Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Louisville win: post-game notes

From the postgame...
  • Looks like UConn finally has a reliable, big-play receiver. Marcus Easley was somewhere between 8th and 10th on the depth chart heading into the Pitt game. Now, he's the clear No. 1 after a second straight game with at least 100-yards (first time in 10 years that's happened at UConn) and touchdown. Why did it take this long to get him on the field? "Obviously, I'm not real smart because he wasn't playing," Randy Edsall said. "I take the blame for that. We've seen the consistency out of him. ... He understands his time is dwindling, and he wants to make the most of it."

  • Easley said he spent most of the preseason and the first month of the season frustrated because he couldn't get onto the field. "(I kept thinking) what am I not doing? What can I improve on," Easley said. "Coach Edsall is a man that does the right thing and puts the best guys on the field. I just wanted to continue to improve and work hard." Easley, a senior, was motivated on his own, but Andre Dixon helped keep the fire lit. Dixon, who is Easley's roommate, said he could see Easley's ability and kept pushing him to stay hungry. "It's starting to pay off," Easley said.

  • Andre Dixon has been running like a man possessed all year, and the coaches decided to ride him all the way today. He had 33 carries for 153 yards and three touchdowns, while Jordan Todman only had eight carries (and an impressive 7.9 yards-per carry). Dixon has prepared all year for the big workload, and it paid off. "I don't even feel that banged up," Dixon said.

  • The Vegas line was 13 points most of the week. There may have been a few unsavory-looking characters out there who breathed a big sigh of relief when Louisville kicker Ryan Payne missed the extra-point kick after the Cardinals meaningless touchdown as time expired. Payne missed an earlier extra-point attempt, too. Maybe he should start wearing a shoe on his kicking foot.

  • UConn made huge plays on both sides of the ball when needed. Three forced turnovers on Louisville's first three possessions of the second half were converted into 17 points. A 14-13 Huskies' lead was quickly turned to 31-13 with 50 seconds left in the third quarter.

  • "Defensively, we still have things to work on," Edsall said. That's evident. Adam Froman (the sausage king of Louisville?) looked like one of the best quarterbacks in the country for big chunks of the game. He had 16 consecutive completions from the second into the third quarter, and finished 24-of-31 passing for 295 yards. The defense made plays when needed, but it must tighten up for West Virginia next week.

  • Edsall was running up and down the sideline like a man possessed in an attempt to fire up his team in the break before the fourth quarter began. UConn has seen big fourth-quarter leads disappear too often this year, and he said he was trying to contribute in his own way. He also said it wasn't rehearsed. "I'm a spur of the moment type guy," Edsall said. "I'm not real good if I have to rehearse. I'm more effective when it's from the heart. I was hoping it wouldn't get to that situation. When you turn 50, it all goes downhill. You can't sit there and scream and holler like you did when you were 35."


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