"We didn't earn that win today"
A whole lot of stuff from postgame. So here it is.
- Temple coach Al Golden was crushed (and rightfully ornery) in his postgame press conference. "I just saw the video. He's in. I don't know what else to say. The kid (Francis) said he was in. Players on the field told me he was in. The coaches upstairs said he was in. Families are calling on their cell phones saying he was in."
- For the record, the on-field officials were from the Mid-American Conference. The replay officials, headed by Jack Cramer, were from the Big East.
- I watched a bunch of replays from the press box, but haven't seen any since and I'm still typing away at the Runway as I state this.......Someone needs to send the chunky security guard with the white hair and beard a bouquet of flowers or a candygram or something. On the best, most definitive angle to see if Francis' foot was in bounds, the camera pans across to see a guy in bright yellow security jacket blocking Francis' foot. All other replays just weren't conclusive enough to overturn the call. Sure, Francis was probably in. But, and I say this in all neutrality, it wasn't a given that his toe was on the ground. Unlikely as it may be, his toe might have been up in the air. It was like a first baseman coming off the bag for a high throw. Did he stay on the ground long enough? But the one angle that would have provided the proof to change the call was blocked by a Santa Claus lookalike (or was he a lookalike!!!!). Perhaps it was St. Nick himself. Talk about good omens. Christmas may have come in September for the Huskies.
- Neil Ostrout of the Connecticut Post and myself staked out the officials locker room even after Randy Edsall's press conference started to get a comment from the referees. We figured they'd have something to say. You know, defend the call. Cripes, it was upheld after the game was delayed a good five minutes as replay officials watched it over and over. Larry McCabe, the referee, finally emerged. We asked him to comment, and he said, with a dumb smile on his face as he walked away with his suitcase, "I can't talk about it." Way to back up your crew, Larry. Sheesh.
- Here's what Nick Carparelli, associate commissioner of the Big East Conference, had to say regarding the replay crew. “Jack Cramer didn’t feel there was enough evidence to overturn the call. The job of the officials in the replay booth is to overturn obvious mistakes, not to make calls. The officials’ decision was that this case was not an obvious mistake.”
- New Haven's own Dy'Onne Crudup of Temple, who threw the pass on the double reverse that led to the controversial call, was a quarterback for Hyde's state championship teams a couple years back.
- Randy Edsall said after the game that Robert Vaughn should have just batted that pass down, not tried to intercept it. But video showed Vaughn wasn't at fault. Even Vaughn said he went up for the ball along with the Temple receiver and they collided in midair. The ball tipped off the Temple players hands, not Vaughn's, so there wasn't much he could do about it.
- Donald Brown is still the Huskies' starting tailback, Edsall said. He went to Dixon because he was churning out yardage in chunks while the Donald was struggling a tad. You go with the guy who's getting the job done, plain and simple. Be glad UConn has options as the position.
- Dixon said he spent most of his team-issued suspension doing the conditioning drills and weight program the team went through this summer. He didn't participate in practices or contact drills, and it the rest may have done some good. He said he felt fresher in practice this week, and though he didn't expect to play much Saturday he was grateful for the chance. 21 carries for 129 yards in his game debut as a tailback? Not shabby.
- Dan Ryan tweaked an ankle in practice during the week, and wasn't 100 percent. That's why Alex LaMagdelaine got the start at guard and Mike Hicks shifted over to fill in for Ryan at tackle. Lindsay Witten also hurt his ankle and was less than 100 percent, which is why he didn't play.
- Sounds as if there was some slacking off in practice during the week. Edsall said some players missed treatments during the week, and some starters were late to a team meal Saturday morning. Then there's this quote..."They have to learn to play every game like it’s the last game they will ever play,” Edsall said. “You don’t listen to other people outside of your program. You listen to your coaches who have been doing this 25-30 years. I told them on Tuesday that Temple was going to come after you. I kept reiterating that, but they’re kids. They walk around campus and most people are patting them on the back for being 2-0 and not to worry about Temple, you'll be 3-0 going to Pittsburgh. They were 29 point favorites. They watched the film on Buffalo (a 42-7 Owls loss last weekend). We told them about the Navy game. We go up 10-0 and they think it's going to be easy. I told them last time I checked, it took 60 minutes to win a game. You don't win a game during the week.. …. We got lucky. We were fortunate, but I’d rather be on this end than the other end.”
- Edsall is concerned about the play of the offensive line, which struggled to buy Lorenzen time and open up holes for Brown. Then there's the failed 4th-and-1's in the fourth quarter. The one Lou Allen was stopped on set up Temple's final drive. The one earlier in the fourth, where Lorenzen slipped and was short on UConn's own 32 really could have cost them dearly. I don't agree with taking a chance like that so deep in your own territory, but Edsall was confident his team could gain a few inches against Temple. Robert Vaughn made a huge interception to save UConn's bacon.
- Wind certainly helped Tony Ciaravino, who would have been the hero if the big play didn't overshadow everything. Tony C made a 47-yarder in the first half and a 50-yarder in the third quarter. Edsall said the wind was so strong he wouldn't have attempted those kicks going the other direction. Still, it's good news for a beleaguered kicking game, none the less. Also, Edsall says Dave Teggart has been pushing Tony C in practice every day.
- Let's just put into perspective how bad a loss would have been for UConn. Temple had lost 24 of its previous 25 games. It was waxed by BUFFALO a week ago, 42-7, a game the Owls were favored to win by the odds makers for the first time since 2003. Heck, Temple hadn't even led a football game at any point since Oct. 28 of 2006 before it grabbed a 14-13 lead in the third quarter on Saturday. UConn was 30-point faves before kickoff, and put up eight scoreless quarters of football before Temple got on the board in the second quarter. It would have been one gigantic step backward.
- Chuck Banning of the Day has "Singing in the Rain" as his cell phone ring tone. He's also working on perfecting Gene Kelly's dance moves, complete with the umbrella, too. Just thought you'd like to know.
Got to go. I'll check in soon.