Friday, September 19, 2008

Notes from the wee small hours of the morning

These 8 p.m. starts are brutal on newspaper writers. It's a mad scramble to get a story filed in the minutes after the game ends for the early editions, go down and get quotes, come back up and write like crazy again to have a story filed before final deadline.

It's 12:15 a.m., and the post-game notes will be brief. Not because it's so late, but there's just not much time to get good info. Here's what I have.
  • If you saw the game, you could only come away extremely impressed with Baylor. Robert Griffin is incredibly poised for a true freshman playing in his first road game, and his talent is remarkable. How many times did it look like he had nowhere to go, only to scramble out of trouble and make something happen? And we knew he was fast -- he's an All-American hurdler -- but he did the most damage throwing the ball tonight. "He was fast, man," UConn defensive end Julius Williams said. "There were some times we knew what was coming, and still couldn't stop them."

  • Bad call on the non-safety call. From what I could tell, it seemed there might have been enough evidence to overturn the call on replay. Maybe someone who saw all the replays or Tivo'ed the game can enlighten me further. Williams, who made the sack, certainly thought it should have been a safety. "It definitely was," Williams said. "I got snaked real bad." Edsall refused to comment on the officiating. "I can't afford to pay a fine," Edsall said. That elicited more than a few chuckles from the media.

  • This was by far UConn's most entertaining game since the double-overtime win against Pitt two years ago.

  • UConn's offense relied heavily on Donald Brown (now over 700 yards rushing in four games...which puts him on pace for over 2,100 for the season). His 34 carries is more that Edsall feels is ideal, but he needed them all tonight. "34 in a game like this...I don't mind that." Andre Dixon was healthy, and played a few snaps, but didn't fit into the game plan tonight. Same with Jordan Todman. Brown said he didn't feel tired at all in the fourth quarter, and felt fine after the game.

  • Two more interceptions from Lorenzen, giving him six in four games. "I'm not concerned with Tyler," Edsall said. "The first interception he was late on, the second he threw on the back shoulder instead of the front shoulder. Even Peyton Manning throws interceptions. Everyone throws interceptions. Tyler is a tremendous leader."

  • Is UConn ready for the Big East schedule? Absolutely, says Edsall. "I like that we are a team. They pick each other up, they work hard, they give it their all until the very end, and they are resilient. On the other hand, we have to work on a lot of things. Not that it is bad. But we want to strive to be perfect if we can. We have to get better on third down both offensively and defensively. If we continue to play tough, physical and with good fundamentals and technique, then we are going to have a chance to continue to win."

  • Darius Butler had some punishing hits on Griffin. Perhaps he took offense to all the hoopla over Griffin's athleticism. Butler is a guy who thinks he's the best athlete on the field or court, no matter what. A quarterback in high school, Butler was asked earlier in the week if he was as good as Griffin at the position back in the day. "I would say so," Butler said, quite seriously. "Others might not agree." He should have pulled up on the late hit on Griffin that cost UConn an least it appeared that way live. EDIT: Looks like I'm wrong. Video shows Butler's hit wasn't late and clean.

  • How about that Hochuli family? What a week, eh?

  • The conference schedule starts next weekend, but it certainly seems the BCS bid is there for the taking.


Anonymous Ian said...

From the time Griffin released the ball to the time Butler hit him was 3/10 of a second. Even Sean McDonough and Speilman disagreed with the penalty call. They said that wouldn't even have been called in the NFL.

Williams definitely sacked Griffin in the end zone and the refs and replay official blew that call.

They also blew the call on the kick-catch interference that lead to the winning touchdown for UConn. Howard got run into by his own player and not a Baylor player.

I too was impressed with Griffin and like Edsall said after the game, he doesn't want to see him next year when they go down there. The kid's for real and will make that Baylor team into a winner.

September 20, 2008 1:17 AM 
Anonymous Vinny from East Haven said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

September 20, 2008 1:29 AM 
Blogger Chip Malafronte said...

Thanks, Ian. I didn't get a great look at the Butler hit replay.

And I forgot to include that bad interference call on Howard, as he was absolutely bumped by a UConn player.

September 20, 2008 1:41 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agreed with Trinity deserving recognition. UConn may be the only 1-A program in New England, but hasn't earned the right to talk smack at this point. Nice championship Trinity.

4-0...good job.

September 20, 2008 1:49 AM 

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