Sunday, September 17, 2006

Reflections of a loss

Terry Caulley was back at practice Sunday to participate in limited drills for the University of Connecticut football team.

Caulley, the Huskies senior tailback, became the program’s career rushing leader during Saturday’s 24-13 loss to Wake Forest at Rentschler Field. But he left the game in the fourth quarter after an injury to his midsection, and was taken to the hospital for X-rays.

After the game UConn coach Randy Edsall said Caulley would have his ribs and spleen examined. On Sunday, Edsall said the tests showed an abdominal strain and that Caulley is probable for Saturday’s game at Indiana.

“Everything checked out fine today,” Edsall said.

Caulley passed Wilbur Gilliard’s UConn career rushing record of 2,624 yards in the first quarter Saturday, and finished with 81 yards on 15 carries. But he didn’t play the game’s final series because of the injury. Edsall said Caulley believed he may have strained himself lifting earlier in the week, then aggravated the injury during Saturday’s game.

The news wasn’t as positive for UConn center Keith Gray, who left Saturday’s game early in the first quarter with a shoulder injury. Edsall said Gray suffered a subluxed shoulder, and will be out two to three weeks. Gray will undergo an MRI later this week to determine if there is further damage.

A subluxed shoulder is generally not as serious as a dislocated or separated shoulder. The ligaments are stretched, but the shoulder remains in the socket. There is a possibility of torn ligaments or nerve damage, which won’t be known until the MRI results are evaluated.
Redshirt Alex LaMagdelaine filled in for Gray Saturday, and will start at Indiana. Redshirt freshman Bobby Fry is now the backup center.

Moore named starter

Donta Moore has started the first two games at strongside linebacker, also called the “Husky” position despite being listed along with Justin DeRubertis of Bethel atop the depth chart.

On Sunday, Edsall announced Moore had played his way into the starter’s role.
Moore was UConn’s best defensive player on Saturday, leading the way with nine tackles, 6.5 of which were for losses. He also buried Wake Forest quarterback Riley Skinner with a vicious hit for his first sack of the season.

Moore’s 11 solo tackles, 21 total tackles and 7.5 tackles for losses all lead the team.

Kicking problems

Matt Nuzie of Trumbull, who had a rough afternoon Saturday in missing two crucial kicks, was in Edsall’s office early Sunday morning to discuss his situation.

Edsall still has full confidence in Nuzie, a four-year starter, despite the missed 27-yard field goal and extra point that cost the Huskies a chance to take Wake Forest to overtime.

“He feels terrible,” Edsall said. “We talked and I said to Matt you have three things to worry about; showing the holder where you want the ball placed, your steps and watching the holder’s hand to go down. He also has to know which hash mark he’s on. Other than that, he has nothing to worry about. He’s made kicks for us in the past. But Matt Nuzie didn’t lose that game for us.”

Edsall also said he would reopen the competition for kickoffs. Freshman Desi Cullen hasn’t been booming kickoffs the way he was in the preseason, Edsall said, so Nuzie and Graig Vicidomino of Seymour will be back in the loop for that job.


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