The questions have been rolling in, and I don't think I can get to all of them this week. I may have to continue the mailbag either next week or the week after. Anyway, here we go again...

Question: Chip, how have the freshmen looked, particularly Greg Robinson and Lawrence Wilson. Any chance either or both will see any playing time?
-- DJ Sturtevant, Bradford, MA

CM: I have to admit I haven't really noticed either Greg Robinson or Lawrence Wilson. That's not to say they haven't been doing much, but there's so much going on in practice with so many players it can be like sensory overload. You just can't formulate opinions on every single player, especially given the limited number of practices made available to us. Randy Edsall also limits his responses to direct questions about the first-year players for most of camp, which is sort of an unwritten policy with him in the preseason. That said, Wilson and Scott Lutrus are both on the two deep, as are several other true freshmen. Look for Desi Cullen to be the biggest impact frosh, with Brad Kanuch, Terence Jeffers and Kevin Poles also making significant contributions at wide receiver.

Question: What can we expect this year from D.J Hernandez? Can he really provide the Huskies with the quarterback stability that we so desperately need? Because last year he was fairly unimpressive in his starts.
-Tom, Enfield

CM: D.J. was average at best last season, no doubt, although I thought he was very good against Louisville in the finale. Here's the thing to remember: D.J. was a 19-year old, redshirt freshman last season. He had no game experience, and the plan was to have him serve as Matt Bonislawski's backup all season. He was thrust into an active role only when Bones was injured against Syracuse. Not every young quarterback can step in against Division I-A competition and look like he was born to be there. Very few can do it. Most need time to learn the nuances of a difficult and complicated position.

All indications are that D.J. will be vastly improved this year. He's a work-aholic, spotted by coach Edsall at Memorial Stadium at 6 a.m. a few mornings working on his drops and techniques. He earned the starter's job over Bones, the very man who beat him out last year, through solid, heady play in practice. With Bones and Dennis Brown as experienced, capable backups, the Huskies should be fine at the position.

Question: What’s the story on playing Division 1-AA teams this year? A win doesn’t count towards bowl eligibility, does it? If not, why would a team schedule one? I am genuinely curious about this. It seems like a no-win situation to me….unless it counts towards bowl eligibility, in which case I would have scheduled about 4 or 5 of the suckers.

CM: The NCAA passed emergency legislation in April 2005 which allows Division I-A teams to count one win each year against Division I-AA opponents toward bowl eligibility. It came about as a concession when the NCAA expanded Division I-A regular season schedules from 11 to 12 games. The previous rule was that a I-A school could count a win over a I-AA school once every four years and use it toward bowl eligibility.


Blogger Maryland Conservatarian said...

FWIW: I understand the 1-AA team has to offer at least 60 scholarships so the PL, Ivies etc. don't count

September 07, 2006 2:59 PM 
Blogger Chip Malafronte said...

Rhode Island plays in the Atlantic-10, not the Patriot League.

September 07, 2006 3:36 PM 

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