Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Tuesday notes: McEntee, Reggie and "The Big Easley"

Got notes?

  • Edsall equated playing on ABC at 8 p.m. Saturday to a 3-hour advertisement for UConn and the football program. "You can't buy that type of advertising," Edsall said. It's true. Even Donald Trump can only muster an hour a week with "The Apprentice".

  • Brent Musburger and Kirk Herbstreit are calling the game Saturday. Expect to hear lots and lots and lots of talk about teams other than UConn and Cincinnati.

  • Johnny McEntee will back up Zach Frazer at quarterback this week, with Casey Turner in the three hole. Mike Box will keep his redshirt. "It wasn't a long discussion," Edsall said. "You're going into you're ninth game, we have a freshman we think is talented. At this point in the season you're not going to go and put him in. And we know if something did happen to Zach, Johnny could go in and get the job done."

  • Robbie Frey had shoulder surgery this morning. He is out for the year. Mike Lang joins Jordan Todman in returning kickoffs.

  • Zach Frazer said going from being injured, to his backup status, to being thrust into the game as an emergency replacement is a little like having cold water thrown on you. "It's unfortunate Cody was injured because he was playing well," Frazer said. "I wish him the best in recovery."

  • Robert McClain said despite the differences between Tony Pike and Zach Collaros, UConn's defensive mind set must remain the same. Pike is more of a pure passer and Collaros a better scrambler, the Huskies will look to be as physical as they were last season when the beat Cincinnati at the Runway. "We want to put a lot of pressure on these guys. They're pissed off they lost to us last year," McClain said. "But we're pissed off with the losses we had. It's going to be a very aggressive, physical game."

  • Robert McClain did his best to drill the message into his defensive teammates heads that the Rutgers game still wasn't over after UConn had taken the lead. He went up and down the sidelines preaching that it was up to the defense to end it there. Little mistakes wound up costing big. "Our coach called the perfect play, our safety just has to come down hill and make that play," McClain said. "Savage didn't look anyone off that play, he was staring at Tim Brown the whole time. I was in a trail technique where I was supposed to force the ball high. It went high. I turned late to react to the ball. But Savage threw a good ball. We just have to get him down on the ground there. ... I was devastated. I was shocked on the field, I was shocked running to the locker room. I was shocked that whole night. Going back and watching that tape, it was devastating. I poured my heart into that game."

  • As Edsall alluded to Sunday, Jerome Junior is now the every down strong safety.

  • Scott Lutrus said the Huskies know they're close to being a very good team. Thirteen points is all that separates a 4-4 team from an 8-0 team right now. "We might be 4-4, but there's still four games ahead of us," Lutrus said. "It's not in the character of this team to pack it in. We're going to keep working to get more wins."

  • Lutrus was asked what his reaction was when he saw the 2-point conversion pass to left tackle Mike Ryan on Saturday. "My initial thoughts were I didn't think we'd have the balls to run it," Lutrus said, getting big laughs. "They've been running that play since camp, and I always thought 'why are they running this? It's never going to get called. I said something to coach Moorehead, and he said we haven't have to run a 2-point play yet. But they called it."

  • New Haven native Chad Dawson fights Glenn Johnson for the WBC light heavyweight title on Friday, and it got me thinking (never good). Why doesn't college football just incorporate a championship belt? Every week would provide another title shot for someone. It's definitely more exciting than the current bowl format. In fact, they wouldn't even have to change the current set-up. But a late-season upset could result in a game like the PapaJohns.com Bowl actually meaning something.

  • What I'd really like is for college football coaches and players to take a cue from boxers with regard to interviews. Boxers are the best athletes to interview because they don't care about heaping praise and respect on their opponents like other sports. Boxers say what they mean. I once had a one guy, after knocking his opponent out in the first round, tell me he "was more dangerous than unprotected sex."

  • Speaking of boxing, a moment of silence for Referee Lou Filippo, who passed away Monday at 83. Referee Lou Filippo spent more than 30 years as one of boxing's best referee's, and, more importantly, reffed all of Rocky Balboa's biggest fights, including the Christmas Day bout in Moscow where Rocky not only beat Ivan Drago, but ended the Cold War with the "If I can change, and you can change, everybody can change" speech. Historic. And a little known fact, his given name is actually Referee Lou Filippo.

  • Here's another reason to tune in to the live chats every Thursday at 2 p.m. with me at www.nhregister.com/chat. Last week, a reader named Chris suggested "The Big Easley" as Marcus Easley's new nickname. I said "brilliant." When I bumped into Joe D'Ambrosio in the press box prior to the Rutgers game, he mentioned he saw the nickname on the chat and said he was planning to use it during the game's radio broadcast. Lo and behold, when the replay of Easley's TD catch was showed on the Jumbotron at the Runway Saturday, Joe D's call of "The Big Easley!" resonated across the stadium for 37,000-plus to hear. So...thank you, reader Chris. And just wait until the story you'll have when Chris Berman inevitably uses it on ESPN Prime Time in a few years.

  • Did I ever mention how I helped mainstream "Coco" Crisp's nickname while he was a minor leaguer playing Double-A ball in New Haven? He might still be known only as Covelli Crisp, the punch-dodging, failed Red Sox now living in obscurity with the Royals if not for me and a friend at the old New Haven Ravens. Ah, a story for another time.
That's it.


Blogger Gary said...

Chip, your belt idea for bowls is sort of like the idea I've had for a while, which would help incorporate a tournament (gasp!) into college football.

You could set up several 8 team tournaments. Different divisions, each culminating in a BCS bowl game.

The National Championship Division
The Rose Bowl Division
The Fiesta Bowl Division
The Sugar Bowl Division
The Orange Bowl Division

Each Division would have 8 teams,which means 7 games, which equals 35 bowl games, which is right about where we are now. Except it'd be 40 teams instead of 70 making a bowl.

I know it won't ever happen, and probably doesn't make sense because fan bases can travel to 4 bowl games in a month period, but in a purely fantasy scenario, it would be awesome.

And, sure, we could give belts to the winners.

November 03, 2009 10:35 PM 
Anonymous Vinny from East Haven said...

"Expect to hear lots and lots and lots of talk about teams other than UConn and Cincinnati."

Yeah, especially when UConn is down thirty early in the second quarter. Poor Herbstreit - he must be in the dog house with ABC management to be forced to be in th booth for this upcoming disaster.

November 04, 2009 1:13 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marcus' nickname is "Eazy" and since high school both him and his brother have been referred to at the "eazy button."

November 04, 2009 7:54 PM 
Anonymous Chris said...

When can I expect my royalties for "The Big Easley"?

November 06, 2009 7:14 PM 
Blogger Chip Malafronte said...

The check is in the mail.

November 06, 2009 8:33 PM 

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